Feb. 7th: The John Funkhouser Group

8:00 pm, Tickets $15 HERE or at the door

The John Funkhouser Group’s music is full of empathy, swing, profound intimacy, joy and playfulness. Their music is engaging and eclectic, with influences from South Africa, the Great American Songbook, Appalachia, India, New Orleans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and much more. Along with Funkhouser on keys is Jerry Sabatini (trumpet), Chris Veilleux (sax), Phil Sargent (guitar), Greg Loughman (bass), and Mike Connors (drums) – a group of forward-thinking jazz musicians who “play with grace and sweetness,” according to Middletown Eye.  

The title of their 2018 album Brothers, as Funkhouser explains, comes from his relationship with his fellow band mates: “Improvised music has a curious and beautiful quality whereby you can get on stage with a musician you have never met before, play a set or two of music, and instantly develop a deep, lasting and even intimate friendship.” Funkhouser has played with these musicians for close to 20 years, so the musical friendship has grown exponentially with time. ‘Brothers’ is the title “because that’s what we are at this point,” he says. “I think the bond that has formed between us, in all humility, shows in our spontaneity, spirit of exploration, freedom to take musical chances and say something controversial or to reveal feelings and thoughts that would remain guarded in less familiar and sympathetic company.” 

The John Funkhouser Group has headlined the Jazz In June festival in Oklahoma City and played at major music festivals nationwide, including the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, TN, the Mellon Jazz Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and Jazz In The Sangres in Westcliffe, CO. The band has played in such New York clubs as the Knitting Factory, Small’s, ShapeShifter and Cornelia St. Café.

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