My Little Cali Jacket

Good People of the West, coming to you once again in one piece and at home where life is good. And it’s pretty warm here too I’ve been noticing! I’ve been on the run…

I was on an East coast tour with vocalist Dianne Reeves. First up was a great hit in Newport News, Virginia with the added keyboard wizard Geoffrey Keezer in the house. Big fun for starts and from there the show moved to NYC with a series of snow storms and frigid temps. My little Cali jacket wasn’t holding in the warmth so I scored a real McCoy from my friend Rob Schneiderman. From there it was survivable but still a maze of ice, snow, mega puddles, snow barriers engulfing cars, all just happy winter fare for the east coast.

The music was fantastic with 2 days of rehearsals, 1 gig in Brooklyn and then 2 sold out nights at the Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It’s one of the great venues on planet earth and to hear Dianne fill the air with her soulful vocal perfection, wow, I’m still floating.

My wife Stefanie was on the NYC part of the trip and also in the loop was her Mom, sister, brother in law, and a handful of nephews. They made the trek from California to see how the east coast deals the winter deck. Museums, walking the ice and Macy’s shopping we’re all doing the trick and having them there for the Rose Hall gig was a treat for me.

The whole California family entourage backstage at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Left to right, Eric (nephew), Troy (nephew), Anne (super cool mother in law), Chad (nephew), Stefanie (wonderful wife), Liz (sister in law), and Hans (brother in law).

The whole California family entourage backstage at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Left to right, Eric (nephew), Troy (nephew), Anne (super cool mother in law), Chad with his eyes closed (nephew), Stefanie (wonderful wife), Liz (sister in law), and Hans (brother in law).

Miles of aisles at Rose Hall! The view from the stage.

Miles of aisles at Rose Hall! The view from the stage.

After the storm, the sun comes out and the snow is in full regalia.

After the storm, the sun comes out and the snow is in full regalia.

Launching from NYC we then ventured further east to Krakow, Poland. Red eye reality into a bus trek and finally slowing down to sleep, we then played a concert at the Bielsko-Biala Jazz Festival. It was an enthusiastic audience and even though our stay was short, we got a good feeling about jazz in Poland. I hope to return someday!

Welcome to Krakow! The band, just having gone through the red eye from NYC deals with the gear and the bus. Right to left, Peter Martin, Terryon, Dianne, and the crew.

Welcome to Krakow! The band, just having gone through the red eye from NYC deals with the gear and the bus. Right to left, Peter Martin, Terryon, Dianne, and the crew.

It was a whirlwind trip but I had an afternoon to walk through the grey streets of Bielsko-Biala.

It was a whirlwind trip but I had an afternoon to walk through the grey streets of Bielsko-Biala.

I walked into this mall and there was a rather large poster for the concert.

I walked into this mall and there was a rather large poster for the concert.

Saxophonist Miguel Zenon open the concert in Poland.

Saxophonist Miguel Zenon opened the concert in Poland.

DRPolandPhotoMontage

Dianne Reeves in Poland with (clockwise) Dianne, Peter, Terryon Gulley, Peter Martin’s hands on the piano and James Genus.

Now I’m back and the studio has been swirling with folks documenting their sonic offerings. Mark Dresser played some killing low notes and a few days later young LA guitarist Andy Wadell led his band of odd meter meteorologists. Sri Shrednoy!

Low end scientist of sound Mark Dresser.

Low end scientist of sound Mark Dresser.

Andy Wadell Group with (left to right) Aaron McLendon, Dan Lutz, Andy, Tom Catanzano, and Josh Nelson.

Andy Wadell Group with (left to right) Aaron McLendon, Dan Lutz, Andy, Tom Catanzano, and Josh Nelson.

Up for this week, on Friday we play a concert at Mira Costa College led by vocalist and pianist Matt Falker. Matt’s been a part of a couple of my projects and he’s a joy to collaborate with. Both a great vocalist and pianist, he also leads the vocal jazz program at Mira Costa College. For this concert we’re playing music from his just to be released CD “Playpen”. He recorded the music over here at SpragueLand and I’m also playing guitar on it. He has a nice program of jazz standards, his originals, and a Stevie and Metheny thrown in for good measure. It’s going to be a great show and look below for details and ticket information.

MattFalkerPlaypen

On Saturday night my group Bop Moderno invades the Crill Auditorium at Point Loma Nazarene University for a night of jazz. The amazing Gilbert Castellanos is on trumpet along with my brother Tripp on sax, Gunnar on bass, Duncan on drums and me on guitar. Opening up the concert will be the student jazz orchestra led by John Dally. It should be a wonderful night of music and if you haven’t yet heard our group I think you’ll dig the blendo of straight ahead mixing up with samba and the blues. See ya there!

Bop Moderno with (left to right) Tripp, Peter, Gunnar, Duncan, and Gilbert. photo by Kylie Sprague

Bop Moderno with (left to right) Tripp, Peter, Gunnar, Duncan, and Gilbert.
photo by Kylie Sprague

Peeking around to next week, the Danish jazz vocalist Sinne Eeg is back in town and we have a show planned for March 9 at Dizzy’s. More on this next week but just a teaser letting you know that this show last year was both a musical and a super well attended highpoint. Can’t wait!

Sinne Eeg

Sinne Eeg

That’s it folks and thanks for following along. It’s good to be home and I hope to see you all soon, Peter

2 Responses to “My Little Cali Jacket”

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  1. James DeBeer says:

    Peter

    It was wonderful auditing your jazz clinic and seeing you impart the spirit of jazz to these eager (…well I think they were?, lol) young musicians. The I, IV, V, incorporating arpeggios had them sounding like James Brown’s horn section in no time! I was studying jazz composition with Steve Giordano in Philadelphia (check out his You Tube stuff-esp “Senior Mouse”-vibes, guitar, evi). Hurricane Sandy blasted my dwelling off the planet and I moved to the Village of Oak Creek outside of Sedona thinking San Diego would be too expensive! I may have been wrong. Not much of a music scene; however, it is quiet, meditative, and beautiful. Lots of nice people and good energy.

    If you have apples, make apple juice! I met Tom Sheeley at NAU (he studied w/ Manuel Lopez Ramos) and the vibe here is conducive to revisiting the Classical Guitar. When I played guitar with Navy Band San Francisco back in the Disco Days (yes, I was ordered to play disco on tour…lol), I took classical lessons. The teacher lived near Ocean Beach and the surf was usually up. I paddled out too far at Fort Point once and got sucked under the Golden Gate on an outgoing tide–yikes! Some dude under sail threw a rope out and kept circling me until I got it. Nice of him to rescue me, as it was starting to get dark out and in my wetsuit I looked like dinner.

    Right now, I’m renting a beautiful two bedroom (one’s a guitar studio) doing lots of mountain biking and hiking. It’s all good…except The Surf/Kitesurfing Instinct won’t subside. Is the crowd/water pollution/expense factor a major bummer down around Encinitas (my original destination) or do you think it’s a manageable proposition. What’s the best wave season? I think I’ll point my van in that direction for some Pacific Blues for a week or two. I’d love to check out your studio: “Spragueland.” Jimi would be proud! I’ve been playing with PT. It’s the best!

    Peace
    Jim DeBeer

    PS: gotta run to catch your concert at 2–It was fun jamming on that Celtic diddy…break a leg and have a great gig!

    • Hey Jim, loved having you play too and you’ve got the right way of playing, build it up, transcend, make music. Bravo! And stoke yes on the surf and it’s a great scene in Cali. Yes crowded but I surf this spot in Leucadia called Beacons and the vibe is good and it’s not out of control like Swami’s. Best waves is the winter but summer is just heaven for doing yoga on the beach and then surfing some mini’s….

      stay well chico, P

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