Plowing Through the Pandemic — Livestreams!

 Greetings Good Folks!

The beat goes on and we’ve got a livestream show this week! Yay! Nice to have a little break but even better getting back to the music. 

First a few updates:

The Stevie Wonder Tribute livestream that we did at the end of July was a success on multiple levels. Of course the music made the night for us but also the event was a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter and we’re happy to report that we sent them a check for $1777. Many thanks to you for being generous and sharing your hard earned green energy with us and the BLM folks.

In 2003 we had a band called Pass the Drum and the vibe was “let the influence of Brazilian music take over.” We made a record and on one tune we took Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” and pulled off a wicked version with some rad twists and turns. It turns out that this recently caught the ear of a French record company and they’ve just released “Bob Marley in Jazz (A Jazz Tribute to Bob Marley).” Here’s a link and have a spin if you will. Our tune is track 13.

We’ve discovered one positive way to plow through the pandemic and that is Livestreams! So far we’ve done nine episodes plus around 4 or 5 side project streams. It’s a ton of work to put together but super fun and we’re learning about the tech and learning about music. Thanks to you all for being generous and contributing bucks to keep the Rubio’s dinners on the table.

This week we’re getting into Episode Ten — Peter Sprague Plays Cream!

“Sunshine of Your Love” — probably the second most iconic rock riff right behind the descending chord movement of “Stairway to Heaven.” I learned to play it when I was young and with a surfboard under the other arm I pretty much owned the world at large. Hah!

It’s hard to take over the planet but if you’re fortified with the songs of Cream, world domination by sound is a cinch. Their music is hard hitting, beautiful, and to my ears, just waiting to be reimagined through our jazz and Brazilian influence.

We’ll levitate on the classic “Swlabr,” flat tire wobble on “Born Under a Bad Sign,” astral travel on “Badge,” and do some silent moon gazing on “Can’t Find My Way Home.” And of course we’re fitting in a little “Sunshine of Your Love” to fully illuminate the evening.

The band includes some of the best with Leonard Patton on vocals, Tripp Sprague on sax, flute, and piano, Mack Leighton on bass, Duncan Moore on drums, and Peter Sprague on guitar.

Price of admission? Actually the concert is free but we will have a “virtual tip jar” complete with PayPal, Zelle and Venmo info for you to donate whatever you feel good about. Also good old snail mailing checks works too. We’d love for this to work out too.

Venmo: @Tripp-Sprague
mail checks via snail mail to: Peter Sprague
311 East Glaucus St.
Encinitas, CA 92024

Here’s the concert link

And here’s a rap about the YouTube chat. 

We’re having fun with the little word blasts that you’re contributing to the YouTube chat window. It’s one of the ways that the evening takes on a more interactive feel, more like how the dynamic between the musos and the audience ebbs and flows at an actual in-person concert. My wife Stef manages the chat and in between songs fills us in on how the sound is and delivers clever little quips from you, the listeners out in the great unknown.

If you’d like to participate in the chat it’s easy and the first thing you need to do is have a YouTube account.

Here are step by step instructions on how to do that.

Once you have that setup, here’s a vid showing you how to read and contribute your observations to the chat while the concert is going on:

Coming to the show this week is our “man of the maps” Brian who has been upgrading the code for his “JazzBot” app that will take your location, (just the town), and magically display it on a Google map at various times throughout the show. It barely worked last time and here’s a note from him after that experience.

During the show there were many people (50-80) which entered their “from” address into the chat window when viewers were prompted. JazzBot consumed this burst of addresses, and heaved up and croaked. My code had a number of issues – flawed concurrency, nested completion handlers,  overwritten data objects, improper handling of UTF-16 unicode (which handles your emoji)  – and the grand result: No markers on the map. Panic set in!

I was provided a lead time of one tune to get my app functional. I missed the deadline, and through a cue card indicated I required an additional tune for debug. I fired up the Xcode debugger and (during the show) on-the-fly jerry-rigged the app to provide a sufficient number of markers on the map – but many were dropped into the ether. Though, enough markers appeared to provide semblance of signs of life.

This demo scenario plays out each day in Silicon Valley where startup visionaries roll the dice for venture capital to fund their tech vision.  Most demos don’t go as planned. The big capital goes to the nimble – making a silk purse of a sow’s ear. In the end, the objective is to provide a vision of what “could be” – just enough to elicit tech hypersalivation. Mission Accomplished.

This week I made a second pass on the Swift code, tightened things up, created a simulated stream of a fake chat data which contains hundreds of users, and various chat messages with some having “Hi from <location>” messages. This allows JazzBot to “drink from the fire hose” in hacker parlance. The next show JazzBot will provide new features and overall stability.

I’m laughing! All the while we were playing music and this dude is going through an Xcode catastrophe!

So this week, if you sign into the chat, start off by saying “Hi, this is (your name) from (your city)” and we’ll see if Brian’s code survives.

It’ll be fun!

One last thing, a Kauai friend of mine, Michaelle is hoping to get the word out about her insights on posture and health. She’s a wonderful example of good health and it might be of interest to you. Check it:

Change Your Posture ~ Change Your Life In Just 6 Sessions 
You can have great posture, tone your core, align your spine, & be pain-free
Tuesday – Sunday ~  Oct 13-18 for 1.5 hours each day. These 6 classes will be saved in the cloud for viewing or downloading. 
with Michaelle Edwards
Posture Educator, musician and creator of FitAlign and YogAlign Posture Training
Click here to register.

That’s the story for this week friends and see you on Thursday night for some music! 

adios, Peter

Red Planet Jazz!


Greetings Folks!

Reporting in from the outer reaches of the new frontier of concerts experienced over the internet. We’re loving it and our most recent The Wind Cries Gershwin event had many great musical moments. And to date, I think had our best sound and vid tech elements too. We’re getting it and we aim to bring it to you loud and clear. 

Which brings us to this…

Did the Martians make landfall in Del Mar back in the early 70’s and impart some of that red planet magic on the young kids of the community? Hah! Then why is it that two decades of professional jazz musos emerged from the sleepy little Cali surf town? It’s true, first it was me, Rob Schneiderman, my brother Tripp, Mark Lessman, Kevyn Lettau, Kelly Jocoy, Mark Dresser, and John Leftwich. Then 10 years later it was Steve Feierabend, Bim Strasberg, and Bryant Allard. All full on musicians playing jazz for their living. 

What’s in the water in that town?

We’re not sure but what we do know is it was a cool place to grow up and there’s no better way to celebrate that than having a night of jazz with two of the founding members of the Jazz Martians of Del Mar. 

Saxophonist Mark Lessman grew up on the same street as Tripp and I did and at a young age, he too was taken by music. After high school he spent several years living and playing in Chicago and now he’s back in Encinitas ripping it up on the tenor.

The other boys of the band includes some of the best with John Opferkuch on piano, Mack Leighton on bass, Duncan Moore on drums, and me on guitar.

We’ve got some cool songs planned all the way from Sonny Rollins and Coltrane, to a Billy Strayhorn ballad, to a hyper Latin montuno composition of mine called “El Boomerang.”


And as we like to do, we have a special guest from NYC phoning in on a piano solo. Rob Schneiderman will be live(ish) from his apartment on the upper west side.

Price of admission? Actually the concert is free but we will have a “virtual tip jar” complete with PayPal, Zelle and Venmo info for you to donate whatever you feel good about. Also good old snail mailing checks works too. We’d love for this to work out too.

Venmo: @PeterSprague
mail checks via snail mail to: Peter Sprague
311 East Glaucus St.
Encinitas, CA 92024

There it is and hoping to see you all there, best, P

Here’s the link to the concert.

ps Brian, our Palm Springs tech guru, has further developed the “where are you from?” app to be displayed on the world globe. Be sure to join in the YouTube concert chat and say something like, “Hi boys in the band, this is Susan from Trinidad and we’re digging the sounds!”