Snarky Puppy


Snarky Puppy will be performing at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh on Sep 14, 2019. If you love instrumental pop, don’t miss it!

Snarky Puppy is a Brooklyn-based Instrumental music ensemble led by bassist Michael League. Snarky Puppy combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, and funk and has won three Grammy Awards. Although the band has worked with vocalists, League described Snarky Puppy as “a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals”. Usually appearing with nine to twelve members for live performances, Snarky Puppy’s two most recent albums, Culcha Vulcha and Immigrance, were recorded using nineteen members.

Snarky Puppy was formed by Michael League in Denton, Texas, in 2004.

“Because I was so bad,” he recalled, “I didn’t place into any of the school ensembles. So Snarky Puppy was my way of getting to play.” The group comprises a wide-ranging assemblage of musicians known affectionately as ‘The Fam.’

Forty players have performed in “The Fam” on guitar, bass, keyboards, woodwinds, brass, strings, drums, and percussion. Many past and present band members were students at the University of North Texas.

They have performed with greats including Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, Justin Timberlake, Stanley Clarke, Kirk Franklin, Ari Hoenig, Roy Hargrove, David Crosby, and Snoop Dogg. While touring, the band has given clinics, workshops, and master classes in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Snarky Puppy released their debut album Live at Uncommon Ground in 2005. Their first four albums were released independently, after which Tell Your Friends, groundUP, Family Dinner – Volume One, and We Like It Here were released by Ropeadope.

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

On January 26, 2014, Snarky Puppy and 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.

Sylva (2015), a collaboration with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra for 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. The album won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album,

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, their third Grammy award.

Ofthe bands members, four are part of the band Bokanté, and four are in Banda Magda. Both bands record for Snarky Puppy’s groundUPmusic label. Former members Cory Henry and Robert Searight won Grammy Awards for work outside Snarky Puppy while they were in the group.

In 2016, Justin Stanton and Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy contributed to Indonesian singer Eva Celia’s debut album And So It Begins.

On Friday 15 March 2019, Snarky Puppy released their thirteenth album, Immigrance. As part of the album campaign, the band released a series of short interviews over social media, providing what Michael League described as a small peek into the lives and perspectives of musicians who have moved from their native country to a new one.

Participants in the interview series include drummer Antonio Sanchez, saxophonist Will Vinson, producer and engineer Fabrice Dupont, radio host and journalist Caroline Fontanieu, vocalist Eleni Arapoglou, musician Jorge Glem, harmonica player Grégoire Maret, guitarist and vocalist Leni Stern, singer and composer Alina Engibaryan, musician and filmmaker Simon C.F. Yu and singer/multi-instrumentalist Magda Giannikou.

On Friday 26th April, 2019, the band released the first bonus track from Immigrance. Entitled Embossed, it was written by pianist and keys player Bill Laurance, who described it as a reaction to the social, political and environmental anxiety of the times.

Buy your tickets today!


Address2110 Blue Ridge RoadRaleigh, NC27607
DateSep 14, 2019
Time8:00 PM
PerformerSnarky Puppy
VenueNorth Carolina Museum of Art