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Michael League crafts intimate festival from the GroundUp / Miami New Times

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Michael League isn't one to overcomplicate things. Even while presiding over his demanding role as bassist and bandleader of his instrumental jazz-fusion outfit Snarky Puppy, League has founded an independent record label and corresponding music festival, GroundUp, on top of maintaining an intensive tour schedule and a smattering of side projects. For most musicians, the acclaim of being one of the most respected bassists in contemporary music would be enough, but not for League. "I just like to realize ideas," he says. "I mean, if I have an idea to do something, I like to do it. And sometimes those things kind of overlap with each other, and that's when life gets complicated."

One such idea - is the GroundUp Music Festival, whose second-annual edition will take place this weekend, February 9 through 11, at the North Beach Bandshell. "We have a backstage area for the artists, and I think it was empty for the entire festival last year because the artists were out on the grounds checking out the gigs," League says, comparing the festival's atmosphere to a nice party in your friend's backyard.

The GroundUp Music Festival lineup includes; Snarky Puppy, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones Trio, the Wood Brothers, and Becca Stevens, among many others. 

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