New York quasi-collective, Snarky Puppy, have gone from the best kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. With a difficult-to-define genre, these guys seamlessly fuse a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation. This convergence of musicians from white and black America have performed regularly with artists like Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kirk Franklin, Justin Timberlake and Marcus Miller among many others—and now they’ll be bringing their live show to Australia as one of Bluesfest’s touring bands.
The last four years have brought dramatic changes for Snarky Puppy. After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band.
The genre-defying group 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 indie 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.
Snarky Puppy will be appearing for headline shows in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne in April 2019.
Sunday, 21 April 2019 – SYDNEY, Enmore Theatre (ALL ages show)
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 – ADELAIDE, HQ
Friday, 26 April 2019 – MELBOURNE, The Forum
Sydney tickets available here.
Adelaide tickets available here.
Melbourne tickets available here.
Wednesday 19 September, 10.00 am AEST (9.30am ACST – Adelaide)
Monday 21 September, 10.00 am AEST Monday (9:30am ACST – Adelaide)
Pre-sale available now for Bluesfest Touring members through bluesfesttouring.com.au.
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Photo: Vincent Le Gallic