Press Play: Snarky Puppy
February 1, 2017
No, Snarky Puppy is not a cute little dog with a bad attitude. They are one of jazz music’s biggest figures with an entirely unique approach to the genre. Hailing from Texas and New York, they have been widely recognized and acclaimed for their style, flair and musicality through complex compositions and a trademark progressive writing technique.
After ten years of making music, touring and playing around the world, they received their first GRAMMY two years ago for their work on the Family Dinner: Vol. 1 compilation with vocal powerhouse Lalah Hathaway. The band went on to take home yet another award last year, and we’re not surprised to see the much-deserved recognition pick up steam.
Although having been categorized as a jazz group, the band wouldn’t box their music into just one genre. According to them, they aren’t exactly a jazz band, it’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. They flow through sounds in a way that can’t encompass just one musical realm, so you just have to take them for what they are: a band you have to see to believe.
When listening to their music, the jazz elements are definitely there, but deeply enveloped by a blend of so many other influences. Depending on the track, you might encounter r&b, soul, Bossa Nova, funk, even slight elements of rock. Like a moving target, their sound can’t be specifically pin-pointed, but the element of sonic surprise is the overall defining factor.
Seeing them live, apart from the amazing music, is an experience in itself. Snarky Puppy has as many as 25 members in regular rotation which, to me, is pretty much unheard of these days. They’re leading the charge in bringing back the popular Big Band style from the early 20th century and putting their own modern twist to it.
If you do get the chance to see them live, take it from us, your understanding of music will change forever. Lucky for us South Floridians, they’ll be making an appearance at Ground Up Music Festival February 10-12 at North Beach Bandshell. Be sure to support more artists like these coming to our city on a regular basis, and get your tickets here.
Here is one of their live sessions playing “Tio Macaco” from We Like It Here so you can get an idea of what this group really brings to a performance. Plus, we find its tropical rhythms fitting to Miami…for obvious reasons.