by Chandler Christopher

Petite League is the “Sandlot of bands,” a gleaming, jam-rock band that started in the flourishing house-show arena of Syracuse, New York. Currently based in Queens, New York, Lorenzo Gillis Cook formed the band in 2015. Lorenzo grew up in Brussels, Belgium, where he spoke French and started a successful band called ‘Spark Alaska.’ As the drinking age of Belgium is 16, Lorenzo began playing gigs in local bars at an extremely young age. Touring regionally and playing in front of large crowds (and even opening up for The Vaccines) groomed the adolescent musician’s passion for writing and performing. Cook’s skills and embodiment of composing music evolved the musician’s taste and abilities, leading to the bubblegum lo-fi sounding Petite League.  

Upon graduating from an international Belgium high school, Lorenzo made the decision to attend college at Syracuse University (mainly because he was a big fan of the lacrosse team). A student in the Bandier program (music business school), Cook was naturally surrounded by the do-it-yourself arts community that Syracuse epitomized. Now in his late 20’s, Lorenzo admits that when he first arrived at school, he had mostly planned to put his band-playing-days behind him and focus on schoolwork and his future.

It wasn’t until he saw some of his friends playing house-shows around campus that Lorenzo felt compelled to dive back into the scene. And with this, Petite League was formed. Growing up as a big fan of sports, Cook chose the name Petitie League as a word-play on Little League baseball. Independently writing and recording every instrument except the drums (which are still played by original bandmate Henry Schoonmaker), Cook set out to consciously make sounds that echoed his musical persona.

The band’s most recent album, Joyrider (2021), is a skillfully produced collection of joyful rhythms. As Petite League’s most impressive project to date, Joyrider was catapulted by the emergence of Covid-19. After being laid off from his day job near the start of the pandemic, Lorenzo was thrilled to fully dive into Petite League and begin touring across the United States. The band was in the middle of their first west-coast tour when they were shut down by the new social restrictions introduced. Indefinitely stripped of the opportunity to tour, Cook resiliently immersed himself into creating Joyrider. The band’s highly anticipated first show back will be an outdoor music festival in New York City this July, 2021. Expect updates on an upcoming September tour from the enticing Lorenzo Gillis Cook of Petite League. Impassioned with a lust for engaging with the sphere of music, Petite League is a project that will continue to immerse itself into new and innovative heights. 

Check out some of Petite League's tunes and support artists by following them on their socials linked below! :)