Trombonist Kieran McLeod previews the gig by Snarky Puppy at Koko in Camden on March 13th. Kieran was a participant in a week-long residency in Manchester, when the US band worked with 13 participants invited from all across the UK, culminating in a showcase concert. He writes about the experience:
I first came across Snarky Puppy by word of mouth; hearing that they had played a great gig at XOYO to lots of young people in the London Jazz Festival 2012. The name stuck in my mind and I checked out some some of their videos online. When I heard about the opportunity to take part in a residency with the band I looked at the application process and thought: why not!
For me, the week focused on three key areas: composition, performance and social media. The aim was to get 13 musicians, who had never met, to create a set of brand new music. I did not expect to meet such a diverse bunch of amazing musicians and lovely people. We had been chosen on merit of the fact that we came from such wildly different musical backgrounds.
Each day we broke down into three small groups to develop compositions and arrangements for the gig then we would rejoin to play as the large ensemble. [Snarky Puppy's] Michael League, Robert 'Sput' Searight and Bill Laurence each took turn to lead these sessions. Thanks to their expertise, ten great songs came out of the process and we all came out inspired by their creativity.
In the evenings we had the opportunity to see them perform as a trio a few times; at their own gig and at jam sessions. Their sense of groove was immense and by the Friday we had all experienced playing with this level of musicianship. It was something special.
The Snarky Puppy residency was organised by Wall of Sounds who are part of a new online platform, Pied Piper Player. Each day we had challenges to complete including recording ourselves and each other, and sharing stories online. By the end of the week the 13 of us had uploaded hours of video and many photos of the process. It was a great exploration into self-publicity which definitely widened my view of the matter. I didn't expect to take to recording myself talking to camera as I did but it was definitely an eye opener.
The week was a great experience where I made friends and played music to a level that I was personally amazed by. Totally inspiring.
Snarky Puppy play at Koko in Camden on Wednesday 13th March.
Kieran's photos and videos from the residency, along with those of the other collaborators and the members of Snarky Puppy themselves, are online at HERE.
Find out more about Kieran and hear his own music HERE.