Snarky Puppy is a jazz ensemble led by bassist, composer, and producer Michael League. League calls Snarky Puppy as "'a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals.'"
The band was formed in Denton, Texas, in 2004 and comprises a changing membership of about forty musicians who perform on guitar, keyboards, woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion. Many band members were students at the University of North Texas. Individual members have performed with Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, Justin Timberlake, Kirk Franklin, Ari Hoenig, Roy Hargrove, David Crosby, and Snoop Dogg. While touring, the band has given over 100 clinics, workshops, and master classes throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Snarky Puppy released their debut album, The Only Constant, in 2006. Their first three 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. It was released in February 2014, debuting at No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts.
On January 26, 2014, Snarky Puppy, with 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, debuted on multiple Billboard charts, including No. 1 on the Heatseekers Chart, No. 1 Top Current Jazz Album, and No. 1 Contemporary Jazz Album. In 2016, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
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