@ the Love Supreme Jazz Festival
5 July 2014
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With the release of their live, 2-disc album/DVD “Tell Your
Friends” (Ropeadope Records), Snarky Puppy has gone from an
underground secret to one of the most internationally respected
names in instrumental music.
The 3-time Dallas Observer Music Award winning group (“Best
Jazz Act” 2008, 2009, 2010) has, over the last four years
of touring, gained a reputation for putting on a live show unparalleled
in energy, virtuosity, and musicianship. They seamlessly fuse a
deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and
conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical-
or most carefree- audience.
It is, in its physical makeup, a group of musicians from two different
cultures and traditions- jazz and rock kids from white America,
and gospel/R&B kids from black America. This convergence, which
occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University
of North Texas, has naturally established a series of combinations
and a system of balance that instantly draws listeners to the music-
raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism,
lush harmony and soulful simplicity, and most importantly, a delicate
mixture of composition and improvisation.
Snarky Puppy is somewhere between a garage band and a collective,
with over 25 players in regular rotation. The core of the group,
which remains consistent, features Grammy Award-winners Robert “Sput”
Searight on drums (God’s Property, Snoop Dogg) and Shaun Martin
on keys (Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu), as well as young organ prodigy
Cory Henry (Kenny Garrett, Kim Burell) and multi-instrumentalist
Louis Cato (Marcus Miller, Q-Tip, George Duke). Its members are
mainstays with artists like Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, P Diddy
Dirty Money, The Polyphonic Spree, Snoop Dogg, Roy Hargrove’s
RH Factor, Morcheeba, Tower of Power, Ari Hoenig/Adam Rogers, Justin
Timberlake, Kenny Garrett, Yo-Yo Ma, Lucy Woodward, and Bilal, among
The group was conceived and is held together by award-winning bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger
Michael League, whose creative grass-roots approach to a tougher-than-ever
industry has created a unique musical animal. It is a three-headed
creature: first, and most obviously- an original music ensemble.
Second- a production team and session band for individual artists.
Third, and probably most importantly- Snarky Puppy is a group of
musicians unanimously and enthusiastically committed to music education
and community outreach. Working with groups like ROAM (Roots Of
American Music) in inner city Cleveland and the Music Lab at Jefferson
Center in Roanoke, as well as giving clinics at over 40 colleges,
high schools, and middle schools worldwide (League is faculty at
London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance), the
band has made a strong commitment to spreading a love of music and
general positivity to a young generation looking for something real
to hold on to.