The Message Sent on the Wind!

Greetings Friends, I’m on the run so here you go with the report from the wind as it whisks past the side door of my car.

Later today we’re concertizing at Point Loma Nazarene University with pianist Paul Kenyon. Paul’s been a teacher there for many years and he’s playing this last concert and then moving on to new musical vistas. I first met him when he recorded a solo piano CD at SpragueLand. He’s a beautiful player and a great guy. For tonight he’s doing some classical music with a small ensemble to start off and then bringing in myself, Duncan on drums, and Gunnar on bass to play some of his jazz music. It’ll be a fun night and the concert hall at the university is a great place for music.

Paul Kenyon

Paul Kenyon

One of my long time musical heroes and a fellow whose career has been and continues to be on an amazing arc is bassist Nathan East. Back in the late 70′s Nate was living in San Diego and we were all fortunate to have him in our bands. He brought funk and joy to any situation he was in and it was absolute magic when Nate was in the house. He’s played with Eric Clapton, Daft Funk, Phil Collins, Herbie Hancock, and pretty much everyone else who ever hit it big time. Check out his website and it’ll blow your mind!

Nate has a wonderful new (and his first ever as a leader) CD and he’s currently on a promo tour. Last night he was at the Guitar Center in La Mesa and tomorrow night he’ll be at the Guitar Center in San Marcos. I’m going and can’t wait to hear him and get an update on the state of BASS in the world of music. He’s the ONE!

Here are the details in case you want to make it out.

Nathan East

Nathan East

that’s it and thanks for checking in, Peter

 

Heat, Tango, Argentina, Guitar and Trees!

Friends of the Muse, it’s hot, it’s time for some tango and this then led me to this amazing fellow Ureta who lives on the Pampas of Argentina with his kids. They’ve created a unique forest in tribute to his wife, Graciela, who died during childbirth in 1977. Ureta and his kids figured out how to make the view of the forest from a jet or from space look like a guitar. It’s wild and it probably took a long time for it to take shape. Heat, tango, Argentina, guitar, trees—all a classic mix!

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click the photo for the whole backstory of the guitar forest.

Last week was a blur of rehearsals and concerts and two highlights were the Allison hit at the Loft and the String show in Hemet. What a joy and it’s great to be back with the Consort whisking around harmonic twists and turns. Look for our return in August with some new music and a little concert run. Can’t wait!

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April in Paris CD Release at the Loft UCSD: (from left to right) Danny Green, Tripp Sprague, Lou Fanucchi, Claudia Lyra, Allison Adams Tucker, Julien Cantelm, Peter Sprague, and Evona Wascinski.

I’ve got two shows planned for this week and first up is a Friday gig at Ki’s in Cardiff. It’ll be Leonard Patton and I throwing down the Stevie, the Beatles, Nat King Cole, Sprague classics from Ocean In Your Eyes, heart tuggers of Americana, and other sonic gems. Hope to see you there for a cool mix of sound, a magic view, and supreme food.

Leonard Patton and Peter photo by Kevin Kinnear

Leonard Patton and Peter
photo by Kevin Kinnear

And last up for the week it’ll be maestro Fred Benedetti and I exploring the outer reaches of the six string society as we offer our contribution to the good folks of the San Diego Folk Heritage. The concert is on Saturday night and it’s at the San Dieguito United Methodist Church in Encinitas. We’ve worked out a few new additions to the set list so join in if you can.

Peter and Fred dancing on the double necks!

Peter and Fred dancing on the double necks!

There it is friends and thanks for being in the loop.

all best, Peter

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“Desamba”
Back in 1993 we released a CD called Blurring the Edges. The band was my brother Tripp, our dad Hall Sprague, guitarist Fred Benedetti and me. I knew Fred could tackle a barrage of tricky notes, set to a brisk tempo. With this inspiration I set out to write a 2 part counterpoint Bach goes to Brasil angled song. This style of Brazilian counterpoint  music is called choro. For us guitarists, the key of D is holy grail and that’s because it includes some open strings plus it sits beautifully on the guitar neck. I named my tune “Desamba” because it’s both a samba in the key of D, and there’s also something Cole Porter-ish about it. How about “it’s delovely, it’s delightlful, it’s desamba?” We’re still playing this song these days in fact Fred and I are readying it for this week’s Ki’s hit. Have a listen here.

Strato Vox Harm Kick Drum Existing in the Rear View Mirror!

Greetings and Good Wishes Friends of the Muse, I’m doing some spring day reporting and the reason Stan Getz’s Getz/Gilberto CD is on the box is because I’ve been reading about it in Gary Burton’s wonderful autobiography “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton”. Vibraphonist Burton has been a hero of mine since I was a kid. One of my father’s favorite recording was Getz Au Go Go and it continually spun in our house, prominently highlighting Gary’s vibes with Getz’s delicious sax sound. It’s great music and it’s fun to learn the backstory of what it was like touring with Stan. I guess he was a wild fellow. Maybe it’s better to read about it than being in the middle of it but I’m still crazy for how he pulled it off…

The vocal harmonies were launching towards the stratosphere last weekend at the Museum of Making Music with a sold out house and a spirited kick drum punctuating the accents. The band was on fire and it was a wonderful romp through the music of Ocean In Your Eyes. The only bummer is that after all that prep work, the gig is in the rearview mirror. Good news though on the horizon, we’ll stir it up once again in June at KSDS’s Jazz Live in San Diego. Can’t wait!

Lisa and Leonard at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Lisa and Leonard at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

Kevyn at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Kevyn at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

Matt at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Matt at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

Duncan at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Duncan at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

Gunnar at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Gunnar at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

Trio-ing it at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Trio-ing it at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

Wall of vocalists at the MOMM concert. photo by Barbara Rix

Wall of vocalists at the MOMM concert.
photo by Barbara Rix

The gigs for this week start up on Friday where I’ll be joining the masterful trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos and bassist Antar Martin for a night of jazz at the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego. Gilbert is really something and it’s always an inspired moment to be in his loop. Look below for the fine print.

Peter and Gilbert Castellanos.

Peter and Gilbert Castellanos.

Vocalist Allison Adams Tucker sings up a storm and she’s throwing a concert on Saturday night at UCSD’s Loft to celebrate the release of her latest CD April In Paris. She tracked the music in Paris a year back and we mixed it here at SpragueLand. It’s a wonderful collection of jazz and samba, both standards and a few originals. She’s got a great band lined up and we did a marathon rehearsal yesterday to tighten up the loose ends. Big fun ahead and I hope to see you there!

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After yesterday’s Allison rehearsal I then morphed into a marathon String Consort rehearsal with the gang to sharpen it up for a Sunday concert in Hemet. This group is one of my favorites and we’ve got compositions from our Wild Blue recording as well as our latest Dr. Einstein’s Spin plus a Bach hit and a Brubeck classic thrown in for balance. We’re playing on Sunday at 2pm at the First Southern Baptist Church in Hemet. I know it’s a bit of a drive from here but spread the word if you know folks living up north that might dig hearing classical and jazz woven together into a new mix. Maybe you can make it too! Look below for the deets.

Peter Sprague String Consort photo by Rick Sokol

Peter Sprague String Consort
photo by Rick Sokol

Getz just finished the coda on “Only Trust Your Heart” and so I as well will take these notes to the barn. Thanks for the read and hope to see you on the next loop…

all best, Peter