Snarky Puppy / Kneebody
The once Texan, now New York-based Grammy Award-winning quasi-collective Snarky Puppy has gone from a best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. Although still underground in many respects, the band has earned high praise from critical stalwarts like the BBC, Village Voice, Guardian, and Boston Herald, and has performed at some of the best venues and festivals in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.
The band has always used live performance as its chief form of evangelism, and maintains a more intense tour schedule than many bands. Over the course of 2013, Snarky Puppy gave almost 200 performances and workshops on four continents. It played at several festivals, including North Sea Jazz, Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz á Vienne, Blue Note Tokyo, and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
It's most recent album, Family Dinner—Volume One, with featured guest Lalah Hathaway, earned a Grammy for Best R&B Performance and charted at No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart.
Kneebody's sound is a combination of explosive rock energy, high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing, and highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. All “sounds like” references can be set aside; this band has created a genre and style all its own. Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar thinks of the band's sound this way: “Personally, I think calling Kneebody 'jazz' or 'electric jazz' is fantastic because then we can move on from that hang up and play our music—and alter expectations of what jazz is.”