GroundUP Fest, Round Two: Snarky Puppy + Charlie Hunter, Robert Glasper, Joshua Redman, the Wood Brothers, Flecktones Trio, Lionel Loueke + more

It’s hard to recall attending a small-ish music bash with as much eclectic musical firepower as last February’s GroundUP Music Festival, anchored by oversized jazz+ ensemble Snarky Puppy (pictured), and headed up by that band’s bassist-writer Michael League and the GroundUP label folks.

GroundUP was held in and around the North Beach Bandshell Amphitheater on Miami Beach,  and limited to 1,500 attendees. Meaning: It never felt overcrowded. (Others in this category? The now-defunct Bear Creek in Live Oak comes to mind, but, musically, it was a different beast).

The well-organized three days’ worth of high-end performances drew from jazz, rock, pop, world music, fusion, folk and more, with loads of daytime shows followed by some amazing late-night concerts at the venerable Deauville, the host hotel (now closed for renovations, but expected to be available for the fest). And it all took place during a spectacular time of year to enjoy an outdoor event in South Florida — sunny days, low  humidity, and cool breezes at night.

A measure of the musical-communing vibe of GroundUP: Last year, the artists, even high-profile performers like David Crosby and Terence Blanchard, roamed around, checking out bands and chatting with listeners.

The lineup for the second edition, Feb. 9-11 at the same location, was just announced. Another long list of great artists will engage in various modes of magical music making, with a heavy dose of deep grooves, improvisations, rhythms from all over the globe, and songcraft.

Ahead: Snarky Puppy shows each night, plus The Wood Brothers; The Flecktones Trio (Bela, Vic and Futureman); Robert Glasper; Charlie Hunter & Silvana Estrada; artist-at-large Lionel Loueke; Joshua Redman; Michael League & Larnell Lewis; Eliades Ochoa (Buena Vista Social Club); Kitailo feat. Buika; JoJo Mayer/Nerve; Knower; Mark Guiliana’s BEAT Music; Under One Sun; Weedie Braimah & the Hands of Time; Paris Monster; C4 Trio; Harold López-Nussa Trio; Banda Magda; Becca Stevens; FORQ; Roosevelt Collier; Breastfist; Sirintip; and Alina Engibaryan.  

snarky puppyHere’s hoping that League’s great new world music/blues outfit Bokante, who made their impressive US debut at the 2017 fest, will be added to the lineup for 2018.

I had a blast at last year’s GroundUP — here’s my review for JazzTimes mag. For all the details on round two, click here

One thought on “GroundUP Fest, Round Two: Snarky Puppy + Charlie Hunter, Robert Glasper, Joshua Redman, the Wood Brothers, Flecktones Trio, Lionel Loueke + more

  1. Don’t forget to mention that Paul Allen attended and was dancing in the crowd. The Deauville hotel has closed so Paul is looking for other venues. The after shows may be at Ball and Chain

    Sent from my iPad


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