Five-time Grammy Award winner Snarky Puppy is making their debut at Chautauqua Institution!
After over a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred quasi-collective Snarky Puppy (of as many as 20 members in regular rotation) 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 five of the band’s Grammy Awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016, 2017, 2021 and 2023), 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 heed 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.” They’re polished yet irrepressibly creative and high concept, seamlessly shapeshifting from jazz to funk to hip-hop and even klezmer.