Bright Moments!

Greetings Folks and I’m sharing the news emanating out of SpragueLand. We’ve got cold hands, cloudy skies but the forecast is set to the spirit of the late, great Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Shouting from the stage he proclaims, “bright moments, bright moments to all!”

There were some indeed bright moments at the Pt. Loma Naz hit last Saturday with our group Bop Moderno. An emerging truth revealed itself and that is, what a cool sense of freedom that comes from playing songs a lot. We hadn’t performed together for a few months but with one rehearsal, everyone practicing on their own, and then the built in momentum from past concerts, it was one of our better versions of this group. I can’t wait to launch it again and that’ll happen next month.

Bop Moderno group at Point Loma Nazarene University. Gilbert, Gunnar, Duncan, Tripp and Peter Photo by Barbara Wise

Bop Moderno group at Point Loma Nazarene University. Gilbert, Gunnar, Duncan, Tripp and Peter
Photo by Barbara Wise

Up for this week, on tomorrow night we’re getting the Blur Boys back in the saddle for a hit at Ki’s Restaurant in Cardiff. That’ll be Tripp, Fred and I tending to our unique repertoire of jazz, flamenco, samba, Beatles and the blues. Hope to see you there!

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And on Saturday night, Sinne Eeg, the amazing vocalist from Denmark is coming to town for a night of music at Dizzy’s. Joining in will be Gunnar on bass, Duncan on drums and me on the guitar. We played a concert with her last year and she blew my mind! Her tone and pitch are pure perfection and her interpretation of the songs was focused and creative. And topping it off, she’s got big league scat soloing abilities weaving effortlessly through the chord changes. She just finished recording a new album and I think we’re bringing some of those new tunes into the fold. It’s going to be a wonderful night of jazz and we hope to see you there!

Sinne Eeg

Sinne Eeg

Right ‘o folks and that’s the word for today. Thanks for the read, Peter

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.

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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

Meditation Minds Running Amuck!

Greeting Coastal Foggonians! The days are magical and the mornings are absolute Hogwarts—fogged in and mysto. The surf continues and I’m woodshedding a transposed version of “Whisper Not”. Endless descending bass lines and shifting keys. Classic jazz at it’s best!

We had 2 wonderful concerts with Beth and the Camarada gang over the weekend. Great sound with enthused audience members make it a joy to operate the heavy machinery (tricky tunes). Lets do it again when the time is right!

Camarada jazz at the Mingei with the cool view from the top. photo by Rick Sokol

Camarada jazz at the Mingei with the cool view from the top.
photo by Rick Sokol

For this week I’m thrilled to be part of the SOKA University’s “Celebrating Benny Golson” concert held all day on Saturday. I’m in a group led by the amazing vocalist Karrin Allyson, who I’ve never played with but have loved listening to over the years. She’s the real deal and her vibe is jazz and samba. For this gig we’re throwing in some of Benny’s classic tunes too. On bass is Hamilton Price and on drums is Duncan Moore.

We open up the all day event but also on the bill will be The Kenny Barron trio, Buster Williams & Bennie Maupin Group, and the Benny Golson Quartet. I’m sure looking forward to playing and getting to hear the other groups. Look to the gig calendar for more information.

Karrin Allyson

Karrin Allyson

Benny Golson

Benny Golson

On Monday night I’m playing soft solo guitar music for an ongoing meditation event that my friend John St. Clair holds at his house in Cardiff. We’ve played house concerts there before and he even has a built in stage in his main room. This will be fun and it’ll be a good ride to play gentle music and leave space for everyone’s own mind to run amuck! If you’ve never tried, meditation is hard work!

cosmic peter

This is what it’s like inside Peter’s mind when he lets things go. Swirl factory!

Next week I’m heading out for a two week run with Dianne Reeves and the group. First off we have a show in Newport News, Virginia at the Ferguson Center for the Arts. Next we head to NYC for multiple days of rehearsals leading into 2 nights at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Then one day off and finally we zip to Poland to play at the Lotos Jazz Festival in Bielsko-Biala. I’ve never been there and I’m hoping that it’s warm and that there is surf. Hah! I don’t have the correct clothes to stay warm. Do you think Birkenstocks work well in the snow?

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There it is my friends and thanks for reading. Hope to see you out there this weekend!

all best, Peter