Snarky Puppy Brings Joyous, Eclectic Mix to Jorgensen

Group that started among college friends has since become world-famous

The band Snarky Puppy plays on stage.

Snarky Puppy brings its unique sound to Jorgensen on Friday, April 12 (Courtesy of Ignacio Orrego)

Five-time Grammy winning band Snarky Puppy will perform Friday, April 12 at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts as part of its worldwide tour. The group arrives in Storrs after returning from performances in Japan and Australia for several eastern U.S. dates before heading to Europe.

The ensemble of sidemen and solo artists was formed by bassist and primary composer Michael League in 2004, starting inconspicuously enough as a group of college friends at the University of North Texas’ Jazz Studies program. Three years later, a serendipitous intersection with the Dallas gospel and R&B community in Dallas transformed the music into something funkier, more direct, and more visceral.

Snarky Puppy is a collective of sorts with as many as 25 members in regular rotation. They each maintain busy schedules as sidemen (with such artists as Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and D’Angelo), producers (for Kirk Franklin, David Crosby, and Salif Keïta), and solo artists (many of whom are on the band’s indy label, GroundUP Music). At its core, the band represents the convergence of both Black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. Japan, Argentina, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico all have representation in the group’s membership. Snarky Puppy has won Grammys for both Best R&B Performance and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, most recently last year for “Empire Central.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to

Chris Bullock, a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer who joined Snarky Puppy in 2005, spoke with WHUS on the Good Music show, (Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) about being a part of the group and his own solo career.