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Genres You Will Love
World: African- West Moods: Instrumental Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Jazz: World Fusion

By Location
FRANCE France European United States - New York

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“AfuriKo’s new music really flies in the face of jazz, opening up your ears to a world of possibilities.”

– Carol Banks Weber, Festival Peak (Feb. 2019)

AfuriKo – a Japanese portmanteau word combining “Afurika” (アフリカ) and the suffix “Ko” (子) which means “child” – is an African infused jazz duo comprised of percussionist Akiko Horii and pianist/keyboardist Jim Funnell. Like a modern-day griot, they celebrate traditional heritage from around the world through the prism of spellbinding grooves and eccentric harmonies.

Their first two albums – On the Far Side (2014) and Style (2016) – were produced with the support of SACEM (the French Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers). Their new opus Tao (2019), successfully funded on Kickstarter, is a jazz journey from ancestral Africa to NYC, steeped in deep grooves with shades of Funk, Pop, Reggae, Bulgarian, and Enka music.

Propelled into existence when Jim & Akiko’s paths crossed in Paris as a result of following a shared, irrepressible call to Africa, its culture, and its Diaspora, AfuriKo began experimenting in 2010. A playful blending of tones and rhythms came to life, and a unique dialogue between the ancestral stories of the djembe and the modern voice of digital pianos and synthesizers was quickly initiated.

The duo has toured extensively in the UK (London Jazz Festival, Cardiff University Concert Hall, Vortex Jazz Club), Japan (Kanazawa Jazz Street, Asahi Shimbun’s Asacom Hall), France (Sunset Sunside, Le Baiser Salé, Improphile), Germany (JazzLab), Holland (Theater Vrijburcht), Nepal (Kathmandu Jazz Festival, Jazz Upstairs), the United States (Rockwood Music Hall, Beats in Bliss Plaza), South Korea (Jazz Alley), and collaborated with artists such as Hiroshi Fukutomi (Japan), Ory Minie (French Polynesia), Eddie Parker, Chris Batchelor, Rob Luft (United Kingdom), Bill Sims, Jr. (United States), Jade Choi (South Korea), Bruno Wilhelm, Philippe Lopes de Sa, and Chris Hayward (France).

Since 2017, Akiko and Jim have been living in Queens, New York, letting the energy that emanates from the most ethnically diverse part of the world nourish their creative process on a daily basis.