Jim Funnell’s Word Out


“The mystery of the whole life has a great charm. … but when one wants to explain [ it ] words are not adequate.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Power of the Word

Led by New York-based pianist and composer Jim Funnell, “Word Out” offers a repertoire of postmodern jazz compositions/improvisations that are attuned to the global soundscape. Reveling in mixed breeds and playfully blossoming through constant dialogue, the band’s music draws from diverse traditions from around the world in a true spirit of celebration.

With Word Out, Jim has released two albums (Word Out and Spirit of the Snail), won the Composition Prize in 2011 at the “Trophées du Sunside” (Paris), and toured internationally, appearing at festivals and venues such as ShapeShifter Lab, Rockwood Music Hall (NY), Paris Music Festival, Sunset-Sunside, Improphile, Baiser Salé, Jazz à Vanves, Jazz de Mars, Jazz en Touraine (France), SOMETIME Kichijōji, JZ Brat, Royal Horse (Japan), and the Malta Jazz Festival.

Inspiration from literary sources (Ellul, Kundera, Musil, Orwell, Saint-Exupéry, Mérimée, Sartre…) as well as the visual arts often pervades Jim’s music. In resonance with Rilke’s perception of poetry, jazz composition and improvisation are apprehended as ideal vehicles for infinite shades of emotion:

“Most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

A third album featuring brand new original tunes alongside rearrangements of previous material written by Jim Funnell is currently in the works. Stay tuned! Word out.



This music is the singular result of a thorough reflection on rhythms, sounds, and colors.
Guillaume Lagrée, Le jars jase jazz

Led by Anglo-French charismatic pianist and inspired composer Jim Funnell, Word Out offers sophisticated yet accessible worlds.
– Basem Shalabi, L’Echo Républicain

These young musicians (Word Out) are simply fresh, alive, curious, open-minded, joyful, and listening to their music does heaps of good.
Guillaume Lagrée, Le jars jase jazz

Musicians associated with Jim Funnell’s Word Out:

  • Alex B. Smith, Dominique Muzeau, Steve Whipple, Gui Duvignau, Mátyás Szandai, Takashi Sugawa, Perrin Grace, Oliver Degabriele… (b)
  • Jeff Boudreaux, Noam Israeli, Peter Traunmueller, Elé Salif Howell, Lee Fish, John Betsch, Ryo Noritake, Dan Pugach, Thibault Perriard… (d)
  • Akiko Horii (per), Philippe Lopes De Sa (ts), Remee Ashley (tb), Isabelle Olivier (hrp)…