World jazz African inspired duo AfuriKo was born in Paris in 2010, of the encounter between Japanese percussionist Akiko Horii and Anglo-French pianist and composer Jim Funnell. Akiko graduated from CalArts (the famous arts school in Los Angeles founded by Walt Disney), which she attended on a scholarship, while Jim earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, the prestigious Bostonian jazz institution from which he was awarded the very coveted “Full Tuition Scholarship.”
The duo released two albums, On the Far Side (2014) and Style (2016), both of which received funding (“aide à l’autoproduction“) from SACEM (French performing rights organization). They perform regularly in Japan (at Kanazawa Jazz Street festival for instance, as well as in numerous jazz clubs) and in Europe (France, United Kingdom, Germany…). Recently, they were invited by French festival Villes et Musiques du Monde to take part in saxophonist Bruno Wilhelm’s project “Crossings” and play at the CAP (Aulany-sous-Bois), opening for Eric Bibb and Jean-Jacques Milteau.
Since 2015, they travel to the East Coast of the United States regularly, where they have given concerts, collaborated with musicians from the New York scene (“Jazz Punk” virtuoso guitarist David Fiuczynski for example, or Bill Sims, Jr., master bluesman and Grammy Nominee in 2013), and shot several live videos at Martin Cohen’s studio Congahead (Martin is an entrepreneur and founder of the renowned instrument brand Latin Percussion).
For AfuriKo, their new album Style represents a true shamanic journey, the quest for a unified voice, one that integrates jazz harmonies, the freedom of improvisation, and spellbinding West African grooves…