Surround it With Quietude

Hey Folks, life is good up here in Leucadia and this morning saxophonist Mark Turner along with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel are warping the sonic reality in a beautiful way. Their Dharma Days’ gorgeous tones are emanating from the speakers and it makes doing computer busywork even that much better.

We had a bunch of nice hits last weekend including the Tribute Rebels taking over Dizzy’s. It was a great turnout and the band brought the music front and center. It was such a cool experience that we have plans to further the revolution. Look for Episode Two coming to a jazz club near you in a couple of months or so. Every night is a world premier!

The Tribute Rebels with Julien, Tripp and Peter. photo by Steve Grant

The Tribute Rebels with Julien, Tripp and Peter.
photo by Steve Grant

The left side of the stage with Danny, Justin, Tripp and Peter photo by Steve Grant

The left side of the stage with Danny, Justin, Tripp and Peter
photo by Steve Grant

Up for tonight, I’ll be playing solo guitar at the Roxy in Encinitas. Last weeks gig included a party of 20 at the front table showcasing their spirited conversation. Hearing the music was a challenge and I’m trying again tonight hoping for possible moments of silence. Nothing makes music liftoff more than surrounding it with quietude. Hope to see you there!

Peter Sprague photo by Jonathan Ellis

Peter Sprague looking for the silence.
photo by Jonathan Ellis

I recently recorded L.A. guitarist Andy Waddell and his group’s latest effort Alive at SpragueLand. I love his playing and compositions and his band was sonically dismantling the two by fours at the studio. Smoke central and beautiful! On Friday August 1 Andy and the group are playing a show at Dizzy’s in Pacific Beach. Try and catch it and experience some brilliant players taking on some unique compositions.

Andy Waddell

Andy Waddell

Last up for the week, I’m riding solo at the Vista Library on Sunday afternoon. It’s a free concert and the performance space there sounds great and yes, silence again will be our friend. Hope to see you there!

That’s it folks and thanks for the read, Peter

The Tribute Rebels!

Greetings Good Folks, I just heard the incredible Pat Metheny in concert last night in Temecula. Oh my, that fellow can play! I’m filled with inspiration and that’s perfect because this week we’ve got some new music brewing. Keep reading!

Pat Metheny, Alex, and Peter in Temecula.

Pat Metheny, Alex, and Peter in Temecula.

The Tribute Rebels

Currently there exists a movement all over the country for bands to put on “themed” concerts focusing on the music of some famous artist. Many wonderful things come from this—you learn the fine details of the artist’s music at a level that’s much deeper than you would from just listening to it, plus it’s a cool ride playing a tune you’ve only heard on record and then taking it live. For the audience there’s an added attraction and interest, “how are they going to pull off bringing Stevie Wonder’s songs into the jazz realm?” A lot of us do it for both the musical enrichment and the hope of getting a good turnout at the box office.

The downsides of this movement is that it’s a lot of work getting the program together to be played for one show. Think Chick Corea complicated music, multiple rehearsals for all of the musos plus loads of personal prep time, get to the gig and play that badass phrase one time. You only get one chance and then it’s over. The next day you’re on to another rehearsal prepping for another tribute concert.

For us composers, what about furthering our own songwriting abilities and shaping our band’s creative direction?

To address this current state of affairs we’re bringing together the Tribute Rebels for a night of music that has its own “themed framework” at play. The idea is for the composers within the band to write new music for the concert. Guiding the direction of those compositions for this episode will be the phrase:

Things That I Love That I Used To Hate

Last week I pushed away a bunch of commitments and made space for three days of composing. I came up with one song a day and wrote about things that I love that I used to hate. I used to hate onions as a kid and now I love them. “Onions” is my new jazz funk tune, hot off the press, strutting its world premier with hopefully you in the audience! Here’s another—I used to hate country music and along came Pat Metheny who influenced me into digging certain aspects of keeping it diatonic and keeping it simple. Song number two is called “Lee’s Summit” and it moves to the beauty of the almighty G major chord, telling the story of Metheny’s home town. Things that I love that I used to hate. The other band members have their own songs and stories too.

It’ll be an inspired night of music. We’re having multiple rehearsals leading up to it to work in the new songs. We’ll go at it just as hard, probably harder, to come up with something new and creative. We’ll share it with you along with the story of why we wrote it and you’ll learn something new about each of us. And in the end, the concert will be over and each of us composers will have zapped into the creative process, carrying with us a few new tunes in our back pocket to take along for the rest of our lives. Our sonic “babies” will continue on!

Fill the world with new music!
Every gig is a world premier!
The Tribute Rebels!

The Tribute Rebels: Episode One
Dizzy’s on July 25, 2014
Peter Sprague — guitar
Danny Green — piano
Tripp Sprague — sax and flute
Justin Grinnell — bass
Julien Canthelm — drums

Here's the first rhythmic sketch of my 3rd Tribute Rebels tune. I was at the beach and came up with the idea. I went to the lifeguard and borrowed a pen and this brown paper and sat at the waters edge navigating tricky 5/4 rhythmic variations.

Here’s the first rhythmic sketch of my 3rd Tribute Rebels tune. I was at the beach and came up with the idea. I went to the lifeguard and borrowed a pen and this weird brown paper and sat at the waters edge imagining tricky 5/4 rhythmic variations.

This article was in today's U-T San Diego newspaper.

This article was in today’s U-T San Diego newspaper.


Also up for this week, on Monday night Tripp, Leonard and I play a free outdoor concert in Point Loma at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. It’s a great setting and folks full on listen. See you there!

Tripp, Leonard, and Peter

Tripp, Leonard, and Peter

The Roxy Revolution continues on Thursday night with me and my six strings dialing in some solo music. Take in the classic downtown Encinitas vibe with good food, good friends and jazz music.

That’s it folks for this week. Thanks for reading along and see you OUT THERE!

best, Peter

Spinning Sonic Ditties

Friends, I’m just spinning off of a songwriting spree with three new sonic ditties ready to take flight. That’ll be next week but the news of NOW is:

Thursday night with vocalist Nina Francis at 98 Bottles! Nina and three of her fellow USC music cohorts mix it up with us old guys (Peter, Tripp, and Gunnar) for a night of jazz, folk, and originals. She’s got it going on and we’re geared for a great night!


I’m stoked to have Lisa Hightower and Gunnar join me at Ki’s on Friday night for a mix of music and supreme food. It’s been a while since this trio did our thing and it’ll be fun to bring that sound back. See you there!

Lisa Hightower and Peter. photo by Michael Oletta

Lisa Hightower and Peter.
photo by Michael Oletta

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back early next week for some cool news….all best, Peter