Fans of jazz-rooted, worldly, genre-bending music are surely already familiar with New York by way of Texas outfit Snarky Puppy, who, over 15 years and 13 albums, have become one of the most celebrated contemporary fixtures on the world music and fusion landscape, employing a massive lineup and prolific output, regularly touring the globe. No strangers to Music City, the band are set to return to town Sept. 18, making their headlining debut at none other than The Ryman Auditorium with likeminded worldly New York trio House of Waters. Fans of complex, jam-y, jazz-infused music will want to make this a must-see, and tickets are still available right here! We’re also giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky fan, so if you’d rather try your luck, read on for more about the show and enter for a chance to win below.
Formed in 2003 in Denton, Texas (and now based in New York), springing out of the University of North Texas’ Jazz Studies program, helmed by bassist, bandleader, and founder Michael League, Snarky Puppy‘s earliest incarnation was a pretty typical, homogenous, 10-person jazz band. As the group became their primary focus, however, with debut LP Live at Uncommon Ground arriving two years later, Snarky Puppy’s ranks, sound, and musical ambitions grew to became a lot more expansive and worldly. In the decade and a half since, around 50 players have at one time or another been a regular fixture in Snarky Puppy, and the group’s current lineup stands at about 25, with roughly half of the original founding lineup still intact. At its core, the band represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world, featuring a cross-cultural roster of contributors representing Japan, Argentina, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico. Not exactly a jazz band, nor a proper funk or fusion band, Snarky Puppy’s genre-bending, rock and pop infused sound has often drawn recognition from the jam band scene, though their style is hardly “jam” either- rather an eclectic, worldly, jazz-forged, largely instrumental ensemble of ever evolving players and sensibilities. After a few early years of independent, fairly under the radar records and touring, the band broke out more broadly earlier this decade, since scoring three Grammy nominations, critical accolades, and praise for their engaging live show and 13 excellent LPs, most recently this year’s Immigrance. Though no strangers to Music City, this outing marks the group’s first time headlining The Ryman, a spot uniquely well-suited for their huge, eclectic lineup and genre-bending stylings.
HOUSE OF WATERS
Also based in New York and signed to Snarky Puppy’s GroundUP record label, eclectic trio House of Waters also run adjacent to the jazz sphere, but possess a more expansive and genre-bending sound that’s hard to singularly define, pulling from West African, jazz, psychedelic, indie rock, classical, and world music, primarily on an instrumental configuring of hammered dulcimer, six-string bass, and percussion. Their complex yet accessible styling has already made the band a worldwide world music sensation, topping charts and drawing critical accolades, while traversing the globe with acts like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Victor Wooten, Tinariwen, Jimmy Cliff, Snarky Puppy, Karsh Kale, and more. Their eponymous debut arrived in 2016, followed up this year by excellent new effort Rising. House of Waters should be an easy sell for Snarky Puppy fans, with a kindred and similarly genre-bending spirit despite the vastly paired down lineup. Be sure to show up early!
Snarky Puppy and House of Waters will perform tonight, Sept. 18 at The Ryman Auditorium. The show is all ages, begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $22-99.