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Bokanté

John Lennon told us, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." And while Snarky Puppy leader Michael League was in Montreal making other plans—he heard the voice of local resident Malika Tirolien who’d ended up in Canada following a circuitous journey from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. A chance exchange between the two kindred spirits led to League writing some music and melodies specifically for her which he sent to Tirolien with lyrical concepts attached. Tirolien then wrote lyrics and melodies, demoing and ping-ponging the new content back to Michael who was on the road with other bands until they had created an album's worth of songs. Singing in both Creole and French, Tirolien’s words draw nuanced pictures of the struggles we face in our world today—racism, the refugee crisis, a dying planet, apathy towards human suffering—and offer words of thankfulness for those things which unify us, as well as hope for the future of our race. League kept tinkering with his little experiment by trading his bass in for a baritone guitar and set out to build a band from scratch

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Chris McQueen: Snarky Guitars, Part 3

Read "Chris McQueen: Snarky Guitars, Part 3" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 For our final installment in the Snarky Guitars series, All About Jazz spoke with Chris McQueen. McQueen's inclinations as a player often push him into more textural, integral and rhythmic roles that sometimes leave him the least conspicuous of the “SP Three," but he has done ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Bob Lanzetti: Snarky Guitars, Part 2

Read "Bob Lanzetti: Snarky Guitars, Part 2" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 For the second installment in our series on the guitarists of Snarky Puppy, we spoke with Bob Lanzetti. In addition to being the guitarist who logged the most miles with the band in its early days, he has also appeared on every recording SP has ever ...

What Heat

Label: GroundUP
Released: 2019
Track listing: All the Way Home; Fanm; Lé An Gadé-w En Zyé; Réparasyons; Bòd Lanmé Pa Lwe; Don’t Do It; Chambre à Échos; Maison En Feu.

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

The GroundUp Music Festival 2019

Read "The GroundUp Music Festival 2019" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

GroundUp Music Festival 2019 North Beach Bandshell, Park Stage Miami Beach, FL February 8-10, 2019 An internet acquaintance has a running post gag that she labels with #BecauseFlorida. In it she basically puts forth all of the unattractive, wacky and head-scratching reports that come out of the Sunshine ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Michael League: Snarky Puppy's Jazz-Schooled, Grassroots Visionary

Read "Michael League: Snarky Puppy's Jazz-Schooled, Grassroots Visionary" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Bassist, composer, bandleader, sideman, producer, record label owner, festival head... These are some of the many hats Michael League has acquired since embarking on his musical odyssey at the University of North Texas with a “little" band named Snarky Puppy in 2003. With its Jazz-but-not-Jazz / Music for Brain and Booty ethos, multiple poll ...

Strange Circles

Label: GroundUP
Released: 2017
Track listing: Jou Ké Ouvè; Nou Tout Sé Yonn; Ola; Zyé Ouvè, Zyé Fèmé; Roudesann; Limyè; An Ni Chans; Apathie Mortelle; Vayan; Héritier.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bokanté: Strange Circles

Read "Strange Circles" reviewed by Daniel Marx

Due to Michael League's prolific body of work with his record label, GroundUp Music, he has his fingers in many pies, the latest of which is a new band, started by the Snarky Puppy guitarist/bassist/producer, called Bokanté. The word means “exchange" in Creole, the language of the band's vocalist Malika Tirolien, and the music is meant ...


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