As many fans gear up to see Snarky Puppy at their inaugural GroundUP Music Festival, those in the know are also highly anticipating the debut of Bokanté. The new project is spearheaded by Snarky Puppy’s de facto leader, Michael League, along with an all-star cast of musicians from the GroundUP family and more.

League tells us that the new band is a “weird combination of West African music, Delta blues, and Led Zeppelin (with lyrics in Creole and French) made up of musicians and friends from all over the world.” Bokanté will have a new album out in May via GroundUP, but has shared their very first video for the song “Jou Ké Ouvè” today. Watch below.

Bokanté already has plans to tour the world in 2017, with dates planned in USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Europe, and South America. The band has quite the diverse cast of musicians as well, with players spanning three generations and hailing from United States, Sweden, Japan, and Guadeloupe/Canada. Not only that, but its members have performed with the likes of Paul Simon, Salif Keita, Yo-Yo Ma, Kirk Franklin, Carly Simon, Esperanza Spalding, David Crosby, Joe Lovano, Sting, Karl Denson, Maria Schneider, Gretchen Parlato, Danilo Perez, Lalah Hathaway, Susana Baca, Laura Mvula, Assad Brothers, and many more.

With all of that in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Bokanté translates to “Exchange,” signifying the free flow of ideas between the band’s multicultural members. Take a look at the band’s lineup, below.


Malika Tirolien – vocals
Jamey Haddad – percussion
André Ferrari – percussion
Keita Ogawa – percussion
Chris McQueen – guitar
Bob Lanzetti – guitar
Roosevelt Collier – lap and pedal steel guitars
Michael League – baritone guitar and bass