Snarky Puppy

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Snarky Puppy
Snarky Puppy@51. Heineken Jazzaldia (30052040612).jpg
Snarky Puppy performing at Heineken Jazzaldia in 2016
Background information
OriginDenton, Texas, U.S.
GenresJazz fusion
Years active2004–present
Associated acts
  • Michael League
  • Bill Laurance
  • Cory Henry
  • Joseph Solomon

Snarky Puppy is a Brooklyn-based "fusion-influenced jam band"[1] led by bassist, composer, and producer Michael League. Snarky Puppy combines jazz, rock, and funk and has won three Grammy Awards.[2] Although the group has since included vocalists and has backed singers, League once described Snarky Puppy as "a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals".[3]


The band was formed by Michael League in Denton, Texas, in 2004 and comprises "...a wide-ranging assemblage of musicians known affectionately as 'the Fam'...",[1] about 40 players who perform on guitar, bass, keyboards, woodwinds, brass, strings, drums, and percussion. Many band members were students at the University of North Texas.[4] Individual members have performed with Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, Justin Timberlake, Kirk Franklin, Ari Hoenig, Roy Hargrove, David Crosby, Snoop Dogg, and others. While touring, the band frequently gives clinics, workshops, and master classes throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Snarky Puppy released their debut album, Live at Uncommon Ground (no longer in print), in 2005. Their first four albums were released independently, after which they licensed the albums Tell Your Friends, groundUP, Family Dinner – Volume One, and We Like It Here to Ropeadope Records.

The album We Like It Here was performed and recorded live in October 2013 at the artistic compound Kytopia in Utrecht, Netherlands.[5] It was released in February 2014, debuting at number one on the iTunes Jazz Charts.

On January 26, 2014, Snarky Puppy, with vocalist Lalah Hathaway, won a Grammy Award in the Best R&B Performance category for their rendition of the Brenda Russell song "Something" from Family Dinner – Volume 1.[2]

Sylva (2015), a collaboration with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra on Impulse! Records, debuted on multiple Billboard charts, including number one on the Heatseekers Chart, number one Top Current Jazz Album, and number one Contemporary Jazz Album.[6] The album earned the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album,[7]

After winning their second Grammy, the group was signed to Universal Music Group's Universal Music Classics label. Their second release on the label, Culcha Vulcha (2016) earned the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album,[8] their third Grammy award.

Snarky Puppy members continue to work individually and collectively outside the band. Members Cory Henry and Robert "Sput" Searight have won Grammy Awards for work outside Snarky Puppy.

In 2016, Stanton and Lettieri of Snarky Puppy contributed on Indonesian jazz singer Eva Celia's debut album, And So It Begins.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]


Band members[edit]

Membership as of Immigrance album (2019)... [10][11]

  • Michael League – electric bass, oud
  • Bob Lanzetti – guitars
  • Mark Lettieri – guitars
  • Chris McQueen – guitars
  • Bill Laurance – keyboards
  • Shaun Martin – keyboards
  • Bobby Sparks – keyboards
  • Justin Stanton – keyboards, trumpet
  • Mike "Maz" Maher – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Jay Jennings – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Chris Bullock – tenor & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, alto flute, bansuri, percussion
  • Bob Reynolds – tenor saxophone
  • Zach Brock – violin
  • Keita Ogawa – percussion, drums
  • Nate Werth – percussion
  • Marcelo Woloski – percussion, drums
  • Larnell Lewis – drums
  • Jamison Ross – drums
  • Jason "JT" Thomas – drums


  1. ^ a b "Snarky Puppy Biography by Matt Collar". AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Making Of Lalah Hathaway and Snarky Puppy's "Something"". The Recording Academy. March 3, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Woodard, Josef (December 2015). "Thinking Person's Feel Good Music". Down Beat. Elmhurst, Illinois: Maher.
  4. ^ "Snarky Puppy | Denton". 2013-10-29. Archived from the original on 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  5. ^ [1] Archived June 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Jazz Articles: Snarky Puppy Reaches #1 on Multiple Billboard Charts with Sylva". Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  7. ^ "2016 Grammy Awards: Complete list of winners and nominees". Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  8. ^ "Grammy Awards 2017: Complete Nominees and Winners List". American Media, Inc. February 13, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  9. ^ Arrizal, Decky (November 17, 2016). "'And So It Begins,' Album Penuh Cinta dari Eva Celia" (in Indonesian). Rolling Stone Indonesia. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "The last four years have brought dramatic changes for Snarky Puppy". groundup music. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Immigrance liner notes" (PDF). groundup music. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.

External links[edit]