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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: Snarky Puppy brings 9 band members to Rialto

    Courtney Talak

    Members of the Snarky Puppy group, performing at the Rialto on Friday, Jan. 15. 

    Live music creates a connection with people that transcends all barriers and reminds us that we all have something in common. Music is the universal language that every person, no matter what age, can understand and share. Snarky Puppy, a very unique and experimental band, completely embodies all the possibilities and relationships that are crucial to making music that people can connect to and expand on.

    As part of the Tucson Jazz Festival, Snarky Puppy came to the Rialto Theatre to share its music and connect with our community. I have been a huge fan for several years now, but was not entirely sure what to expect from the show.

    I was surprised early on by the amount of people my age that were in line with me. Because Snarky Puppy’s music is so abstract, I assumed it would draw an older crowd, but I was happy to find that many of the attendees were young. That being said, the audience was diverse and created a well-mixed atmosphere that brought many walks of life together to share this special night.

    Snarky Puppy is an ever-evolving combination of talented musicians from all over, so it is difficult to know whom to expect at live performances. Last night we were lucky enough to have nine members of the band. This included two trumpets, one sax, two percussionists, a keyboardist, two guitars and a bass: the perfect set up for some incredibly groovy tunes.

    Snarky Puppy is one of the most pristine bands I have ever heard live. The musicians are so connected not only to each other, but also to the music, that they are able to change time, key and entire songs with a simple head nod or certain degree of eye contact. Many of their songs have intricate rhythms that can be hard to comprehend, but they are able to play them together so cleanly that they sound like one massive instrument instead of nine separate ones.

    There is a tremendous amount of respect among the members for musicality. Although the members of Snarky Puppy are all able to play fast and loud, they understand the value of dynamics and space within their music. Their restraint and control is equally as impressive as their chops and solos.

    The set consisted of some of their more well-known songs and some that were brand new. Each song was as impressive as the next and the crowd was able to groove with every minute of it. It felt like the show ended way too soon, but the night with Snarky Puppy did not end there.

    After the amazing concert, Snarky Puppy showed a screening of its new album Family Dinner Volume Two set to release Feb. 12 at The Screening Room down the street. The video explained the idea behind Snarky Puppy’s music. Its goal is to create connections with musicians from all over the world so they can share other people’s talents and expand both musically and socially as a band.

    Snarky Puppy was able to make a very personal connection with the Tucson community and put on a performance that I — and I am sure many others — will never forget.


    Follow Thea Van Gorp on Twitter.

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