Photo of Snarky Puppy
Est. 2003
 | 
DENTON, TX

The last four years have brought dramatic changes for Snarky Puppy.

After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy® awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.”

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. But more than the cultural diversity of the individual players, the defining characteristic of Snarky Puppy’s music is the joy of performing together in the perpetual push to grow creatively.

The band was formed by bassist and primary composer Michael League in 2003, 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. It was at this time that the group absorbed musicians like Robert “Sput” Searight (drums), Shaun Martin (keyboards), and Bobby Sparks (keyboards), and were heavily influenced by legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller).

Winner: 2017 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Winner: 2017 Downbeat Readers' Poll – Jazz Group of the Year
Winner: 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll – Best Contemporary Group
Winner: 2016 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Winner: 2016 JazzTimes Readers' Poll – Best Contemporary Group
Winner: 2015 Downbeat Readers' Poll – Jazz Group of the Year
Winner: 2015 JazzTimes Readers' Poll – Best Contemporary Group
Winner: 2014 Grammy Award for Best RnB Performance
Winner: 2014 JazzTimes Readers' Poll – Best Contemporary Group
Winner: 2015 JazzTimes Readers' Poll – Best New Artist

The Band

Michael League

Bass, Composer, Bandleader

Michael League is a 3-time Grammy Award-winning musician based out of Brooklyn, New York. He is the creator and bandleader of instrumental music ensemble Snarky Puppy and world music group Bokanté, co-owner of Atlantic Sound Studios, and founder of the record label and music curation source GroundUP Music.

Michael attended the University of North Texas' jazz studies program for 4 years, then moved to nearby Dallas for another 3 years, where he worked with some of the most influential figures in modern gospel, R&B, and soul music, and was mentored by legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan) before moving to Brooklyn, New York, in 2009, where he currently resides. As an instrumentalist and producer, he has worked with a diverse range of artists in pop (David Crosby, Laura Mvula, Lalah Hathaway, Joe Walsh), gospel (Kirk Franklin, Walter Hawkins, Marvin Sapp, Israel Houghton), jazz (Terence Blanchard, Esperanza Spalding, Joshua Redman, Wayne Krantz, Chris Potter), and world music (Salif Keïta, Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club, Susana Baca, Carlos Malta, Väsen).

In 2016, he started the band Bokanté. Blending influence from blues, rock, Caribbean, and West African styles, the group includes an all-star cast of musicians from 4 different continents. Bokanté spent 2017 touring around the world in support of their debut album, Strange Circles. Their second album, a collaboration with the Grammy-winning Metropole Orkest under the baton of Jules Buckley, What Heat, was released in fall of 2018.

GroundUP Music, formed in 2011, has moved from independent record label (home to albums from David Crosby, Charlie Hunter, Becca Stevens, Cory Henry, Banda Magda, and many more) to live event curation, launching the annual GroundUP Music Festival in 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. It has played host to artists like Béla Fleck, Esperanza Spalding, The Wood Brothers, Robert Glasper, Concha Buika, Terence Blanchard, Joshua Redman, Jacob Collier, Chris Thile, Knower, and Pedrito Martinez, among others.

Michael is passionately committed to music education and outreach, having given clinics and masterclasses at over 200 schools around the world. He is active as a guest speaker in international music business panels and works regularly with non-profit organizations in an effort to better serve the community at large through the arts.

Bill Laurance

Keyboards

Bill Laurance is a three time Grammy Award winning pianist, composer and performer. He has worked professionally for 22 years, performing all over the world. He is an original member of the internationally acclaimed Snarky Puppy.

His four albums (Flint, 2014; Swift, 2015; Aftersun, 2016; and Live at Union Chapel, 2016) all hit the top of the UK and US iTunes Jazz charts.  He is currently developing his 5th album, a solo record exploring a fusion of acoustic piano, electronics with a focus on free improvisation. 

Bill’s composition work extends across a wide range of genres: his first feature film Un Traductor, nominated for best foreign film at 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Other collaborations include work with prestigious dance companies (Alvin Ailey, Mathew Bourne and Northern Ballet Theatre) and producing music for commercials (Apple Mac, Sky Broadband, Nokia, De Beers, Investec, Hewlett Packard, and Rigby & Peller). Recently Bill has been co-writing with David Crosby (Crosby, Stills & Nash) on original compositions for the forthcoming David Crosby album. Bill is currently composing three separate commissions for Big Band, Orchestra and Choir.

Bill is a passionate educator and continues to give clinics and masterclasses at institutions all over the world. 

Bill is the Artist in Residence at Morley College, London. 

Collaborations include:

David Crosby, Morcheeba, Salif Keita, Jordan Rudess, Susana Baca, Lalah Hathaway, Laura Mvula, Jacob Collier, Musiq Soul Child, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, Carlos Malta, Miss Dynamite, The Metropole Orchestra

Bill is a champion of cutting edge keyboard developments, he is endorsed by:

Roli Seaboard, Dave Smith, Moog, Mellotron, Korg, Nord, MXR, Yamaha Pianos, Yamaha Reface, Arp Odyssey, Sound Brenner and Native Instruments.

Bobby Sparks II

Keyboards

Corsicana, Texas born SPARKK CHILD, Bobby Sparks II, is a multi-talented Artist, Musician & Producer who boasts a long list of career accomplishments. Bobby has recorded with and travelled the world sharing stages with Prince, Tower of Power, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Nelly Furtado, Marcus Miller, Kirk Franklin, St. Vincent and a host of other notable artists and celebrities. Bobby is an original member of Snarky Puppy, a 9-time Grammy Award winner and his influence on music and personalities is far reaching.

Justin Stanton

Trumpet, Keyboards

From Tennessee to Texas to New York, Justin Stanton has allowed the infinite opportunities found in the world of music to lead him across the globe. As a trumpet player, keyboardist, and composer, Justin has developed a reputation as a multi-faceted musician who can serve an essential role to whichever artist he is contributing, both onstage and in the studio.

Justin attended the prestigious University of North Texas, where he performed for two years in the One O'Clock Lab Band, recording three albums as well as performing at major festivals throughout Europe. While at North Texas, Justin joined Snarky Puppy and, since then, has recorded eight albums with the group and has appeared on the majority of their numerous live recordings.

In addition to maintaining a very active schedule with Snarky Puppy, Justin maintains an active schedule performing, recording, and writing with a variety of original artists and groups, including Banda Magda, whose debut album, “Amour T'es La,” was featured in NPR's top ten list of “World Music” albums of 2013. Justin appears on recordings with artists as diverse as David Crosby, Donald Fagen, Harry Shearer/Derek Smalls, Larry Carlton, Robert Glasper, Trombone Shorty, Musiq Soulchild, Kirk Franklin, Laura Mvula, and Salif Keita. He has also shared the stage with Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks, Terence Blanchard, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, and Fatoumata Diawara, to name a few.

Justin resides in Brooklyn, New York, and is in constant demand for his ability as a multi-instrumentalist, knowledge of synthesis and sound design, familiarity with a broad spectrum of musical realms, and abundant creative energy. He is slated to release a debut solo record of all new original material in early 2019.

Justin endorses Sequential (formerly Dave Smith Instruments), Yamaha trumpets, and Donat mouthpieces.

Shaun Martin

Keyboards

Artist, producer, songwriter, performer and multiple GRAMMY® Award winner,  Shaun Martin is carving his space in the annals of musical history.

Shaun is widely known for his work with Kirk Franklin, and Snarky Puppy, while leaving his creative stamp on projects with musical legends Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell, Tasha Page Lockhart and God’s Property just to name a few.   Most recently, Shaun unveiled his genius to us all in his first solo projects - Seven Summers and Focus.

Having written, arranged, produced and played the keyboards on both albums, alongside musicians and vocalists from his hometown, Dallas, Texas - we meet the musical genius of Shaun Martin.     Shaun’s prodigious gifting noticed and nurtured at an early age led him to begin playing the drums and piano at four years old and his mother placing him under the tutelage of Carolyn Campbell, who taught him to read and write music.  At age five he was already playing the piano and organ at church.  Later, he learned to play trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn and flute.

As a music major at the University of North Texas, he joined fellow student musicians to add his special brand of creativity to Snarky Puppy, an award-winning, chart-topping jazz fusion band - committed to music performance and education.  In an effort to give back to the community that shaped the very depth, dimension, and dynamics of his sensation sound, Shaun plans to one day create a fine arts academy and after-school program for urban students who have little access to music education and training.     Shaun is currently working with various artists and music producers on a plethora of projects, and is the owner of Shaun Martin Music, LLC (formerly Shunwun Music) - all while living his creativity.

He is married to Monica Wilson Martin.

Bob Lanzetti

Guitar

Bob Lanzetti is a Brooklyn, NY based professional guitarist, composer, producer, and educator. He has performed and recorded with many artists throughout the NYC area as well as played in over 40 countries with the three time Grammy Award Winning jazz/funk collective, Snarky Puppy.

Originally from New Jersey, Bob moved to Denton, TX in 2000 to study jazz guitar at the University of North Texas. In addition to his studies he was fortunate enough to get involved in the thriving R&B and Gospel music scene in the DFW area as well as meet the musicians who would go on to form the core of Snarky Puppy.

As a member of Snarky Puppy Bob has had the opportunity to contribute as a writer, arranger, and guitarist, playing on every recorded release and performing all over the world. The Pups have earned three GRAMMY Awards to date. Best R&B Performance in 2014 (“Something” featuring Lalah Hathaway), and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017 (“Sylva” with Metropole Orkest and “Culcha Vulcha”, respectively).

Since 2006 Bob has been residing in Brooklyn, NY. There he has become an in-demand session guitarist performing and recording with many artists including Tommy Sims, Jerry Granelli, Robben Ford, Bokanté, Michelle Willis, Cory Henry, Ghost-Note (Robert “Sput” Searight/Nate Werth), Lucy Woodward, Musiq Soulchild, Bilal, Banda Magda, Underground System, and many others.

As a composer/artist Bob writes, records, produces, and performs his own original compositions with his quartet. His debut record, Whose Feet are These That are Walking, was released, to positive reviews, in September 2017. He is now touring the record as well as writing new music for a follow up recording. Bob has composed and recorded the score for two dance films for the Allendance Company as well as performed improvised solo guitar music for yoga and dance classes.

As an educator Bob teaches music and guitar out of his Brooklyn studio, has given clinics around the world, and has worked in outreach programs through Carnegie Hall for underprivileged teens to write, record, and perform their own original music.

Bob uses Fodera Guitars, Supro amps, DʼAddario strings and accessories, Pigtronix and MXR effects, and Fralin Blues Special pickups. 

Mark Lettieri

Guitar

Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, producer, and instructor based in Fort Worth, TX.  Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.

Lettieri began his work with Snarky Puppy when the band was forging its Texas roots, appearing on 2008’s Bring Us the Bright.  He has been active with the Pups, both live and in studio, ever since. 

An in-demand session guitarist and touring sideman, Lettieri’s logged miles with neo-soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer Anthony Evans, and American Idol: Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. He's also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Nelly, Tamela Mann, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N'dambi, Bilal, and even comedian Dave Chappelle. 

His recent recording work includes a diverse array of artists such as David Crosby, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Adam Levine, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Tori Kelly, Marvin Sapp, Ledisi, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, as well as numerous radio and television jingles. 

As a leader, he has released three albums of his own music: Knows in 2011, Futurefun in 2013, and most recently, Spark and Echo in 2016. Due in large part to Lettieri’s vibrant social media presence, these records have garnered a sizable following among fans of guitar music worldwide. He can be seen touring this material as the Mark Lettieri Trio. 

Lastly, Lettieri serves as a clinician and gear demonstrator, often on behalf of companies he endorses; namely J. Rockett Audio Designs, Supro, Grosh, Collings, Paul Reed Smith, Jim Dunlop, and TC Electronic.

He resides with his wife, daughter, and their two cats. 

Website: www.marklettieri.com

Facebook (musician page): Mark Lettieri Music

Instagram & Twitter: @mjlettieri

Chris McQueen

Guitar

Chris McQueen has been playing, writing, and recording music since 1994. Aside from Snarky Puppy, he also plays in fellow GroundUP groups Forq and Bokanté. He has worked with Lizz Wright, Banda Magda, Lucy Woodward, Nikka Costa, Myron Butler & Levi, Alejandro Escovedo, and other artists in Texas and New York. He has been featured in several rock musicals over the last decade, most recently David Bowie’s Lazarus at New York Theatre Workshop (featuring Michael C. Hall) and The Rocky Horror Show at The Dallas Theater Center. He also designed and built the Guitar Note Atlas, an app for iPhone and iPad to help guitar and bass students learn the fretboard.

Chris grew up in Austin, TX and started playing guitar and recording songs on a 4-track Tascam around age 10. At 13 he joined RedHeaded Stepchild, a western swing kid band, and started gigging around Austin and learning how to solo from bandmate and guitar prodigy Will Knaak. This interest in improvisation led Chris to jazz; he joined and wrote for his high school jazz band, and later attended the University of North Texas to study with Fred Hamilton. He eventually played in the One O’Clock Lab Band and wrote a piece that was recorded for Lab 2006.

Chris remained in the Dallas area for four years after college, co-leading the regionally popular rock band Oso Closo with singer/songwriter Adrian Hulet, and studying music with Bernard Wright and other members of the Dallas R&B/jazz/Gospel scene. Oso Closo performed on stage in The Who’s Tommy at the Dallas Theater Center and released two albums. After Oso Closo, Chris and fellow band member Danny Garcia joined with singer/songwriter Cade Sadler to form Foe Destroyer, which produced a self-titled album, toured for several years, and performed on stage in Dallas and NYC in the musical Fly By Night.

Chris lives in Austin, TX with his wife Erin. Aside from gigging and recording he writes sheet music for Snarky Puppy and others, and he created arrangements and sounds for the new musical Bunkerville. He has also been working on an upcoming solo album, and he plays in an original acoustic guitar duo with fellow Austinite, Matt Read, that released its debut album Western Theatre last year.

Mike "Maz" Maher

Trumpet

Mike ‘Maz’ Maher is a trumpeter, singer, composer and educator. He has been a dedicated member of Snarky Puppy since the band’s inception and has written two songs for the group (Skate U, Sleeper). As a freelance trumpeter he has performed/recorded with the likes of Soulive, Diane Birch, Laila Biali, Lucy Woodward, Banda Magda, Myron Butler & Levi, Andrew Rose Gregory (of the Gregory brothers), George Porter Jr., and a host of others. 

In 2009 Mike started the group Maz to exercise his singing and songwriting abilities. Maz has released two albums (‘Maz’ in 2012, and ‘Idealist’ in 2016) and toured the U.S. and abroad as well as regularly playing in New York City. 

In 2017 Mike was asked to write lyrics for the debut album of Alina Engibaryan (produced by Michael League for GroundUP Music, released 2018), marking his first engagement as a freelance writer.  

Jay Jennings

Trumpet

Jay Jennings has been a member of Snarky Puppy since 2004. Before meeting his Snarky family at the University of North Texas, Jay grew up in the small town of Grapevine, TX. He was lucky to have a piano in the house growing up, which he considers his introduction to music education. Jennings started playing the trumpet at age 11, and by 15 he was already playing professionally. In high school he was selected to the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble both sophomore and senior years and was selected for the High School Grammy Jazz Ensemble, which performed at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, CA. Jennings auditioned as a college freshman and was selected for a jazz soloist chair in the world renowned One O'clock Lab Band at UNT. When he was 22 he joined the Dallas based, symphonic rock band The Polyphonic Spree. He recorded and toured with them until moving to Brooklyn, NY in 2009. Jennings eventually began touring with capital records artist Eli "Paperboy" Reed in 2010 and over his career has backed up some of the world's finest artists such as Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, David Crosby, David Bowie, Lalah Hathaway, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Lee Fields, Bobby Rush, Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap), The O'Jays, Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Four Tops, and many more. Currently, Jay is touring with country music star Toby Keith and is currently living in Los Angeles, CA.  He continues to record and tour with the Grammy Award winning band, Snarky Puppy.

Upon his move to Los Angeles in February of 2017, Jennings began composing for his own band, The YAYennings Quartet.  This marks the beginning of Jay’s solo career as a band leader.  The bebop driven quartet began during the Snarky Puppy recording session for Culcha Vulcha in 2016.  Jennings and fellow Snarky Puppy band mate, Bob Reynolds(tenor), spent much of the session’s “off time” jamming in a room with a grand piano playing duets.  After realizing they share a similar interest in early 1950’s west coast bebop, Jay started composing for his own band.  Jay called upon his west coast UNT alumni Jose Perez (Pancho Sanchez, Bokanté) on drums and Ross Schodek (Pancho Sanchez) on bass to be the back bone in the “chordless” quartet.  The YAYennings Quartet album “Scott Ave” will be released in February of 2019.  Jay Jennings is a member of the Yamaha artist family and proudly plays Yamaha trumpets.

Chris Bullock

Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet

Chris Bullock is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. The expressive nature of his music and playing is a testament to his artistic diversity. Chris is a longtime member of the genre-bending ensemble, Snarky Puppy. With this group, he has received three Grammy awards and maintains an active schedule performing for audiences all over the world. Chris resides in Brooklyn, NY where he balances his time leading his solo project, playing live shows with a diverse range of artists, and performing in studio sessions. 

Originally from Asheville, NC, Chris' musical obsession began as a child with early interests in the Beach Boys, hip-hop cassettes, and learning the clarinet and electric guitar. Over time the saxophone became central to his music making.

Chris is currently finishing his first solo album of all new, original music. This album is a hybrid of sorts that combines elements of Chris’ woodwinds, live jazz, and electronic music and production. His interest in hip-hop and electronic music has pushed him into exploring new creative ventures that include DJ’ing, beat making, and production.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Chris has performed with a variety of artists including David Crosby, Michael McDonald, Lalah Hathaway, Charlie Hunter, Chris Thile, Eric Harland, Phish, and Soulive. In addition to his work as a live musician, Chris is also an educator and clinician. He received music degrees from East Carolina University, Michigan State University, and studied at the University of North Texas. Chris Bullock plays D’addario reeds, Yamaha Saxophones, and Earthquaker Devices FX pedals.

Bob Reynolds

Saxophone

Bob Reynolds is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and Grammy Award-winning member of the band Snarky Puppy. Widely known for his work with both Snarky and John Mayer, he has released 9 top-selling solo albums of original music. The New York Times called Reynolds “a self-assured saxophonist and an unassuming yet effective composer.” Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Reynolds grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, where he started playing saxophone at age 13. Although he listened to a range of music as a kid, by his late teens he was a dedicated jazz student. After high school, he honed his skills at Boston's Berklee College of Music, mentored by George Garzone, Hal Crook, and others. Besides working with his own group, and performing with legends like Jeff Lorber and Larry Carlton, Bob is a passionate educator and an in-demand clinician. Through his web-based Virtual Studio, he teaches musicians from over 20 countries. Bob lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. He shares insights on balancing a music career with raising a family to over 46,000 subscribers to his popular YouTube channel. Visit BobReynoldsMusic.com for more.

Zach Brock

Violin

“I called the great French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and I said ‘So, who's the new cat? Who's got the stuff? And he said Zach Brock.” - Stanley Clarke

Zach Brock is a Grammy Award-winning violinist and composer who has been critically acclaimed as the "pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation." He was named "Rising Star Violinist" of 2013 by Downbeat Magazine and is currently an "Artist in Residence" at Temple University. Zach has performed with his band at Carnegie Hall in New York, “Tudo é Jazz” in Brazil, and in the Solomon Islands on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. His credits as a musical collaborator include Stanley Clarke, Snarky Puppy, Phil Markowitz, Wycliffe Gordon, and many more. He has also made ten recordings as a leader or co-leader and is a featured soloist for two Sundance Festival feature film scores.

Nate Werth

Percussion

As the undeniable secret weapon of Snarky Puppy, Nate Werth is both rooted in tradition and constantly innovating in the percussion world. His creative approach to sonic possibilities and rhythmic interplay has been integral to the sound of the group, and has earned the respect and support of percussion big-wigs like LP founder Martin Cohen. Performing and recording credits include Myron Butler & Levi, The Lee Boys, Jovino Santos Neto, Michael Spiro, Eric Krasno's Chapter 2, and many more. Having studied Indian, African, and Latin American traditions extensively abroad, Nate brings a unique sound palette to every musical environment. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and plays regularly on the NYC and DFW music scene.

Marcelo Woloski

Percussion/Drums

Representing South-America in the Snarky Puppy family, Marcelo Woloski is a Grammy and Latin grammy winning percussionist, drummer and composer from Buenos Aires based in New York City. His broad array of sounds, versatility, masterful skill, charismatic personality and unique approach to percussion setups and orchestration has made him the to-go person for recording artists, producers and arrangers throughout the globe. Voted “Percussionist of the year 2017” by Bateristica Magazine, Marcelo’s performing and recording credits include Ruben Blades, Susana Baca, Marta Gomez, Laura Mvula, Lalah Hathaway, Banda Magda, Sofia Ribeiro, Chris Potter, Roberta Sá, and The Kronos Quartet among others. Marcelo’s most recent work as a composer can be heard on his new album Mundo Por Conocer, released in 2018, as well as Snarky Puppy’s last release Culcha Vulcha that includes his composition Palermo. Marcelo is a Latin Percussion, Vic Firth, Evans drumheads and Garrahand drums endorser. For more info visit www.marcelowoloski.com 

Keita Ogawa

Percussion/Drums

www.keitaogawa.com

Hailing originally from Nagasaki, Japan, Keita Ogawa is Grammy Award winner (as Snarky puppy member) and one of the most versatile and sought-after percussionist and drummer in New York City.He started his music career on drum set at the age of 15.After performing regularly in Tokyo for several years, Keita decided to pursue his musical studies overseas. He was accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in fall of 2005 where he studied with legendary musicians and educators Manuel “Egui” Castrillo, Jamey Haddad, Tito De Gracia, David Rosado, and Mark Walker. Seeking full immersion into the world of Brazilian percussion, Keita relocated to Rio de Janeiro for 3 months and studied with the some of the country's most respected musicians- Jorginho do Pandeiro, Celsinho Silva, Kiko Freitas, and Marcio Bahia among others.Since his arrival in America, Keita has worked with some of the biggest names in modern music including Yo-yo-ma, Assad Brothers, Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Romero Lubambo, Clarice Assad, Jaques Morelenbaum, Osvaldo Golijov, Les Nubians, Charlie Hunter, Benny Green, Eric Harland, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and more.

Currently he works several projects like, Snarky Puppy, Banda Magda, Bokantè, Charlie Hunter, JSquad, Camila Meza and the Nectar Orchestra, Clarice Assad and more.

In 2016 He wrote opening Theme for National TV Program in Japan. Program Called “Hodo Station”. 

In 2017 He became the Ambassador of Tourism of his Hometown, Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan.

He is endorsed by Canopus Drum, Meinl Percussion, Sabian Cymbal, Vic Firth, Evans Drumhead, Cooperman Company, Dem Sticks, Parka Percussion and Decora 43.

Keita can virtually play any percussion instrument and musical style with fluency and unparalleled musicality. Despite his youth, he has set an example for the next generation of world-class musicians. Keita's passion for crossing musical borders and uniting differences in cultures is a rare talent which he exhibits with a smile and an open heart.

Jamison Ross

Drums

Jamison Ross is a Drummer and Vocalist that delivers messages of humanity through the medium of jazz.  

A native of Jacksonville, FL, Jamison’s passion for music was realized while growing up in his grandfather’s church, where he realized the effectiveness of music. Jamison began his study of jazz as a high school student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and gained worldwide acclaim as a featured musician in the Tribeca Film Festival winning documentary CHOPS; a film that followed the school’s jazz ensemble as they prepare and perform in the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Festival competition. 

Ross continued his study of the genre at Florida State University (B.A., Jazz Studies), where he met his current band members and at University of New Orleans (M.M., Jazz), in the city where he currently resides.  In 2012, Ross’ career began to take shape after winning the Thelonious Monk Jr. International Jazz Competition for his drumming.  This achievement afforded him a recording contract with Concord Jazz.  Jamison recounts, “at the time, people knew me as a drummer; they didn’t know I could sing.  I wanted to merge my gifts.” 

His 2015 debut release, Jamison, introduced the world to his concept of rhythm and melody and also garnered a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.  His sophomore release, All For One, takes listeners a level deeper into Jamison’s ethos. The album is a result of a personal revelation that "we all have the capacity to love with empathy in a deeper way."

Larnell Lewis

Drums

LARNELL LEWIS is a GRAMMY Award winning musician, composer, producer, and educator. A Toronto native, Larnell has quickly established himself as one of the most diverse and in-demand drummers currently on the music scene. Along with his long-standing position behind the drums in Snarky Puppy, Larnell has led many highly successful groups of his own and toured the globe with some of the most well known names in music, including Etienne Charles, Gregory Porter, Benny Golson, Lalah Hathaway, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Lisa Fisher, Kurt Elling, Gary Burton, and more.

Larnell’s immense talent, fierce creativity, and continually evolving musical style is what has kept him at the top of the list as a musical collaborator for artists across the globe. In June 2018, Larnell released his highly anticipated debut album “In The Moment,” which featured ten original compositions in a variety of musical styles. His vast talents not just as a musician but as a producer also landed him the opportunity to act as Musical Director for a performance during the Toronto International Film Festival’s premiere of the critically-acclaimed documentary of Quincy Jones, “QUINCY”, (directed by Rashida Jones & Al Hicks), where he led performances from the likes of Yebba Smith, Mark Ronson, and Chaka Khan.

Among his many accolades, including the 2004 Oscar Peterson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music (Humber College), Larnell was named as the fourth recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’sEmerging Jazz Award” (2017), which is a $10,000 cash prize intended to support the creation of a project that features original compositions from each recipient.

Larnell’s talents can be seen worldwide via his various social media platforms, which have a combined total of over 100,000 followers. His reach to fans and musicians of all generations is proof that he not only possesses undeniable talent, but a spirit unlike any other that excites, inspires, and encourages music fans of all ages to further explore their musical tastes and the follow him on the road he has paved for himself.

Larnell Lewis is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian, Promark, Evans, D’Addario, and Latin Percussion.

www.larnelllewismusic.com

Follow @LarnellLewisMusic on FB/IN/YT & @Larnell_Lewis on Twitter

Jason "JT" Thomas

Drums

JT is a 3-time Grammy Award winning drummer hailing from Weatherford Tx. Known for his ability to authentically adapt to whatever genre/style of music he’s put in, JT has become highly sought after by an array of different artists such as Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans, Marcus Miller, Mark Lettieri, FORQ, & Phillip Phillips to name a few. His high level of preparation for each artist he works with, along with being a consummate professional on and off stage, is what continues to keep him busy performing on stages and in studios all over the world. JT is proudly endorsed/sponsored by Yamaha Drums, Meinl Cymbals and Percussion, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, and MatTea Inc. Vocal Luxury.

Michael Harrison

Sound Engineer

Native of Scotland, Mike initially met Snarky Puppy during their inaugural UK/European tour whilst performing at the popular venue Stereo.  Prior to this, Mike spent a number of years working with various production companies and engineering at numerous UK festivals, events & venues. Early touring included many activities with groups on the Scottish traditional music circuit; and subsequently touring with popular Scottish artists such as Kassidy & Emeli Sande.  In addition to his work with Snarky Puppy, recent years have seen Mike working extensively with a diverse variety of artists & musical lineups including Bill Laurance Group, Forq, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, KNOWER, Bokanté, and Elipsis on tours across Europe, Australasia, Africa & the Americas; and numerous collaborative productions between Snarky/Bokanté & the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands. 

When not touring he also runs his own company, E H Sound Ltd, from Glasgow. Whilst his business partner John focuses on his love of Theatre Sound & dramatic productions, Mike continues to work with current Glasgow-based artists such as Charlotte Marshall & The 45s, Unoma Okudo, Esperanza, Starry Skies, and others.

Matt Recchia

Sound Engineer

Matthew Recchia (Rexx) is a live sound engineer and stage manager currently residing outside of Atlanta, GA. Recchia began his career in Athens, GA with an internship at The Melting Point before attaining a full-time position at The Georgia Theatre following graduation from University of Georgia’s business school. Beginning in the summer of 2011, Recchia began touring with indie-rock band Futurebirds around the United States before jumping on with Snarky Puppy in 2013. Recchia has also toured with side projects of the band like Ghost Note, Bill Laurance, and Bokante. 

Rosanna Freedman

Tour Manager

Hailing from London, England and resident of Manchester, Rosanna first began working with SP while managing award winning music and arts venue Band on the Wall. Her background in the live music industry has been based in festival production and band tour management in the EU and worldwide. She has worked with UK and international artists spanning the genres from reggae to rock and heavy metal.

TJ Abbonizio

Tour Manager

Born and raised in Virginia and currently residing in Oslo, TJ has been tour managing since April 2013. Since that time he's been on the road in five continents with bands ranging from rock, jazz, folk, and Norwegian death metal. When he's not on tour TJ enjoys eating tacos and hanging out with his super fine fiancé.

Mason Davis

Drum and Percussion Technician

Mason began studying Afro-Cuban and West African percussion at an early age, which blossomed into a deep appreciation for the music of various cultures from around the world. He later went on to get degree in classical and jazz performance and after college went on to play in a variety of musical projects around the Southeastern United States.

Being familiar with all types of drum and percussion gear, he quickly began a secondary career as a “Drum Doctor” in Athens, Ga. This quickly became a passion and in fall of 2014 he became the touring Drum and Percussion Technician for the band. He resides in the Atlanta, GA. area and when not touring enjoys a studio of private students and a variety of gigs in his local area and beyond.

Contacts