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Peter Sprague's not done, but he'll take the award

When is the right time to honor a lifetime in music?

Sprague: “It’s a great honor, but I’ve always thought of [a Lifetime Achievement] going to people toward the end of their careers.” - Image by Acel B. Troutman
Sprague: “It’s a great honor, but I’ve always thought of [a Lifetime Achievement] going to people toward the end of their careers.”

“That fellow named Kevin [Hellman], who is in charge of the awards, called me about a month ago and said they’d like to do that,” says 59-year-old jazz guitarist Peter Sprague, on the phone to discuss his Lifetime Achievement honor at this year’s San Diego Music Awards ceremony, to be held at Humphreys by the Bay on October 5.

Video:

"My Favorite Things"

Mary Poppins meets John Coltrane on Peter Sprague's take of the classic track

Mary Poppins meets John Coltrane on Peter Sprague's take of the classic track

“It’s a great honor, but I’ve always thought of it as going to people toward the end of their careers — so maybe I thought it was a little premature. Then again, I’m pretty old — I’ll turn 60 in October, even if I don’t feel it. So maybe everyone feels like they may be getting it too early. I did start out really young, and I’ve been dedicated to staying here in San Diego, and you know I’m in pretty good health, so it’s not as if it’s over yet.”

I asked Sprague if he’s already working on his acceptance speech. “You know, the funny thing about that event is that there’s a bit of a party going on in the back, and I’ve seen some speeches really just fizzle out because there weren’t a whole lot of people listening! But I like to improvise, so I don’t think I’ll need to put something on paper other than to say that I love living here, and I hope to keep on creating music. After all, you need to brace for an early exit — it’s sort of a speech that is oriented to an inebriated audience!”

Past Event

San Diego Music Awards

  • Monday, October 5, 2015, 7 p.m.
  • Humphreys by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego
  • $35 - $40

The local music community has seen big changes since Sprague made the scene in the mid-1970s. “When I got started, we used to get these month-long gigs where you’d set up your gear and you could really hang out for months,” says the guitarist. “That just doesn’t exist anymore — but I’m so happy that I came up in an era where it did, because that’s a really neat way to refine your art.”

Like most jazz musicians, Sprague has felt the pull from the Big Apple. “At one point I lived in New York, and I got a taste of what that was like...but for me to feel right, I need more than just a bunch of great places to play — I need a great place to live and be a human being, and for me, San Diego has that balance.”

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Sprague: “It’s a great honor, but I’ve always thought of [a Lifetime Achievement] going to people toward the end of their careers.” - Image by Acel B. Troutman
Sprague: “It’s a great honor, but I’ve always thought of [a Lifetime Achievement] going to people toward the end of their careers.”

“That fellow named Kevin [Hellman], who is in charge of the awards, called me about a month ago and said they’d like to do that,” says 59-year-old jazz guitarist Peter Sprague, on the phone to discuss his Lifetime Achievement honor at this year’s San Diego Music Awards ceremony, to be held at Humphreys by the Bay on October 5.

Video:

"My Favorite Things"

Mary Poppins meets John Coltrane on Peter Sprague's take of the classic track

Mary Poppins meets John Coltrane on Peter Sprague's take of the classic track

“It’s a great honor, but I’ve always thought of it as going to people toward the end of their careers — so maybe I thought it was a little premature. Then again, I’m pretty old — I’ll turn 60 in October, even if I don’t feel it. So maybe everyone feels like they may be getting it too early. I did start out really young, and I’ve been dedicated to staying here in San Diego, and you know I’m in pretty good health, so it’s not as if it’s over yet.”

I asked Sprague if he’s already working on his acceptance speech. “You know, the funny thing about that event is that there’s a bit of a party going on in the back, and I’ve seen some speeches really just fizzle out because there weren’t a whole lot of people listening! But I like to improvise, so I don’t think I’ll need to put something on paper other than to say that I love living here, and I hope to keep on creating music. After all, you need to brace for an early exit — it’s sort of a speech that is oriented to an inebriated audience!”

Past Event

San Diego Music Awards

  • Monday, October 5, 2015, 7 p.m.
  • Humphreys by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego
  • $35 - $40

The local music community has seen big changes since Sprague made the scene in the mid-1970s. “When I got started, we used to get these month-long gigs where you’d set up your gear and you could really hang out for months,” says the guitarist. “That just doesn’t exist anymore — but I’m so happy that I came up in an era where it did, because that’s a really neat way to refine your art.”

Like most jazz musicians, Sprague has felt the pull from the Big Apple. “At one point I lived in New York, and I got a taste of what that was like...but for me to feel right, I need more than just a bunch of great places to play — I need a great place to live and be a human being, and for me, San Diego has that balance.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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