Snarky Puppy bring a night of horn-hollering soul hooks, floor-shaking beats and punchy jazz improv to Auckland’s Powerstation on Thursday 6th April.
This a chance to catch one of the most acclaimed bands in contemporary music stepping out to do what they do best – bring down the house. Snarky Puppy sold out their last NZ show at the NZ Festival 2016 in Wellington and this Auckland show is sure to follow suit.
After a decade of relentless touring and recording Snarky Puppy are enjoying their status as one of the major figures in the jazz world. Two Grammy awards (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016) reflect their continuing success and Snarky Puppy enthral ever growing audiences around the world.
Snarky Puppy is a collective of sorts with as many as 25 members in regular rotation. They each maintain busy schedules as sidemen (with such artists as Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and D’Angelo), producers (for Kirk Franklin, David Crosby, and Salif Keïta), and solo artists (many of whom are on the band’s indy label, GroundUP Music).
At its core, the band represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. Japan, Argentina, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico all have representation in the group’s membership. But more than the cultural diversity of the individual players, the defining characteristic of Snarky Puppy’s music is the joy of performing together in the perpetual push to grow creatively.
The band was formed by bassist and primary composer Michael League in 2003, starting inconspicuously enough as a group of college friends at the University of North Texas’ Jazz Studies program.
Three years later, a serendipitous intersection with the Dallas gospel and R&B community in Dallas transformed the music into something funkier, more direct, and more visceral. It was at this time that the group absorbed musicians like Robert “Sput” Searight (drums), Shaun Martin (keyboards), and Bobby Sparks (keyboards), and were heavily influenced by legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller).
Independent since their inception almost 13 years ago, Snarky Puppy’s grass-roots approach to the changing music industry has met major critical and commercial success, as well as two Grammy awards in three years. Voted “Best Jazz Group” in the 2015 Downbeat Reader’s Poll and called “one of the most versatile groups on the planet” by Rolling Stone, they have performed over 1,200 concerts across six continents.