The John Funkhouser Trio is an energetic, accessible blend of modern jazz, funk, blues, 20th century classical, Indian classical, and European and American folk music which create a funky, groove oriented, fresh and original sound. Although the band consists of the standard jazz trio instrumentation of piano, bass and drums, the sound of the band is anything but standard. Fired by Berklee Professor John Funkhouser’s “explosive piano playing” (Boston Globe) and set in bold relief by his “exquisite, tight originals” (The Octopus, Champaign, IL) the band stretches the limits of traditional jazz forms. One piece in the band’s working repertoire is over half an hour of continuous music. Funkhouser draws for inspiration on great composers of extended musical works from all genres, like Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky, and Phish leader Trey Anistasio. Smoothly integrating composed music with improvisation, “FunkHouse takes the listener on a ride through the gamut of emotional territories,” (North Denver Tribune, Denver, CO), from wild, funky romps to sumptuous, Keith Jarrett inspired ballads to burning modern jazz, often in unusual meters. As pianist Kenny Werner put it, the band is “definitely on to something special.”
The John Funkhouser Trio is developing an increasing reputation, building its enthusiastic fan base one concert at a time. The band has headlined the Jazz In June festival in Oklahoma City, and has played at several major music festivals, including the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, TN, the Mellon Jazz Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and Jazz In The Sangres in Westcliffe, CO. They have shared festival billings with the likes of Tuck & Patti, Javon Jackson, Mose Allison, Chicago, and Jethro Tull. The Trio has mounted two national tours, performing in nineteen cities including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Kansas City and Denver. The band has played in such New York clubs as the Knitting Factory, Small’s, and Cornelia St. Café. Funkhouser’s Trio was based in New York City until 2000, and is now based in Boston with a new rhythm section of Mike Connors on drums and Greg Loughman on bass. Please see the Bio pages for further info about the members of the band.
The band has three CDs of original material to its credit: FunkHouse, released in 1998 and FunkHouse II, released in 2003, which includes two extended suites and three shorter compositions, and Time, released in 2010.