|Good People, coming to you with the winter storm swirl leading the way! I’m guessing the snow level is low, and over here on the coast we’re really digging the rain. Marley is hot on the box and here we go with the update from SpragueLand.I had a fun concert with Irving Flores playing at the new Dizzy’s. What a cool vibe with great sound and ENDLESS parking. It’s a crazy setup in that by day it’s a jet ski rental showroom and by night, Chuck morphs it over to a music listening venue. I’m into it and have plans to do more shows there in the upcoming year.For this week I’m rehearsing and arranging music for two upcoming concerts. On Friday night I’ll be playing with the very talented vocalist, songwriter, and guitar player Nina Francis. In the loop with us will be my brother Tripp on sax and percussion and the low-end specialist Gunnar Biggs on bass. Nina grew up here in San Diego and I met her when she came to my studio with the Bishops High School jazz band. To me she was a real standout and since then we’ve stayed in contact playing a couple of shows every year during her breaks from studying music at USC. She sings both her original compositions which are in a folk/singer songwriter style and also jazz. Click here to watch a vid from last year’s show. The concert will be held at the ever unique and weird Tango del Rey in Pacific Beach. I hope you can make it out!
Also up for this week will be our annual Del Mar Christmas Eve concert. Hey, what are you doing on Christmas Eve at 1pm? Come and hang with us in Del Mar for this free concert held at the amphitheater next to the L’Auberge Del Mar Hotel. It’s a long lasting tradition of ours to present this show which is a mix of great music, super cool friends, family, and new acquaintances. Together we rally in the lofty life of California Christmas with the temp barreling down to an edgy 72 degrees in the shade. However, sitting here now freezing in my office, this year it could be a different story. Anyone out there know the weather prediction for Christmas eve? Fingers crossed for warmth and sun!
Here’s the band lineup for the concert:
Leonard Patton, Kevyn Lettau, Tripp Sprague, Gunnar Biggs, Fred Benedetti, Nina Francis, Beth Buckley, Duncan Moore, Riley Fleck, John Leftwich, Kate Sprague, Julia and Regina Benedetti and me.
For some history on the event, click here to read a story by Nancy Fisher about the early days when we first played our Christmas concert. This article is from last year’s Del Mar Sandpiper Newspaper. Also click here to see a photo album from each of the recent year’s concerts.
You can bring the whole gang, bring the relatives, meet strangers that are friendly and meet musicians that are strange. This is how we do Christmas in Cali! See you there!
That’s the word for now, good on you, Peter
“Is This Love”
I grew up with Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” and for me it still rings true as one of the great moments of music. The groove, the free spirited lyric mixed in with Marley’s wailing vocals, I’m a huge fan! For my Pass the Drum, record (released in 2003) we set out to play this song and integrate our jazz influence with Marley’s reggae vibe. Leonard and Coral are on vocals and things start out like the original, but with the addition of horns there’s a hint that something new is coming. Right around the second chorus I reworked the harmony and this leads us into the solo section, which is in double time swing. At this point we’re pretty far removed from Marley’s original angle. Potential “jazz damage” is present but I think we survive the ordeal. After exploring the burn factor we bring it back home to Bob’s spirit. What a great ride! Check it out.