What About Me?
I had the pleasure of seeing Snarky Puppy here in Shanghai, China at the 10th annual JZ Jazz Festival. The venue was a huge abandoned factory with stages around the building which made for a crazy cool atmosphere. For those who have never heard of Snarky Puppy, they are a Grammy Award winning jazz-funk collective from New York and Dallas led by bassist Michael League. Initially, what really drew me to this group was their outrageous band name but their delicious hooks, layered keys harmonies, hard-hitting beats and their overall ability to groove on stage add to my appreciation. They started out their set with one of their more acclaimed songs “What About Me?”, which featured some of the funkiest guitar riffs, coupled with incredible drum chops and catchy trumpet work. You could really see that the group was having a blast on stage and this engaged the audience to truly experience the song in its entirety. Following their opening song, they played various songs from their fifth album groundUP as well as their latest album We Like It Here. Throughout the set, keys player, Shaun Martin stood out in terms of leading the group with his dynamics and catchy keyboard musings. He also frequently pumped up the crowd with his infectious dance moves. The band closed the set with the introduction of another exciting percussionist from Marcus Miller’s band (who performed right after Snarky) finishing with a bang.
It’s been a decade since Snarky Puppy formed. For their brilliance, enthusiasm and incredible musicality, they deserve all the recognition and hype! They are definitely worth a listen.