Originally formed in 2004 by graduates of the College of Music from the University of North Texas, Snarky Puppy is an instrumental jazz/funk/R&B/world fusion collective now based in New York and led by bass player and composer Michael League. With a core line up of ten-twelve musicians and three backing vocalists, the combo’s size varies according to venues and circumstances and can sometimes expand to forty musicians.
Snarky Puppy is essentially a live band who thrives on collaborations with other musicians and vocalists. To capture that essential chemistry taking place during sessions, the collective has been recording and filming most of its musical output live in front of a studio audience since their 2010 release Tell Your Friends.
As well as a music collective, Snarky Puppy is also strongly dedicated to music education and community outreach, holding workshops and masterclasses at the various festivals they have attended in the United States and Europe over the years. After enjoying a word of mouth success in the US, the band started getting invitations to England and mainland Europe, quickly selling out shows across the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.
What really transpires from every Snarky Puppy video clip is the musicians’ sheer pleasure and enjoyment of playing music in front of an appreciative audience whose reaction stimulates and enhances the performance. With a small live audience on stage, the CD/DVD Family Dinner – Volume 1 was filmed in March 2013 at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke (VA) and features vocal contributions from Lalah Hathaway, N’Dambi, Lucy Woodward, Chantae Cann, Malika Tirolien, Magda Giannikou, Shayna Steele and Tony Scherr.
Snarky Puppy feat. Magda Giannikou: Ase Me Na Bo
Magda Giannikou is a Greek born and New-York based composer, musician and singer who released her début album Amour t’es là? with her own group Banda Magda in June 2013 last. A multi-talented artist whose music evokes “the golden age of Brazilian bossa, the best of cinematic arranging, and the lush chic of vintage French pop”, Magda Giannikou plays the piano and the accordion and sings every song of her album in French. On Family Dinner – Volume 1, she sings two songs with Snarky Puppy as the backing band. The first one is the title track of her album and the other one is the wonderful “Ase Me Na Bo” (in Greek) as a bonus track on the DVD.
Snarky Puppy feat. Lalah Hathaway: Something
R&B singer Lalah Hataway also contributed to the Snarky Puppy project and her song “Something” is the 2014 Grammy winner for Best R&B Performance. Lalah Hataway’s vocal performance is simply astonishing and the sense of wonder among the audience and musicians is palpable as the song progresses towards her extraordinary chord singing at the end of the song: a true spine-tingling moment beautifully captured live.
Snarky Puppy’s 8th album/live DVD We like it here was released on February 25th 2014 last on the Ropeadope record label.