Michael League, leader of the Snarky Puppy and Bokanté bands, is ready to answer all the questions you have. This is what the session is about. Carefully prepare your questions and open your ears wide when Michael answers them. Surely it will not leave you indifferent!
Aimed at musicians of all levels.
Michael League is a 4-time Grammy Award-winning 5-time nominated producer and musician based out of Catalonia, Spain. He is the creator and bandleader of instrumental music ensemble Snarky Puppy and world music group Bokanté, founder of the record label and music curation source GroundUP Music, and Artistic Director of the GroundUP Music Festival and GroundUP Music Foundation.
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 spent 9 years, then relocated to his current home of Catalonia, Spain. As an instrumentalist and producer, he has worked with a diverse range of artists in pop (Laura Mvula, Lalah Hathaway, Joe Walsh, Michael McDonald, Rufus Wainwright), folk (David Crosby, Chris Thile), gospel (Kirk Franklin, Walter Hawkins, Marvin Sapp, Israel Houghton, Myron Butler), jazz (Terence Blanchard, Esperanza Spalding, Joshua Redman, Wayne Krantz, Chris Potter), electronic (Squarepusher, Daedelus, Tokimonsta), and world music (Salif Keïta, Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club, Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyate, Susana Baca, Kardeş Türküler, Väsen).
As a sophomore in college, Michael formed the instrumental ensemble Snarky Puppy. As producer, primary composer and bandleader for the group over the last fifteen years, he has earned three Grammy awards and played over 1500 concerts on six continents. 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 5 different continents. Bokanté spent 2017 touring around the world in support of their debut album, Strange Circles. Their second album, What Heat, a collaboration with the Metropole Orkest under the baton of Jules Buckley, was released in fall of 2018 and nominated for “Best World Music Album” in the 2020 Grammy Awards.
GroundUP Music, formed in 2011, has expanded 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, Andrew Bird, The Wood Brothers, Robert Glasper, Concha Buika, Terence Blanchard, Joshua Redman, Jacob Collier, Tank and the Bangas, Chris Thile, Knower, and Pedrito Martinez, among many others.
Michael is passionately committed to music education and outreach, having given clinics and masterclasses at over 200 schools around the world. In 2020, alongside GroundUP Music Festival Director and GroundUP Music Foundation co-founder and CEO Paul Lehr, Michael co-founded the GroundUP Music Foundation, which seeks to advance music education incentives throughout 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.