Snarky Puppy Brings Its Label-Defying Sound to Northern Kentucky


For the past two years, multi-hyphenate Snarky Puppy bandleader and bassist Michael League has been so busy globetrotting with his bandmates that he doesn’t have a fixed address. The nomadic League and his revolving cast of more than 20 talented musicians (“the fam”) perform a minimum 100 shows a year—including a gig at Madison Theater this month—where they unleash their rollicking, critic-labeled (and lauded) “jazz fusion” tunes. “It’s weird when it’s labeled,” says League. “I think if you call us jazz, it’s not really right. And if you call us fusion, it’s not right. It seems kind of right, but not completely right.”

Snarky Puppy
Snarky Puppy

Photograph by Stella K

Already this year, Snarky Puppy won a Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Grammy for Sylva, and released the album Family Dinner, Vol. 2, while a second album, the groove-centric Culcha Vulcha, is slated to be released in June.

League, who is also a prolific producer, plans to finally settle down in Brooklyn this fall to launch a recording studio in support of his burgeoning record label, GroundUP—but his many-irons-in-the-fire work ethic will continue. “I just love music,” he says, “and I love to create, so any opportunity I get to do all those things together, I do. There’s always time for that.”

 Snarky Puppy, May 12, Madison Theater,

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