bio / discography

“Most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered.”

Rainer Maria Rilke’s description of the powerful effect of poetry resonates with Jim Funnell’s perception of jazz composition and improvisation as ideal vehicles for infinite shades of emotion. Jim’s love for sound parallels his fondness of the written word, and inspiration from literary sources often pervades his music.

In his teenage years, exposure to recordings by jazz piano masters such as Ahmad Jamal and Keith Jarrett encouraged Jim, from then on, to support his own vivid palette of tones and rhythms with a format of choice: the classic piano trio (on occasion augmented to a quartet or quintet). Since graduating from Berklee College of Music (where he studied on a full tuition scholarship under JoAnne Brackeen, Laszlo Gardony, Danilo Pérez, David Fiuczynski, Joe Lovano…), he has released two albums as a leader (Word Out and Spirit of the Snail) and won the Composition Prize at the “Trophées du Sunside” in Paris. Jim also co-founded AfuriKo, a colorful and atypical African infused jazz duo, with percussionist Akiko Horii. The unit has produced three albums since 2014 (On the Far Side, Style, and Tao), funded on Kickstarter and with awards from SACEM (French Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers).

Notable performances as a band leader/co-leader include venues and festivals such as ShapeShifter Lab, Rockwood Music Hall (New York City), Jazz Alley (Seoul), London Jazz Festival, Le Baiser Salé (Paris), Theater Vrijburcht (Amsterdam), JazzLab (Hamburg, Germany), Kathmandu Jazz Festival (Nepal), Kanazawa Jazz Street (Japan), Jazz en Touraine (France), and Malta Jazz Festival. As a sideman, Jim has played and recorded with percussionist Marcelo Woloski (Snarky Puppy), saxophonist Philippe Lopes de Sa, singer-songwriter Benjamin de Roubaix, electro/nu-reggae artist Flox, and contemporary microtonal jazz-rock guitarist David Fiuczynski to name a few.

Jim is also active as an educator, teaching both privately (currently at and in workshop/masterclass settings (BRICKS Music Salon in Tokyo, Cardiff University School of Music in Wales, Improphile in France, Koyo Conservatory in Kobe, Euro Institute of Music and Arts in Malta…)

In addition to music, literature, and art, Jim is into nature, languages, anthropology and all things human, shamanism, Taoism, Zen, qigong, jogging, and wholesome food!

Jim Funnell at All About Jazz

albums recorded as a bandleader

Spirit of the Snail_CD cover Word Out_CD cover

albums/EPs recorded with AfuriKo

Style_CD cover Style_CD cover
On the Far Side_CD cover
On the Far Side_CD cover

collaborations and sideman recordings

Mundo Por Conocer_CD cover Woandering_CD cover
Chansons d'Amour_CD cover All Must Disappear_CD cover
KiF Express_CD cover

as a bandleader and/or collaborations on albums featuring various artists

The New Old School_CD cover Ars Nova_CD cover