STANDING ROOM ONLY. DINNER & DRINKS AT THE BAR
Snarky Puppy: Jazz-Funk-World-Soul-Pop
With the release of their live, 2-disc album/DVD “Tell Your Friends” (Ropeadope Records), Snarky Puppy has gone from an underground secret to one of the most internationally respected names in instrumental music. The 3-time Dallas Observer Music Award winning group (“Best Jazz Act” 2008, 2009, 2010) has, over the last four years of touring, gained a reputation for putting on a live show unparalleled in energy, virtuosity, and musicianship. They seamlessly fuse a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical- or most carefree- audience. It is, in its physical makeup, a group of musicians from two different cultures and traditions- jazz and rock kids from white America, and gospel/R&B kids from black America. This convergence, which occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University of North Texas, has naturally established a series of combinations and a system of balance that instantly draws listeners to the music- raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism, lush harmony and soulful simplicity, and most importantly, a delicate mixture of composition and improvisation. Snarky Puppy is somewhere between a garage band and a collective, with over 25 players in regular rotation. The core of the group, which remains consistent, features Grammy Award-winners Robert “Sput” Searight on drums (God’s Property, Snoop Dogg) and Shaun Martin on keys (Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu). Its other members are mainstays with artists like Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, P Diddy Dirty Money, The Polyphonic Spree, Snoop Dogg, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Morcheeba, Tower of Power, Ari Hoenig/Adam Rogers, Kenny Garrett, Yo-Yo Ma, Lucy Woodward, and Bilal, among many more. The group was conceived and is held together by award-winning bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger Michael League, whose creative grass-roots approach to a tougher-than-ever industry has created a most unique musical animal. It is a three-headed creature: first, and most obviously- an original music ensemble. Second- a production team and session band for individual artists. Third, and probably most importantly- Snarky Puppy is a group of musicians unanimously and enthusiastically committed to music education and community outreach. Working with groups like ROAM (Roots Of American Music) in inner city Cleveland and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, as well as giving clinics at over 40 colleges, high schools, and middle schools worldwide, the band has made a strong commitment to spreading a love of music and general positivity to a young generation looking for something real to hold on to. Currently, Snarky Puppy is touring to prepare for their next live, in-studio album/DVD, to be recorded over 5 days in New Orleans this fall for Ropeadope Records.
Alison Wedding: Alison Wedding started her music career at age two, singing for family and friends in the living room. But it was not until she walked into a jazz ensemble at her fine arts high school in Dallas, Texas, that she was first introduced to jazz. The harmonies, chord progressions, and rhythms fascinated her. She listened constantly to horn players, learning their solos, and with the help of her mentor Dave Alexander, Alison began to explore improvisation, which has become one of her greatest skills. Her early influences included Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, and horn players such as Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Michael Brecker. She went on to study jazz at University of North Texas under the guidance of Paris Rutherford and began to sing professionally in the Dallas area. One of her career highlights was singing with the One O'clock Lab Band with the late Gerry Mulligan. Upon receiving her degree, Alison moved to Los Angeles to further develop her career. There she spent 4 years, performing professionally, both live and in the studio, as well as teaching voice and piano. Career highlights included touring as a back-up singer with Kevyn Lettau, and recording with artists such as Andy Summers (formerly of The Police) on his CD “Peggy's Blue Skylight.” After moving to Australia in January 2001, in addition to teaching at major music schools in Melbourne, she was fortunate to play with many truly amazing musicians, including Sam Keevers, Jamie Oehlers, Colin Hopkins, Peter Knight, Bob Sedergreen, Joe Chindamo, Kate Ceberano, Richard Clapton, just to name a few. Alison's first solo CD, "The Secret", was released in September 2003 on the ABC Jazz label. She toured Australia celebrating this release, and shortly thereafter, The Secret went on to win the 2004 Bell Award for the Best Vocal Jazz Album in Australia. Alison’s second CD ,"Sometimes I Feel", was released on the label Jazzhead in October 2005. This album, consisting entirely of Wedding’s compositions, was a more modern departure from her previous acoustic release. Later in that same year, Alison was named a semifinalist at the Wangaratta Jazz Competition, and the following year she won the Gibson-May award at the London International Vocal Jazz Competition. Alison moved back to the US in 2007, choosing NY as her new base to continue on her musical journey...She has performed at various venues, including Rockwood Music Hall, Cornelia St. Cafe, and The 55 Bar as both a solo artist and background singer. Her current band lineup is Snarky Puppy leader Michael League (bass), Ross Pederson (drums), and Pete McCann (guitar). Alison still has a deep passion for teaching voice and improvisation, and is an associate professor in the voice faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her new album, “This Dance”, featuring strings and special guests Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, and Theo Bleckann, will be released on the GroundUP label (Ropeadope) in May 2012.
Canto : Canto is a family affair, a band consisting of three brothers all under the age of 20; Seamus Blackwell (Vocals, Guitar), Aidan Blackwell (Bass) and David Blackwell (Drums), who have a drive and talent that is beyond their years. The brothers, three of nine, come from a family that has always been heavily involved in music and were seemingly bred to play, Seamus says “I was surrounded by musician s growing up, because of it, I wanted to play any instrument I could get my hands on.“ Right down to the name of the band, which is a Latin word meaning “to sing” they showcase their love for the classics, from literature to music, and it is wildly apparent in each track on their debut album “HA HA HA.” With a strong support system and a dedication to their music that knows no bounds, they’ve created an eccentric mix of music that’s a throw-back to classic rock yet distinctly modern. Their music is heavily influenced by the rock music of the 1960’s and 70’s, taking you back to the psyechedelic undertones one would find in Led Zepplin and The Who, and truly showing their ability to create and play music that seems incredibly beyond their years. Canto has exhibited refreshing originality in their writing, managing to combine their classic rock sound with the energy of a mature and operatic alt-rock sound that is something of a signature for them. They don’t allow their classic rock influence to leave them outside of mainstream listener’s airwaves, invoking a perfectly blended sound that is both surprising and addicting. From Seamus’ wailing voice to David's and Aidan's pounding riffs and their collective intelligent instrumentations, each track on their debut album “HA HA HA” is expertly crafted by the trio. With talents that will only continue to grow and a steadfast dedication to their unique sound, their rising star is sure to shine even brighter. Canto’s stellar debut album “HA HA HA” is currently available on iTunes.