By Corey Brehaut
The six-person jazz fusion band Snaggle is comprised almost entirely of alumni from the Humber College music program. Their website describes them as “if funk, rock, metal and a bunch of other styles all got drunk at a jazz club.”
Nick MacLean, Snaggle’s keyboard player, said the band was going to be called Snaggletooth until they discovered the name was taken by a Vancouver Motörhead tribute band.
“So we decided to go with Snaggle. It just seemed to fit the band’s sound. It was kind of fun,” said MacLean.
Snaggle was founded in 2012 when MacLean played at bassist Doug Moore’s final recital. They decided to do a recording project as part of their degree.
“We worked on a bunch of tunes, got a bunch of guys together and formed a band. We’ve been going ever since,” MacLean said.
The band was formed as a session band so that people who want to record an album can turn to Snaggle.
“If there’s a horn player or a vocalist who wants to cut an album but doesn’t have a band – we’re a band,” said MacLean.
Their community service doesn’t end there.
Snaggle also does jazz improvisation workshops for high schools in the GTA. They’ve been doing it for three years and hope to continue in the future.
Brian Legere is a teacher at the Bishop Allen Academy. He brought Snaggle in as guest instructors for one such workshop.
“I like their approach,” said Legere. “They took [the students] through the process of playing very simple stuff and getting over the fear factor which is the number one thing we need to do as teachers when teaching improv,” he said.
“It’s not off the table,” MacLean said when asked if they had any plans for more community outreach programs in the future.
Snaggle is passionate about the music industry. They will always be advocates for music and regret that music has become devalued in modern society.
“Back in the 40s gigging musicians were able to make a decent livable wage. Now it’s changed a lot,” said MacLean. “It’s important to take a stand. It’s important to push back when your own ability to make a livable wage is being threatened.”
They released their first album in September 2013 and they have an EP due out in March that will feature three more Humber grads.
“We’re always kind of trucking and doing our own thing but we always come together to do Snaggle,” said bassist Doug Moore when asked about the future of the band.