Do you want to know a secret? There are apparently a lot of Beatles aficionados in Encinitas. There are not one, but two, Fab Four tribute concerts on the horizon—not enough to have one every day for eight days a week, maybe, but certainly enough for fans to get their fill.
What’s most interesting about both shows is that they’re not straight-up covers of the classic hits, but reinterpretations that bring something new. On April 2, Peter Sprague & Friends play a concert that’s influenced by jazz, Brazilian, and host of other musical genres, while on April 15 Peter Pupping leads the Encinitas Guitar Orchestra in an acoustic, classical take on the Beatles catalogue.
“This is all music I grew up with, so I have a real connection with it,” says Sprague, an Encinitas-based jazz guitarist. “As jazz musicians, we’re typically interested in improvising and innovating, and it wouldn’t be satisfying to play the songs just as they were. There’s a real excitement arranging them in a different way and for the audience it’s neat to have a connection with the songs and hear the creativity that goes into a different approach.”
Sprague’s ensemble—which has also done similar concerts with the music of Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and Sergio Mendes—also includes his brother, Tripp, on saxophone and flute. Other musicians taking part in the concert are Kevyn Lettau and Leonard Patton (vocals), Gunnar Biggs (bass), Duncan Moore (drums) and Barnaby Finch (keyboards)—even Tripp’s 10-year-old daughter, Kate, will sing a song.
The group will play a variety of Beatles songs, with a variety of different spins on them. “A Little Help From My Friends” goes reggae, “Can’t Buy Me Love” has a jazz/swing/blues vibe, and “Imagine” simmers with an Afro-pop groove similar to Paul Simon’s music on “Graceland,” Sprague says.
The Encinitas Guitar Orchestra, which has about 30 members of all ages and skill levels, will filter Beatles tunes through its own acoustic, classical guitar style. The program for this concert will include songs such as “Hey Jude,” “Penny Lane,” and “Blackbird.”
The orchestra’s calendar is divided into sessions, where the players spend a few months working on music and learning from each other; the April 15 concert is the culmination of the most recent session. Pupping, the orchestra’s conductor and organizer, says the theme for this past session was chosen “simply because most guitarists and music enthusiasts love the Beatles.”
Sprague & Friends performs at 2 p.m. April 2 at the Encinitas Community Center, located at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive. Admission is free. For more information, visit petersprague.com.
The Encinitas Guitar Orchestra plays at 8 p.m. April 15 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, located at 925 Balour Drive. A $10 donation is suggested. For more information, visit encinitasguitarorchestra.com.
She Sings for Your Supper
San Diego Botanic Garden offers cooking classes with “the opera singing chef” Elizabeth Podsiadlo starting April 9. The first class, From the Garden to the Table, will focus on lamb stew, grilled vegetable pasta salad and blackberry cobbler with peach brandy. Other classes will cover vegetarian dishes (May 14) and wine pairings (June 4). The April 9 class will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the botanical garden, located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive. The cost is $30; registration deadline is April 6. For more information, call 760-436-3036 or visit sdbgarden.org.
Name That Park
The deadline to submit a possible name for the Hall park site has been extended to April 8. More than 80 suggestions have already been sent to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. A panel from the Parks and Recreation Commission will review all submissions before the full commission whittles down the list to present to the City Council. Construction on the 44-acre park will begin later this year. Send name suggestions to email@example.com.