American band talks fusing black and white music | Mumbai News

todayNovember 26, 2023 4

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Before Snarky Puppy, the Texas-bred/New York-based music collective brings their brand of “not quite jazz, not exactly fusion” to Mumbai (Dec 2) and Delhi (Dec 3), a chat with Michael League, the bandleader about their musical mixtape, assembling a crew of 20 musicians, and returning to India after a decade, not just to gig but also to take music lessons and leave with a ‘thavil’ in tow…
Q:Tell us about assembling a rotating act of 20 musicians…
A:There are lots of musicians out there who play their instruments well, but Snarky Puppy requires a specific skill set from each of its members that goes beyond virtuosic ability. Everyone has to be a great listener, a great soloist as well as groover, well-versed in the history of Black American Music, stylistically versatile, generous, comfortable playing very little or nothing at all, adventurous, curious, ego-free, and a good hang.
Q:Snarky Puppy’s music wears many labels – ‘jazz band’, ‘instrumental pop’, ‘music for the brain and booty’. How would you describe it?
A: At our core, we’re people who want to make music that is both visceral and adventurous. It has to feel good and make you move, but it also needs to push limits. The good news is that we’ve never made two records that sound the same, so the status quo for us is ‘change’.
Q: How has Snarky Puppy’s sound evolved over the years?
A: It started as a mostly acoustic, sonically conservative group. But as we melded with the Black Music scene in Dallas, our sound expanded aesthetically and things got a lot funkier and more direct..
Q:You’re returning to India after a decade. What are you looking forward to besides the performances?
A: I’m always most excited about the food, but this time, I’ll also be spending time writing music with friends in Mumbai and Bangalore and taking some music lessons. I’ll see if they’ll let me fly home with a ‘thavil’ (percussion instrument from Tamil Nadu)…

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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