Snarky Puppy performing at the opening night of the GroundUP Music Festival at the North Beach Bandshell. Photo courtesy Ground Up Music.
The fourth annual edition of the GroundUP Music Festival, held at the North Beach Bandshell over the Valentine Day´s weekend, was a smartly curated showcase for creative music (borderlines between genres were simply ignored) playing out in a beautiful setting and a low-key atmosphere. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat.
Created and produced by Paul Lehr, CEO of GroundUP Music, Snarky Puppy’s artist-run label, and bassist, composer, and Snarky Puppy instigator Michael League, who is also the festival’s artistic director, the festival reflects some of the group’s musical curiosity and aesthetics and also suggests a collaborative spirit at work that feels at once ambitious and down-to-earth. (The event is presented in conjunction with the local Rhythm Foundation, which manages the Bandshell)
Obviously, the performances are the attraction and the anchor of the GroundUP Music Festival. But outdoor music events are cultural contraptions, as much musical feasts as they are social gatherings and businesses. They have many moving parts which, because of their different purposes, often do not fit right. Here, they do.