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Jim Funnell

Anglo-French pianist and composer Jim Funnell started leading his own band in his early teens, performing at jazz clubs by the time he was in high school. Dedicating himself to the study of both classical and jazz piano, he was awarded a full tuition scholarship from Berklee College of Music, where he was exposed to a diversity of styles and cultures. Jim then decided to travel to Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, soaking up Latin America’s folklore and Afro-Latin rhythms.

Since then, he has launched a prolific recording career: five albums as a leader/co-leader of both his own group “Word Out” (modern jazz combo with groove and world tinges) and AfuriKo (African infused jazz duo with percussionist Akiko Horii) have already been released to this day. Jim’s colorful and well-rounded compositional style earned him the Composition Prize in 2011 at the “Trophées du Sunside” in Paris. In 2017, Jazz Magazine (France) featured Woandering, a duo record with saxophonist Philippe Lopes de Sa, as a “Révélation !” and included Jim’s arrangement of She’s Out of My Life (Michael Jackson) on the editorial board’s playlist.

A versatile musician, Jim has played and recorded with artists from across a wide musical spectrum such as David Fiuczynski, New York Gypsy All Stars, Chico Freeman, Ravy Magnifique, Tiger Okoshi, Benjamin de Roubaix, Flox, and, in his own band, bassist Mátyás Szandai, drummers Jeff Boudreaux or John Betsch, and harpist Isabelle Olivier. He has performed at numerous venues across sixteen countries (in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa) and festivals such as the London Jazz Festival, Balkan Trafic! (Brussels), Kathmandu Jazz Festival, Kanazawa Jazz Street (Japan), JazzQ (St. Petersburg), Malta Jazz Festival, Jazz en Touraine, Festival Cinéma d’Alès Itinérances, Festival des Musiques Sacrées de Paris (France), and Central Park SummerStage (New York).

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Multiple Reviews
Album Review
  • Tao by Geno Thackara
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“… on this record (“Woandering”), the piano is hardly ever content with merely accompanying, and the exercise of improvising is brought to a level of language and mutual listening on which boredom not once arises…”
- Franck Bergerot, Jazz Magazine (August 2017)

“This arrangement of Michael Jackson’s hyper-emotional ballad [ She's Out of My Life ] (“Off the Wall,” 1979) won't possibly leave you indifferent.”
- Jazz Magazine's “playlist” article (July 2017)

Autumn Leaves [...] began with a solo performance of Funnell on keyboard who was joined by Horii on cajon and the magic of their music slowly took over the venue

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Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


2007 - present
• freelance private instruction (piano, improvisation, music theory/composition, guitar)
2008 - 2009
• jazz piano and ensemble teacher, Conservatoire Municipal de Musique et de Danse (Mennecy, France)
2007 - 2008
• piano teacher (jazz and classical), Institut de Culture Musicale (Paris, France)

Clinic/Workshop Information

• jazz piano masterclass, Koyo Conservatory (Kobe, Japan)
• jazz masterclass (rhythm section), Euro Institute for Music and Arts (Hamrun, Malta)
• improvisation workshop, Conservatoire Municipal de Musique et de Danse (Mennecy, France)
• "Stylistic Interpretation" and "Musical Improvisation" workshops, Unidad Académica de Música de la UAZ (Zacatecas, México) & Escuela de Música aRtes Revueltas (Cholula, México)
• jazz piano masterclass, Foxborough High School (Foxborough, MA, USA)
• "Basic Musical Improvisation" workshop, Unidad Académica de Música de la UAZ (Zacatecas, México)
• latin music workshop, Booker T

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Live in Japan

Self Produced






Philippe Lopes de Sa Duo / Freedom Jazz Zone



AfuriKo / Funnelljazz


Spirit of the Snail

Jim Funnell / Funnelljazz


On the Far Side

AfuriKo / F-IRE



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