Michael League is a bassist, guitarist, composer, arranger, producer, label owner, and bandleader based out of Brooklyn, New York.
As a military brat, he was born in southern California and grew up in both southern Alabama and northern Virginia. Michael attended the University of North Texas' jazz studies program for 4 years, then moved to nearby Dallas for another 3 years, where we 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).
Performing, recording, and production credits include Grammy Award winners Roy Hargrove, Kirk Franklin, Tommy Sims, John Popper, Gordon Chambers, Walter Hawkins, and Patti Austin, as well as Musiq Soulchild, Chris Potter, Robert Glasper, Ari Hoenig, Adam Rogers, Lionel Loueke, Lucy Woodward, Theo Bleckmann, DJ Logic, John Ellis, Marvin Sapp, Myron Butler & Levi, Bonerama, Keite Young, and Jason Marsalis among others.
Michael leads the instrumental music ensemble Snarky Puppy (named "Best Jazz Act" in the Dallas Observer Music Awards for 2008, 2009, and 2010), whose grass-roots approach to the changing music industry has met unprecedented success. Their most recent album, "groundUP," reached #3 on the US ITunes jazz charts and #14 on the Billboard jazz charts. His efforts as a bandleader and bassist earned him an interview in the Random House release "The New Face of Jazz" alongside the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Sonny Rollins.
Now in Brooklyn, Michael has his hands in dozens of pots. He plays regularly in over 20 New York-based groups, and spends the majority of his time doing string, horn, and full production for artists on both independent and major labels. In late 2011, he launched his own imprint, GroundUP Music, under Ropeadope Records.
Michael is passionately committed to music education and outreach, having given clinics at over 50 schools throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He also works closely with several non-profit organizations in the U.S.A. and holds an open-ended artist-in-residence position at Roanoke, Virginia's Jefferson Center for the Arts. He also holds a position as Visiting Faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, England, and teaches private lessons at The New School in New York City.
“I've played a lot of gigs that require one nice, supportive bass sound all night—Snarky Puppy is not one of them," says Michael. "I have to have clarity, beef, natural warmth, the versatility to handle ambitious effect choices, and the power and depth to support a deep, resonant keybass. I thought it was impossible to find a rig that could do it all without compromise, until now. Not to mention the fact that the people at Markbass really care about music, and sound. I spent 2 hours on the phone with them as they helped craft the perfect combination of gear for what I needed. Now, I can't imagine playing anything else.”
Markbass is proud to support, together with our friends at F Bass, a 6 day Ultimate Bass Camp (Mount Orford, Quebec, Canada - August 16-21) with our top-artist Michael League of Snarky Puppy.
Snarky Puppy, a 10-year-old jazz band that originated in Denton, won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance.