“The queen of chamber jazz,”

All About Jazz

a complete artist and a major one at that, who is unafraid to experiment and weave many musical worlds into one.”

All About Jazz

The New York Times described Meg Okura's music as "grandiloquent beauty that transitions easily from grooves to big cascades to buoyant swing." Jazz composer and violinist Meg Okura is the recipient of the 2018 Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and 2020 Copland House Residency Awards.  Since the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble's founding in 2006, Okura has released six albums under her name.

She has received awards and grants from Jazz Road, Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation, New Music USA, American Composers Forum/Jerome Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Meet the Composer/Metlife, and others.

Her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble has performed nationally and internationally, including Winter Jazz Fest, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Blue Note New York, KL Jazz Festival (Malaysia), and Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Okura's compositions have been performed by BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, New York Symphonic Ensemble, Meetinghouse Jazz Orchestra, Sirius Quartet, and other jazz and chamber music groups and artists. Okura's credit appears on over 100 albums/films/live videos, including David Bowie, Michael Brecker, Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Diane Reeves, Tom Harrell, Vince Giordano, Jeremy Pelt, Sam Newsome, and Grammy-nominated album by Emilio Solla y La Inestable de Brooklyn.

Native of Tokyo and formerly a concert violinist, Okura toured Asia as the soloist and concertmaster of the Asian Youth Orchestra as a teen. She moved to the U.S. in 1992 and made her solo concerto debut at Kennedy Center with the late Alexander Schneider's New York String Orchestra. She then earned B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School as a classical violinist, only to make a difficult shift to becoming a jazz musician. As a violinist, she has appeared at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Barbican, Madison Square Garden, Village Vanguard, Blue Note Tokyo, Hollywood Bowl, and numerous festivals and concert halls worldwide.

In 2016, she held a week-long residency at the Stone in New York City, performing and presenting 12 concerts with her ten different groups.

 

In 2018, she placed No. 6 Jazz Violinist in the International Critics Polls. Meg Okura was the 2020 winner of the Copland House Residency Awards.

“From Asia to Africa and the Americas, and from classical to jazz—via the inspiration of electronic music—Okura sees beauty everywhere and translates it into her own exquisite idiom.”

All About Jazz