Snarky Puppy’s Michael League fuses his groove-driven world with international influences featuring band members who have played with everyone from Paul Simon through Yo-Yo Ma to The Lee Boys.
Bokanté is a band conceived by Snarky Puppy founder and GroundUP Music creator Michael League, the process of formation was all but conventional. The music and some of the melodies were written by League, demoed while on tour with other bands, and then sent to vocalist Malika Tirolien with lyrical concepts attached. Tirolien then wrote lyrics and melodies, demoing and ping-ponging the new content back to League.
Two-time Grammy award-winning guitarists Michael League, Chris McQueen, and Bob Lanzetti (all from Snarky Puppy), percussion legend Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Sting), pedal and lap steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys, Karl Denson), and unplaceable percussionists André Ferrari (Väsen) and Keita Ogawa (Banda Magda, Yo-Yo Ma) come together as Bokanté to create a diverse ensemble rich in groove, melody, and soul. The word bokanté means ‘exchange’ in Creole, the language of Tirolien’s youth growing up on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Now living in Montreal, she stands among eight musicians from four continents, each one accomplished in their own right and well versed in music far beyond that of their point of origin.
Last summer the band took their thrilling live show on an international tour appearing at WOMAD, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival and many more. 2018 brings exciting times for Bokanté and their rapidly increasing fan base. Following the success of their debut album, Strange Circles, a second album is to be recorded with Metropole Orkest along with more international touring. Bokanté are a force to be reckoned with and 2018 will see the badn further enhancing the incredible impact they have already begun to make.
‘One of the best surprises of the year was a blistering set by the newly-formed international ensemble Bokanté…. Percussion and guitar-heavy (including lap and pedal steel), the band’s unusual instrumentation, evocative compositions (check Strange Circles) and searing energy made this one of the festival’s most memorable concerts’ – Jazz Times