The 2018 NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL in Rotterdam

13th – 15th July.

Michael League is the vibrant epicenter of Snarky Puppy. This contemporary jazz rock and funk band has shot up like a rocket over the past years and performs for a dedicated audience in sold-out clubs. This is mostly due to the Californian bassist and founder. At 34, Michael League is the youngest Artist in Residence in the history of North Sea Jazz and his career has been very impressive so far.

Not only is League the creative catalyst of the Snarky Puppy family, he has also made three impressive albums with Forq and started his own record label GroundUp. On it he released the debut of yet another heartwarming band brought forth from his creative mind: Bokanté. This eight-member group of outstanding musicians revolving around singer Malika Tirolien from Guadeloupe sounds multi-cultural, but in the most refreshing sense possible. Starting point: a combination of West-African music, delta blues and Led Zeppelin. Bokanté will perform in Congo with special guests on Sunday.

The energetic Michael League has a special relationship with the Netherlands. In 2013 Snarky Puppy recorded the album We Like It Here live in Kytopia studios and it landed the number-one spot on the iTunes Jazz Charts instantly. Together with the Metropole Orkest the group made the successful record Sylva and won a Grammy with it. For this reason, League was more than happy to collaborate with the Dutch major league orchestra again. This will happen in Maas, on Friday. For the occasion, the bassist will write new arrangements of the Snarky Puppy repertoire.

The most intimate and improvised lineup is on view in Hudson on Saturday, where League will form a fresh trio with two super heroes of modern Latin-American jazz who are both bandleaders as well: drummer Antonio Sanchez (known for his work with Pat Metheny and his Grammy Award-winning soundtrack for Birdman) and percussionist Pedrito Martinez (Wynton Marsalis, Bruce Springsteen).

For all three shows, Michael League’s performance will undoubtedly live up to his motto that music should be intelligent and also groove mercilessly.

The first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place in 1976 in the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague. Some numbers in those early days: six venues, three hundred artists and about nine thousand visitors. In this very first festival year internationally renowned jazz legends performed, such as Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, as well as most Dutch avant-garde artists.

In 2006, the festival moved to its current, bigger, location in Rotterdam. This year, the organisation expects more than a thousand musicians, spread out over 150 performances and fifteen different stages. Though the numbers of visitors were between 65.000 and 70.000 in recent years, the festival still manages to retain its intimate character.

North Sea Jazz is the largest indoor music festival in the world, known globally as the event where the past, present and future of jazz are featured within three days. Next to a firm base of jazz many genres will pass by, such as blues, soul, funk, hip hop, world, pop and much more. Next to enjoying top names from around the world, visitors get the chance to discover new favorite artists.

Click here for full programme.