Jazz pianist JoAnn Funk melds her considerable jazz piano chops, her wide ranging voice and her arranging skills in all that she does. She began her career as a classical pianist and quickly found her true love in jazz piano. Her singing voice has a surprising range and she is well known for her arrangements that make each song unique. A charismatic presence with world wide appeal, she has been performing steadily for her entire career, in clubs, and for concerts and festivals. She and her bassist Jeff Brueske are currently in her seventh season of Jazz at The Lobby Bar at the elegant Saint Paul Hotel in St Paul, Minnesota, a gig that is reminiscent of the old Algonquin type rooms in New York. The duo are uniquely attuned to each other and musically matched. She has four CDs to her credit: Holidays, Solo Piano, Pick Yourself Up and the recently released Jazz in The Lobby Bar.
JoAnn Funk doesn’t sing a song as much as she whispers it in your ear. Sometimes her voice is silky and warm; sometimes it’s hot; sometimes it tickles. She’s part Blossom Dearie, part Dusty Springfield, a bit Nellie McKay, a hint of Norah Jones, a dash of Stacey Kent, a splash of Diana Krall (like a smoky Scotch on ice), yet somehow all those references to other singers the more you listen to JoAnn. At first you can’t help wondering, “Who does she sound like?” and then you realize—she sounds like herself. It’s what we want from every singer … Bebopified 4/2/2011
JoAnn Funk is perhaps our answer to Diana Krall-- a first class pianist who happens to also have a first-class voice which she uses to cover a wide range of material, from the classics of the Great American Songbook to Brazilian, contemporary blues, pop and even country writers -- George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Blossom Dearie, Peggy Lee, Waylon Jennings, Leonard Cohen. JoAnn defies comparison-- she has hints of many but the sum is uniquely JoAnn. Bassist Jeff Brueske is an ideal foil ... Twin Cities Jazz Festival Highlights 2015
Just when you think you never want to hear another version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” along comes jazz singer and pianist JoAnn Funk with one so idiomatic and enchanting that it seems like a brand-new song. Her voice, her arrangements, and her timing are sui generis, and she has the ideal musical partner in bassist Jeff Brueske. The CD is named for the place they have performed most Fridays and Saturdays for the past seven years, the elegant lobby of the Saint Paul Hotel ... MinnPost Pamela Espeland 5/15/2015
She’s an accomplished pianist and a chameleonic vocalist. She can offer several different voices on the same song. She’s partial to a girlish coquette (the Marilyn Monroe evoking “Someone to Watch Over Me”) and a breathy balladeer (the country tinged “Anything You Ask”). But she’s at her best with her more sophisticated vocals on “You Fascinate Me So”. ... Minneapolis Star Tribune Jon Bream 5/15/2015
On her album "Pick yourself up", she brings her soft, sultry pipes to the music...emphasizing the notes and lyrics beautifully. The song "Dance Me to the End of Love", dances her words with well arranged instrumentals from Jeff Brueske, Nathan Norman, and Greg Lewis. A romantic feel is felt all over the album...songs like "When I grow too old to dream", "If I had you", and "Moonlight saving time" all make you feel like it's 11 pm and sitting in the front row at the jazz club she's playing that night … KDUZ radio, Joel Niemeyer April 6 2011