Each musician has technique to burn (and there are moments when they let it rip) but they're also extremely musical. The John Funkhouser Quartet is often wildly inventive and great fun to watch and listen to - they can also play with grace and sweetness.” (Middletown Eye)
“One can’t help but notice the assured individuality of the musicians’ work, each member of the Quartet complementing the others for synergistically effective results.” (Cadence Magazine)
“The styles and moods of this accomplished, often spellbinding collection range far and wide….distinctive in its extremes” (Boston Globe).
The John Funkhouser Sextet is a band of Musicians without Borders. With influences as wide ranging as Woody Guthrie, Thelonious Monk, Frank Zappa, Frederic Chopin, Sun Ra, Ravi Shankar, and Abdullah Ibrahim, the Sextet “employs complex rhythms, deep soulful moments, rock and passion and sensitivity.” (-Bebop Spoken Here). Each of Funkhouser’s expansive compositions inhabits a unique universe, while the band seamlessly integrates composed music with improvisation into “a whirling dervish of sound and light.” (Bop-n-Jazz.com)
The JFS began to take shape in 2000, soon after Funkhouser moved back to Boston from NYC to take a teaching job at Berklee College of Music. John, (playing bass), met Mike Connors and they immediately understood they had a common musical vision. They soon became the rhythm section in the Pierre Hurel Trio, Jerry Sabatini’s Sonic Explorers, and other bands. Soon after Greg Loughman moved to town in 2001, he became the bassist with the Sonic Explorers and John moved to keyboards. This musical friendship was a match made in heaven. The rhythm section formed a new Boston incarnation of the John Funkhouser Trio, and began playing all over the Northeastern USA to enthusiastic audiences.
After playing for several years and recording the CD Time as a tightly knit trio, John invited another good friend, Sonic Explorers band mate and guitarist Phil Sargent, to make it a quartet. Bonded by years of friendship as much as by shared music, the quartet felt like a single organism more than a band of individual virtuosos.
More recently, Funkhouser asked Sonic Explorers leader and trumpeter Jerry Sabatini and Sonic saxophonist Chris Veilleux to join and make it a sextet, essentially combining the John Funkhouser group with the Sonic Explorers, playing some of Funkhouser’s original music and some of Sabatini’s. With 16 years of music making under their belts as a band, this sextet is simpatico almost to the point of telepathy, and every concert is a Joyful Noise, full of passion, empathy, and surprise.
John Funkhouser’s groups have played at music festivals nationwide, including the Jazz In June festival in Oklahoma City, the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, TN, the Mellon Jazz Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and Jazz In The Sangres in Westcliffe, CO. While concentrating mostly on the Northeast in recent years, Funkhouser’s 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 Street Café, and ShapeShifter.
The band has four CDs of original material to its credit: Still (2013), Time (2010), FunkHouse II (2003), and FunkHouse (1998).