Snarky Puppy | Artists | GroundUP Music

Snarky Puppy

Michael League: Bass, Composer, Bandleader
Bill Laurance: Keyboards
Justin Stanton: Trumpet, Keyboards
Shaun Martin: Keyboards
Bob Lanzetti: Guitar
Mark Lettieri: Guitar
Chris McQueen: Guitar
Mike Maher: Trumpet
Jay Jennings: Trumpet
Chris Bullock: Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Bob Reynolds: Saxophone
Nate Werth: Percussion
Robert "Sput" Searight: Drums

Snarky Puppy Bio

Snarky Puppy seamlessly fuses 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. The convergence of musicians from white and black America (who also perform regularly with artists like Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kirk Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Roy Hargrove, and Marcus Miller among others), which occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University of North Texas, has naturally established 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.

Though an instrumental band in nature, Snarky Puppy thrives on collaborating with artists from all styles. Their Family Dinner album series is a vehicle for this, having seen the likes of Salif Keita, Susana Baca, David Crosby, Lalah Hathaway, Becca Stevens, Laura Mvula, Brazilian legends Carlos Malta and Bernardo Aguiar, Swedish neo-trad group Väsen, Jeff Coffin, Charlie Hunter, and many more over the course of the first two installments.

The group is led by bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger Michael League, whose creative grass-roots approach to a tougher-than-ever industry has created a new model for independent artists. Snarky Puppy 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 enthusiastically committed to music education and community outreach. Working with non-profit and arts advocacy groups around the world, as well as giving clinics at hundreds of colleges, high schools, and middle schools on six continents, the band has made a strong commitment to spreading their love of music and general positivity to a young generation looking for something real to be inspired by.



Culcha Vulcha (2016)

Fresh off of the heels of its tenth album, Family Dinner - Volume Two, the band is returning to its roots as an instrumental ensemble with a brand new collection of nine original songs. A departure from its signature live-from-the-studio film and audio style, the band spent a week in the middle of a pecan orchard at the remote Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas, just a five minute walk from the Mexican border. With no cameras, no audience, and the opportunity to overdub, they have crafted an album much darker and moodier than any before it. The typical flash and bombastic moments that Snarky Puppy is known for have been replaced by a more patient, restrained, and sonically creative approach to both composition and performance. The melodies are intricate, the counterpoint is fluid, and groove reigns supreme in mixes that are bass and percussion-heavy.
1 Tarova
2 Semente
3 Gemini
4 Grown Folks
5 Beep Box
7 The Simple Life
8 Palermo
9 Big Ugly

Family Dinner, Vol. 2 (2016)

Family Dinner, Volume Two is the second in a series which began with 2014’s Grammy Award-winning album, Family Dinner, Volume One. The chart-topping, fusion-influenced Snarky Puppy make exploratory jazz, rock, and funk, and here they act as "backing band" to some of the world’s greatest vocalists, musicians and songwriters including David Crosby, Becca Stevens, Laura Mvula, Salif Keita, Ivan Neville and Jeff Coffin. The accompanying DVD disc includes performances of 2 bonus songs not included in this double 180-gram vinyl version, plus a digital download card of the album is included inside as well.

1 I Asked (feat. Becca Stevens & Väsen)
2 Molino Molero (feat. Susana Baca & Charlie Hunter)
3 Liquid Love (feat. Chris Turner)
4 Soro (Afriki) [feat. Salif Keita, Carlos Malta & Bernardo Aguiar]
5 Sing to the Moon (feat. Laura Mvula & Michelle Willis)
6 Don't You Know (feat. Jacob Collier & Big Ed Lee)
7 I Remember (feat. KNOWER & Jeff Coffin)
8 Somebody Home (feat. David Crosby)
9 Be Still (feat. Becca Stevens & Väsen)
10 Fuego Y Agua (feat. Susana Baca)
11 Shapons Vindaloo (feat. Väsen)
12 One Hope (feat. KNOWER)
13 Brother, I’m Hungry (feat. Nigel Hall & NOLA International)

Sylva (2015)

Released on May 26 via Impulse!/Universal Music Classics, Sylva is the first time the band has joined forces with an orchestra. The 60-minute suite was recorded and filmed live with the multi-Grammy-winning Metropole Orkest orchestra from the Netherlands, for whom it was specifically written. It topped 4 separate Billboard and iTunes charts upon release.

1 Sintra
2 Flight
3 Atchfalaya
4 The Curtain
5 Gretel
6 The Clearing

We Like It Here (2014)

From the moment Snarky Puppy played its first overseas show to a sold-out London crowd, they felt at home in Europe. Recorded and filmed live with a studio audience over 4 nights in the Netherlands, We Like It Here captures the band at its most explorative point in its career, in both composition and improvisation. The film also contains over an hour of interviews, behind the scenes tour footage in Europe, and alternate solo takes from the recording sessions.

1 Shofukan
2 What About Me?
3 Sleeper
4 Jambone
5 Kite
6 Outlier
7 Tio Macaco
8 Lingus

Family Dinner, Vol. 1 (2013)

Inspired by a music series that the band runs in New York City, Family Dinner - Volume One is a live DVD featuring 8 different vocalists with Snarky Puppy as the backing band. Genre morphs from track to track with performances by Lalah Hathaway, Lucy Woodward, N'Dambi, Magda Giannikou, Shayna Steele, Chantae Cann, Tony Scherr, and Malika Tirolien. The album was recorded and filmed in the beautiful Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA in March 2013.

1 Free Your Dreams
2 Gone Under
3 Deep
4 Amour T'es La
5 Something
6 Too Hot To Last
7 Turned Away
8 I'm Not The One

Amkeni (2013)

A collaboration between Snarky Puppy and the young Burundian refugee Bukuru Celestin. Made by possible by a grant from Chamber Music America, Amkeni fuses traditional central African music with the band's unique take on Bukuru's songs. It was recorded in February 2013 at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA.

1 Ndagukunda
2 Shima
3 Nyabugingo
4 Amkeni
5 Ntumbero
6 Muzogezahe

groundUP (2012)

groundUP was filmed and recorded live over 3 nights in legendary bassist Matt Garrison's new Brooklyn performance space, Shapeshifter Lab, in front of a 40-person studio audience. Similar to the setting of their last several live albums/DVDs, the project captures the rawness and spontaneity of Snarky Puppy's live energy, but this time in a stripped-down Brooklyn warehouse.

1 Thing of Gold
2 Bent Nails
3 Minjor
4 Binky
5 Mr. Montauk
6 Like A Light
7 Young Stuff
8 Quarter Master

Tell Your Friends (2010)

The first of Snarky Puppy's live, in-studio DVD/albums, Tell Your Friends was filmed and recorded in one night at the cozy swamp-set Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana, and is the band's debut release on Ropeadope Records. It marks the first recorded appearance of Grammy Award-winner Shaun Martin on organ and Moog, and a live 30-person studio audience.

1 Whitecap
2 Flood
3 The Good Man Deliver and The Best Is Blessed
4 Skate U
5 Slow Demon
6 Ready Wednesday

Bring Us The Bright (2008)

Snarky Puppy's third studio album is the first recording of the band after it melded with the Dallas music community. Featuring keyboardists Bernard Wright and Bobby Sparks as well as drummer/keyboardist Robert "Sput" Searight, Bring Us the Bright is a noticeable departure into a brand new landscape of grooves and textures. It was recorded in Dallas, TX in April 2008 and mixed by Chris Godbey (Timbaland).

1 Bring Us The Bright
2 Loose Screws
3 Strawman
4 34 Klezma
5 Strange Dream
6 Celebrity
7 Making The Circle
8 And Soon We'll Be One

The World Is Getting Smaller (2007)

The second studio album from Snarky Puppy, The World is Getting Smaller features two live drummers (Rob Avsharian and Steve Pruitt) panned left and right (as well as a guest appearance from master percussionist Jose Aponté), and marks a compositional departure from The Only Constant. It was recorded as most of the band was leaving college at the University of North Texas in 2007.

1 Native Sons
2 Intelligent Design
3 Alma
4 Thorn
5 The World Is Getting Smaller
6 Briar
7 Phoebus
8 Fair Play

The Only Constant (2006)

Here's where it all started! Made all the way back in 2005 and released in '06, The Only Constant is a snapshot of the band in its infancy as students at the University of North Texas. It features 5 very, very different tracks by Michael League and has a more open and acoustic sound than any other of Snarky Puppy's albums.

1 Open Forum
2 Hot & Bothered
3 Precipice
4 Revisited
5 Oblongata

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