Snarky Puppy Cap Triumphant Year With Third GRAMMY Nomination, Announce Esperanza Spalding as “Artist At Large” At Their GroundUP Music Festival In Miami Beach, FL February 10-12 2017

Esperanza Spalding Joins Festival Line-Up That Includes Snarky Puppy, David Crosby, Laura Mvula, Chris Thile (Punch Brothers founder), John Medeski, Charlie Hunter, Shelly Berg, Terence Blanchard, Pedrito Martinez, Jacob Collier and many others

December 7, 2016 – Two-time GRAMMY Award winner Snarky Puppy – the “barnstorming, groove-centric instrumental act with a rabid fan base” (New York Times) – yesterday received their third GRAMMY nomination for their “big, rich and funky” (NPR Music) album Culcha Vulcha (GroundUP Music/Verve Label Group) in the “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” category. Also, as host of the first annual GroundUP Music Festival in Miami Beach, FL on February 10-12, 2017, the band is excited to announce the addition of four-time GRAMMY Award-winner Esperanza Spalding to the incredible line-up.  GroundUP Music’s Executive Director Paul Lehr is thrilled to announce Spalding will be “artist-at-large” for all 3 days at the festival, “with some exciting surprises in store for the audience and some unique collaborations and opportunities that should have people talking for a long time to come.”  The festival will feature a set from Snarky Puppy each day along with performances from an eclectic list of international superstars including two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee David Crosby, the new A Prairie Home Companion host and founder of the Punch Brothers, Chris Thile, mind-boggling guitar legend Charlie Hunter, Quincy Jones’ London-based phenom and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier (also just nominated for two Grammys), and the most celebrated Cuban conguero, Pédrito Martinez, along with dozens of other remarkable artists.   

The North Beach Bandshell’s Amphitheater and sprawling adjacent Palm Grove Park and beachfront complex will host the festival during the day with top local chefs serving inspired food and libations in the park.  Partner hotel, the Deauville Beach Resort - site of the Beatles’ first U.S. appearance after the Ed Sullivan Show – will serve as the venue for late night concerts on two stages featuring new artists and surprises.

Since its inception 13 years ago, Snarky Puppy’s grass-roots approach to the changing music industry has met major critical and commercial success.  The band’s approach will be no different as they debut their inaugural festival. The GroundUP Music Festival will focus on creating the ideal environment for both listeners and performers. This will be achieved by a limited capacity of 1,500 at the festival each day, a series of special events led by the performers themselves to break down the barriers between audience and artists (ranging from film screenings and music business panels to scavenger hunts), a central hub for artists and attendees at The Deauville, and an integrated and informal environment which will allow attendees to interact with the artists.

Read the New York Times feature on the band from earlier this year here.

Watch a NPR Music documentary on the band here.

As “the most popular jazz band on the planet” (Downbeat), Snarky Puppy had a long list of options for festival locations. They ultimately chose Miami for the ease of international travel, climate, global feel of the city, and richness in musical culture, with the goal of creating a lasting impact on the community. A global phenomenon, Snarky Puppy’s world tour took them to 22 countries and 5 continents in in 2016, and they will bring that international flavor to Miami with the GroundUP Music Festival.

Reserve a space here:

Confirmed GroundUP Music Festival Performers Include:

Snarky Puppy, Esperanza Spalding, David Crosby, Terence Blanchard, Laura Mvula, Chris Thiele & Michael Daves, Jacob Collier, Charlie Hunter feat. Jeff Coffin, John Medeski's Mad Skillet, Carlos Malta & Pife Muderno, Bill Laurance, Maz, Shelly Berg, Lee Boys feat. Roosevelt Collier, Pedrito Martinez Group, Banda Magda, Lucy Woodward, House of Waters, Michelle Willis, FORQ, Funky Knuckles, Bokanté



Formed in 2013 by bandleader/bassist/composer Michael League, Snarky Puppy is a “D.I.Y. juggernaut” (New York Times) that has won two GRAMMY awards in the last three years. Through it all, the band has kept a rigorous touring schedule of 100-200 shows per year. They are a collective of sorts, with as many as 25 members in regular rotation.  Each maintains busy schedules as sidemen (with such artists as Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and D’Angelo), producers (for Kirk Franklin, and David Crosby), and solo artists (many of whom are on the band’s independent 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.



GroundUP Music was created to serve as an artistic oasis in the ever-changing world of independent music. The company was founded in 2010 by Michael League as a new home for his band Snarky Puppy and other independent artist he respected. GroundUP Music artists include David Crosby, Charlie Hunter, Michelle Willis, The Funky Knuckles, FORQ, Bill Laurance, and House of Waters, to name a few. As of 2017, GroundUP has continued to adjust to changing times by expanding beyond the traditional role of a record label. It is gradually changing into an artist services company with the aim of guiding like-minded musicians through the label’s tributaries, including a worldwide distribution deal through Verve/Universal Music, a publishing company run through Kobalt Music, an education foundation poised to redefine “music school” and the company’s debut music festival.   


For more information on Snarky Puppy or GroundUP Music please contact Rob Krauser at REK Room Media, or 917.703.8361, or Olga Makrias at Verve Label Group, 212.333.1485 or

For more information on GroundUP Music Festival, please contact Rob Krauser at REK Room Media, or 917.703.8361 or Karla Arguello at Rhythm Foundation, or 305-672-5202.