ponder began in 2015 as “Ponder the Giraffe”, a trio based at SUNY Geneseo. While in school, the group recorded ‘From the Porch to the Curb’ and ‘These Words’, an eclectic set of songs written with the intention of finding a sound that the group could start carving out after graduating. In that time they played support slots for groups like New Politics and Jimkata, while also appearing on the bill for the Rochester Fringe Festival, Buffalove Festival, and Music is Art Festival.
After college graduation the band decided to make Buffalo, NY their home, and changed the band name to simply "ponder". ponder has made a name for themselves playing venues and festivals around western New York and its surrounding areas. In 2017, the group solidified with full time members Sam Shafer (guitar/vocals), Andy Hogan (bass/vocals) and Gabe Birkby (vocals/guitar) forming the core of the group. ponder later added featured musicians Andy Fisher (trumpet), Paul Sottnik (piano), Trevor Jennings (percussion) and Marcus Peters (drums), before releasing their new single, ‘Fits the Scene’ in September 2018. The current summer lineup features the band along with drummer Josh Peets and violinist Alyssa Wainwright.
In 2018, ponder shared the stage with such touring bands as LITZ, After Funk, The Werks, BIG Something, Mungion, Formula 5, and Kung Fu. The band also had appearances at “Cobblestone Live Music and Arts Festival”, “Music is Art Festival”, and “Rock Autism Music Festival”, adding to a list of previous appearances at “Buffalove 2016” and the “Rochester Fringe Festival” in 2016 & 2017. ponder has toured throughout NYS as well as into Boston and Burlington, VT. Thus far in 2019, ponder has visited Hamilton, ON, Montreal, QC, Burlington, VT, and many spots around New York such as Albany, Plattsburgh, and Buffalo.
With plans to release new music, as well as more touring, festival appearances, and studio work, ponder is poised to bring their engaging brand of music to many new fans. The band is currently working in their studio to garner material for upcoming spring and summer shows.