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Snarky Puppy jazz their way to New Zealand next year

Friday 28 September 2018

Snarky Puppy jazz their way to New Zealand next year

Grammy Award-winning jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy are set to return to New Zealand for two amazing evenings, hitting Auckland's Powerstation and Wellington's Opera House in April next year.

Snarky Puppy are a brilliant live act who've managed to sit at the forefront of contemporary musical fusion, and rate as a must-see for fans of genres from jazz to hot funk. They're a collective of sorts with as many as 25 members in regular rotation.

Each of them maintains 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 represent 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. However, beyond the cultural diversity of the individual players lies the defining characteristic of Snarky Puppy's music—the joy of performing together in the perpetual push to grow creatively.

During these recent years, Snarky Puppy have successfully gained a cult-following because of their exquisite performances. After a decade of relentless touring and recording, 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), they are much, more than that.

The band broke into the scene in 2003 with bassist and primary composer Michael League as the founder. They started inconspicuously enough as a group of college friends at the University of North Texas' Jazz Studies program. Three years later, a serendipitous intersection with the Dallas gospel and R&B community transformed the music into something funkier, more direct, and more visceral. It was at this time that the group absorbed musicians like Robert "Sput" Searight (drums), Shaun Martin (keyboards), and Bobby Sparks (keyboards), and were heavily influenced by legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller).

Snarky Puppy have sold out venues in their previous NZ visits and they're sure to do just the same next year. Grab your tickets and don't miss out!