Aloha Kakahiaka!

 

Aloha Kakahiaka!

In the early 1980’s we took a plane and landed in the charmingly primitive Lahui Airport on the Garden Island of Kauai. It was me, my brother Tripp, and John Leftwich and the mission was to share the music and search for surf-able ocean waves. Mike Smith, a one time guitar student of mine back in earlier San Diego days, was our guide and he led the way to the music venues and remote surf locales. It’s on that trip that we drove to the end of the road and discovered the magical Kalalau Trail weaving it’s way through the Na Pali Coast. It was a mind blowing visual experience and it’s a must do activity every time we return to the island.

Right around this same time I heard Chick Corea’s band play a concert at The Roxy Theatre in Pacific Beach and here again, another life changing experience. In the group was a flute player named Steve Kujala who was not only shredding Corea’s intricate melody lines but was also bending notes on the flute in a way that I’ve never heard before. I just had an intuition that if the two of us were to play together some magic might happen. I phoned him in L.A. and to my pleasant surprise he was willing to collaborate. Since that first rehearsal we had a connection and this led to a zillion gigs and concerts, master classes in Chicago, a duo tour through the midwest, numerous recording projects both mine and his, and at the core of this collaboration, a friendship complete with a built in laugh track that has endured and flourished. 

Steve Kujala is ‘da man!

That’s Steve on the left and a younger me on the right. Not sure why we’re wearing ties but I’m certain we still played some flat nine scales just to keep it real.

We’re gearing up for a livestream concert this week! In the band are my two other life long cohorts John Leftwich on bass and Duncan Moore on the drums. John lives in L.A. now but we’ve been playing together since high school in Encinitas. He’s had a fantastic career recording and touring with the best including Carmen McCrae, Ricki Lee Jones, Hubert Laws, and Chet Baker. He’s a true low-end avatar! Duncan on the drums has been my rhythmic compadre for almost my whole life and he’s got creativity and rhythmic precision at the core of his craft. He’s also ‘da man…

For this show the setlist is a mix of samba, swing, classical (Kujala’s dad Wally held the principal piccolo chair for the Chicago Symphony for his entire career, so to put it mildly, Steve grew up in a household steeped in the classical tradition,) a new bop blues inspired by Charlie Parker that I just composed, and, no Sprague / Kujala concert would be complete without Kujala’s gorgeous exploration into note bending called the “Fretless Flute.” This alone is worth the price of admission!

link for the concert

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. Over the entire run of Live(ish) From SpragueLand you folks have been so generous and thoughtful and we thank you kindly for this.

Paypal: petersprague@sbcglobal.net
Venmo: @PeterSprague
Zelle: peter@petersprague.com
mail checks via snail mail to: Peter Sprague
311 East Glaucus St.
Encinitas, CA 92024

Next, coming up at the top of next week we’re thrilled to be invited to play a duo livestream show for The Athenaeum in La Jolla. It’ll be Leonard Patton and myself and the word on the street is that they have good tech going on with their series. Good sound and good cams and we’ll drum up some good music to fill it out. Here are the details:

hang ten, Peter

Estrada Do Sol!

 

Greetings Good Folks!

Jobim is filling the morning with supreme groove and clever chord harmony. Joao’s on the guitar and Getz’s delivering an array of notes that last in one’s memory forever. Oh how I love Brazilian music!

And that’s what’s on the menu for this week’s Live(ish) From Spragueland — Peter Sprague Plays Jobim.

“Estrada Do Sol,” the road to the sun, is our path to the enlightened music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. My dad had Jobim’s bossa nova on the turntable and as a kid, even in the trenches with rock music, Jobim’s music touched me deeply. There’s something magic about the rhythm of samba coupled with the harmonic wealth of jazz that seduces the ear and makes us live upgraded lives. Listen to “Corcovado” and tell me there isn’t divine beauty hovering in the air waves.

For this livestream we explore the full spectrum of Antonio’s vast wealth of songs including, “Agua De Beber,” “Wave,” “Waters of March,” “Girl From Ipanema,” “Desifinado,” “One Note Samba,” and the list goes way out to outer space. I’ve even put together a few medleys that touch down to various gorgeous locales of Jobim – dom. Almost hilarious!

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

It’ll be a hoot and we’re even doing a CD giveaway so be sure to sharpen up on your Jobim trivia.

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.

Paypal: petersprague@sbcglobal.net
Venmo: @PeterSprague
Zelle: peter@petersprague.com
mail checks via snail mail to: Peter Sprague
311 East Glaucus St.
Encinitas, CA 92024

Link to concert


Exploring out to the recent video-sphere, these projects surfaced and they might be fun for you to jump in on:

Leucadia
I live in Leucadia which is the hippy sister city to a still fairly liberal Encinitas. Both towns are located on the coast in southern California near San Diego. Surfing is a big deal here and so is music.

Back in 1977 a 16 year old flower child named Diana Monzeglio wrote a folk anthem for her beloved town. It’s a good tune! Fast forward to the present, my neighbor and friend Tony Kranz introduced me to the song and funded a Sprague-ized recording to capture what Leucadia looks and sounds like with a little jazz fairy dust sprinkled on it. 

I recruited Mack Leighton on bass and Sylvia Lindsay Lange on vocals for our new version. It turns out that Sylvia was friends with both Diana, the song writer, and Tony, the producer of this project, as they all attended San Dieguito High School at the same time. I went to San Dieguito too a few years before them.

With so much synchronicity flowing what could go wrong?

A lot went right and a ton of fun was had. 


Can’t Find My Way Home
A little while back we played a livestream concert featuring the music of Cream. It was a great show and this version of Eric Clapton’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” was a real highpoint of the concert. Leonard was transfixed and singing some of his best notes ever. Check out the vamp section at the end where he’s improvising. Wow!

To check out the whole concert go here…


Mudra
This was such a cool surprise! A few months back we produced a livestream for the Del Mar Foundation and it featured a fantastic vocalist from Long Beach named Christine Guter. It turns out she also teaches vocal jazz at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She told me that one of their current projects was to make a recording and video of a song that me and Randy Phillips wrote called “Mudra.” The song is complete and it’s such a thrill to hear this new interpretation! Beautiful and uplifting! Young musos—the hope for the future!


That’s the story for this week over here at SpragueLand. In case you we’re hoping for a surf report, the conditions are stellar and there’s a little swell running so after I finish the gig email and practice Jobim notes I’m heading out to the wild blue. See you soon!

adios, Peter

10/22 Livestream Moved to 11/5

 

Hey Folks, sorry on this last minute move but I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from friends and fans that our planned concert on 10/22 is coming up against the presidential debate on TV. Even though it was a 3 ring circus the last time, it’s still where the collective brain trust is focusing in on.

The new date is 11/5 and here’s the poster for the event. It’s going to be even better this time as we’ve got 2 more weeks of practice time. We love practicing!

Thanks and see you then, best, Peter