2023 GRAMMY® Nominee Spotlight: Snarky Puppy

2023 GRAMMY® Nominee Spotlight: Snarky Puppy

Snarky Puppy is a band led by bassist Michael League. Founded in 2004, Snarky Puppy combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, and funk and has won four GRAMMY Awards. Although the band has worked with vocalists, League described Snarky Puppy as “a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals”.

As the category names for all four of the band’s GRAMMY awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016, 2017, and 2021), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.”

There’s that quote, “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” I think that’s very true. You can talk about music all you want, but you’re not going to feel the truth of what music is without hearing it and playing it.

Michael League, jazz.fm, 2019

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Empire Central


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