Peter Sprague’s 40th annual outdoor Christmas Eve concert in Del Mar being moved to indoor Encinitas venue

Guitarist Peter Sprague is shown performing with singer Nina Francis. Because of the wet weather, the 2019 edition of Sprague's free, 40-year-old annual Christmas Eve concert is being moved from its usual open-air location in Del Mar to an indoor venue in nearby Encinitas.

The guitar great is moving his free annual outdoor holiday concert from its usual outdoor Del Mar location to an indoor venue in Encinitas


There are at least two key ingredients for a successful annual outdoor Christmas concert embraced by several generations of listeners — good music and dry seats.

That is why award-winning San Diego guitarist Peter Sprague announced Monday that the 40th edition of his free Christmas Eve concert at the L’Auberge Del Mar Amphitheatre is being moved inside to nearby Seaside Church in Encinitas.

The running time for the Dec. 24 event remains the same, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. So does the lineup, which teams former Chick Corea/Al Jarreau guitar ace Sprague with singers Leonard Patton, Rebecca Jade, Allison Adams Tucker, Nina Francis and Sprague’s daughter, Kate, 17.

The band for the concert will include such top area instrumentalists as pianist Danny Green, bassist Gunnar Biggs, drummer Duncan Moore, guitarist Fred Benedetti and Sprague’s brother, Tripp, on sax and flute.

Peter Sprague was barely out of his teens when he and his then-band, Dance of the Universe Orchestra, performed their first free outdoor Christmas Eve show in Del Mar in the late 1970s. Today’s concert will mark only the third time inclement weather has led to the concert being moved indoors.