Snarky Puppy

Snarky Puppy
Background information
Origin Denton, Texas, U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Years active 2004–Present
Labels Ropeadope, Sitmom, Impulse!, GroundUP, Art of Groove (MIG)
  • Michael League
  • Robert Searight
  • Nate Werth
  • Larnell Lewis
  • Shaun Martin
  • Cory Henry
  • Justin Stanton
  • Bill Laurance
  • Bob Lanzetti
  • Chris McQueen
  • Mark Lettieri
  • Mike Maher
  • Chris Bullock
  • Jamison Ross

Snarky Puppy is a Brooklyn, New York-based instrumental ensemble led by bassist, composer and producer Michael League.[1] Crossing several genres of music, League describes Snarky Puppy as "'a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals.'"[2]

The band was formed in Denton, Texas, in 2004, and consists of a shifting coalition of nearly 40 musicians, referred to as "The Fam", who perform on a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, keyboard, woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings. Many of the current and former band members were once students at the University of North Texas.[3] The core touring group is Michael League, Robert "Sput" Searight, Nate Werth, Larnell Lewis, Shaun Martin, Cory Henry, Justin Stanton, Bill Laurance, Bob Lanzetti, Chris McQueen, Mark Lettieri, Mike Maher and Chris Bullock. They have performed with Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, Justin Timberlake, Kirk Franklin, Ari Hoenig, Roy Hargrove, and Snoop Dogg. While touring, the band has given over 100 clinics, workshops, and master classes in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Mexico.

Snarky Puppy released their debut album, The Only Constant, in 2006. Their first three albums were released under Sitmom Records.[4] Since their fourth album, Tell Your Friends (2010), the band has been signed to Ropeadope Records.[5][6]

The album We Like It Here was performed and recorded live in October 2013 at the artistic compound Kytopia in Utrecht, Netherlands.[7] It was released in February 2014, debuting at No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts.

On January 26, 2014, Snarky Puppy, along 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.[1]

On October 25, 2014 the band was signed to Impulse! Records.[8] On May 26, 2015, they released the album Sylva, a collaboration with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra. It debuted on multiple Billboard charts, including #1 on the Heatseekers Chart, #1 Top Current Jazz Album and #1 Contemporary Jazz Album.[9] On February 15, 2016 the album won the band their second Grammy, this time for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (smooth jazz).[10]

Awards and honors


Band members


  1. 1 2 "The Making Of Lalah Hathaway And Snarky Puppy's "Something"". The Recording Academy. March 3, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  2. Woodard, Josef (December 2015). "Thinking Person's Feel Good Music". Down Beat. Elmhurst, Illinois: Maher.
  3. "Snarky Puppy | Denton". 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  4. "Sitmom Records". Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  5. "Ropeadope". Ropeadope. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  6. Michal Garcia. "My Denton Music interview: Snarky Puppy's Mike League". Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  7. Archived June 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "impulse! Sign Snarky Puppy – uDiscover". uDiscover. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  9. "Jazz Articles: Snarky Puppy Reaches #1 on Multiple Billboard Charts with "Sylva" – By JazzTimes — Jazz Articles". Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  10. "2016 Grammy Awards: Complete list of winners and nominees". Retrieved 2016-02-16.
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