“Music that breathes, pulsates, bifurcates, trifles. That is unclassifiable and played with exquisite delicacy, in the course of sly improvisations. Elaborate yet sincere and spontaneous all the while. AfuriKo is an absolutely atypical duo.” – Afrique Asie
Akiko Horii (percussion) and Jim Funnell (keyboards) have a special creative connection characterized by an instinctive approach to their music and an almost telepathic way of interacting on stage. Despite the fact that AfuriKo is “just” a duo, their unified voice sounds large and full and is driven by pure primal energy, while still retaining an acoustic and transparent quality.
AfuriKo has released two albums since 2014, both of which were chosen to receive full funding by SACEM, the French Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers. They have toured extensively in Japan (Kanazawa Jazz Street), the UK (Cardiff University Concert Hall), France, Germany (JazzLab), Holland, Nepal (Jazzmandu), the United States, and collaborated with artists such as Bill Sims, Jr., Eddie Parker, Bruno Wilhelm, Hiroshi Fukutomi, and Chris Hayward.
They are currently working on a 3rd release, which will crystallize their recent personal journey (since Style). Experiences that highly transformed both the tandem’s life and music, such as being on the road for a full year (Japan, Nepal, Europe) and finally settling down in New York City, have been nourishing the creative process for this album. Currently performing in and around their new hometown, AfuriKo is also gearing up for their upcoming Japan tour in November.
- Cardiff University Concert Hall (2017), as part of the university’s concert series, featuring Eddie Parker (jazz flautist, composer, and founding member of legendary UK 1980’s big band Loose Tubes).
- JazzLab (2017): performance at Volt, a hip electro / techno dance club in Hamburg (Germany), organized by a dynamic collective of musicians dedicated to bringing cutting edge jazz music to young audiences in the city.
- Jazzmandu (2016, also known as Kathmandu Jazz Festival): the “Biggest Jazz Party in the Himalayas” brings artists from the four corners of the world to Nepal. Concerts at various locations including the Alliance Française de Katmandou, Jazz Upstairs, Summit Hotel, Kantipur Temple House…
- Style CD release tour (2016): performances throughout France, the United Kingdom, and Japan including venues such as Les Disquaires (Paris), Southampton Modern Jazz Club, PARRJAZZ (Liverpool), Vortex Jazz Club (London), University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield), Valentine Drive (Nagoya), Heaven Aoyama (Tokyo)…
- World Music Festival (2016): a journey through richly brocaded and culturally mixed universes organized by the Conservatoire and the town of Chilly-Mazarin (France)
- Le Cap / Villes des Musiques du Monde (2016): concert in Aulnay-sous-Bois (France) with saxophonist Bruno Wilhelm and Grammy Nominee Bill Sims, Jr., as opening act for leading acoustic blues singer and songwriter Eric Bibb and French harmonica player Jean-Jacques Milteau
- Congahead video recordings (2016, 2015): founder of famous brand Latin Percussion and photographer Martin Cohen features leading players in Latin, Jazz, Salsa, African and World Music on his popular YouTube channel
- Kanazawa Jazz Street (2016, 2014, 2013): festival that gathers world class musicians from around Japan and abroad. Notable performances at the Ana Crowne Plaza and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
- Festival “Sons Mêlés” (2015): classical music, lyrical song and world jazz in unusual locations that are features of French new town Sénart’s heritage
- L’UMJ Jazze les Voûtes and “portes ouvertes aux Frigos” (2015, 2014, 2013): concerts organized by the French jazz musicians’ union (Union des Musiciens de Jazz) and held within Les Frigos, a Parisian site and association for artistic production and creation. 200 artists work on the site daily.
- Jazz sur Seine (2014): festival held in the many jazz clubs of Paris and the Parisian Region. Concert at renowned venue Sunset-Sunside
- On the Far Side CD release tour (2014): performances throughout the United Kingdom, France, and Japan including venues such as Jazz at Dempsey’s (Cardiff), Jazz at the Lescar (Sheffield), L’Entrepôt (Paris), Improphile (Chartres), Nardis (Kashiwa), le club Jazz (Kyoto)…
- JazzCanDance (2014, 2013): “summer sound sessions” festival in Eholfing (Germany)
- Asahi Shimbun Osaka Head Office – ASA-COM Hall (2012), as part of their long-running monthly concert series, which was launched on the Japanese national newspaper’s 110th anniversary in 1989
- Cardiff University – School of Music (United Kingdom, 2017): West African drumming and dance workshop
- Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (United Kingdom, 2017): West African drumming and dance workshop
- Jazzmandu (Nepal, 2016): Vocal and Rhythm Workshop
- Middlesex University – School of Media and Performing Arts (United Kingdom, 2016)
- Union des Musiciens de Jazz (French jazz musicians’ union) (Paris, 2013-2016): regular “Ghanaian Grooves” weekly classes and monthly workshops
- Munich International Ballet School (Germany, 2013): Pilates & West African dance workshop
- Cardiff University – School of Music (United Kingdom, 2013): West African drumming and dance workshop
- Full funding (“aide à l’autoproduction“) from French performing rights organization SACEM for the production of AfuriKo’s second album Style (2016)
- Full funding (“aide à l’autoproduction“) from French performing rights organization SACEM for the production of AfuriKo’s debut album On the Far Side (2014)