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"...Kevin is in excellent form, and Meg demonstrates her wide range as one of the premier violinists, jazz or otherwise, of our time."

- Jim McNeely

Hailed as “the queen of chamber jazz (All About Jazz),” Tokyo-native violinist Meg Okura and American jazz pianist Kevin Hays celebrate the release of their debut album as a duo, Lingering on Adhyâropa Records (#AR00061). With recognition such as the highly competitive Jazz Road Tours grant, which took them over 5,000 miles to Hawaii, Okura and Hays have been collaborating for a decade since their serendipitous encounter on a New York City bus in 2014. Lingering showcases the remarkable synergy and confidence they share, evident from their transcendent exploration of musical possibility. They engage in a musical dialogue using only the raw essence of two instruments without overdubs or effects, exploring a spectrum of textures and tones, inviting listeners into unfiltered emotions of intimacy and vulnerability.

     For Hays, whose discography boasts numerous duo projects with jazz contemporaries such as Brad Mehldau, Lionel Loueke, and Bill Stewart, the connection with Okura was immediate and undeniable. Their collaboration, unlike many others, is not born from shared musical associations or cultural backgrounds. Hays and Okura hail from disparate musical traditions – Hays, a jazz pianist with a sound steeped in the post-bop and modern jazz tradition, boasts a storied career working with luminaries such as Sonny Rollins and John Scofield, while Okura's journey from concert violinist to rising star in the world of jazz composition has earned her acclaim from the likes of the International Society of Jazz Arranger and Composers.

     “Kevin grounds me in a gentler, earthier realm, as his aesthetic is deeply rooted in traditions, extending from post-bop to Americana, and reaching farther back to the works of J.S. Bach. When playing so freely as a duo, even on written pieces, my perfect pitch becomes a lifeline, seamlessly catching every chord while my instincts anticipate his next move. When I go into the Bach-like counterpoint, Kevin catches me within two beats and starts creating his counter melody. Kevin knows how to trust his duo partners and, more importantly, his adeptness in creating music no matter what happens during a tune or lack thereof. I love this attitude and the challenge that comes with it! It’s an adventure that I welcome,” Meg Okura.

     Throughout Lingering, Okura and Hays weave a tapestry of sound and emotion, from melancholic beauty to haunting echoes to boundless expressions bursting with dynamism. The album comprises 11 short melodies by Okura, including “Seven Short Pieces” — a Jewish-influenced suite written for this duo during the Pandemic. “Waltz for Wollesen,” by Hays has previously been recorded on his 2019 album Where Are You with Mark Turner and Marc Miralta. In this duo version, the piece takes on new life, and they recorded what Okura calls the “Brahms’s version of Kevin Hays.” The album also includes two entirely improvised tracks demonstrating just how differently the duo approaches free improvisation. Even within the composed pieces, Okura leaves ample room for interpretation and improvisation. Drawing inspiration from both classical and jazz composers from Olivier Messiaen to Oliver Nelson, or Schuman to Ellington, Okura uses big classical sounds as well as tender whispers of harmonics, to col legno batuto, to the “chop” technique to create a percussive groove. As the album reaches its poignant denouement with the title track, "Lingering," Okura's single note and Hays' last chord hang in the air like a whispered promise, never fully resolving.


A Tokyo native, Meg Okura is a Grammy-nominated violinist and award-winning composer based in New York. Formerly a concert violinist, she moved to New York after making her U.S. debut at Kennedy Center as a teen. She earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in Violin Performance from the Juilliard School.


Ms. Okura is the 2023 winner of the ISJAC (International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers) Fundamental Freedom Commission Award, the 2022 BRIO Awards, 2021 Jazz Road Creative Residencies, 2020 Copland House Residency Awards, and 2018 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, and many others grants and awards.


As a violinist, she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Barbican Hall in the U.K., Madison Square Garden, Village Vanguard, Blue Note Tokyo, Hollywood Bowl, and numerous festivals worldwide with many jazz greats such as Lee Konitz, Michael Brecker, Tom Harrel, Steve Swallow, Sam Newsome, Diane Reeves, as well as David Bowie, Cirque du Soleil, Emilio Solla, and many others.

Dubbed "the queen of chamber jazz" by All About Jazz, Ms. Okura founded the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble in 2006. The PACJE has released four albums, and one is in the works.

Her new big band work will be premiered by the Orchestre National de Jazz de Montréal in May of 2024 at the ISJAC International Symposium.

Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter Kevin Hays’s many recordings have received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and Jazz Times, as well as the “Coup de Coeur” award from the Académie Charles Cros (France).


Kevin has appeared on numerous albums as a guest artist, recording with Chris Potter, Bill Stewart, Joshua Redman, Jeff Ballard, Nicholas Payton, and Al Foster, among many others. Notable collaborations include a piano duo project with Brad Mehldau (Modern Music - Nonesuch), world tours with James Taylor, Sonny Rollins, John Scofield, Joe Henderson, and Roy Haynes.  

In addition to his celebrated work as pianist and composer, Kevin has become increasingly known as a gifted and expressive singer/songwriter. In 2015 he released the widely lauded recording New Day (Sunnyside), on which he performed his own songs along with a riveting performance of the Jimmy Webb classic ‘Highwayman’. 

Hope, the highly anticipated 2019 collaboration with Beninese guitarist Lionel Loueke, was released on Edition Records. Their music moves effortlessly between melodic serenity and rhythmic interplay, highlighting the beauty and intimacy of the piano/acoustic guitar format. 

Hays co-wrote several compositions on Steve Gadd Band’s eponymous album which garnered the 2019 GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. The album features Kevin’s own ‘Spring Song’, the sole vocal track. 


Tue, Feb 13

BYU-Hawaii McKay Auditorium

Laie, Hawaii


Wed, Feb 14

Valentine's at the Ritz

Kapalua, Hawaii


Sat, Feb 17

Pro Arts & Jazz Maui presents Global Jazz

Pro Arts Playhouse


Sun, Feb 18

Sunset Jazz Series presents Kevin Hays & Meg Okura


Maui Ku'ia Estate Chocolate


Tue, Feb 20

Bop Stop presents Kevin Hays & Meg Okura

Cleveland, Ohio


Leslie Fair-Page Presents Meg Okura | Kevin Hays Duo at Shaker Historic Society

Shaker Heights, Ohio


Concert Hall

What We offer







  • a grand piano (Steinway B or D preferred) tuned on the same day

  • a piano bench (adjustable concert soft cover piano bench)

  • vocal/speaking mic on a boom stand

  • piano mics & monitor speaker


  • D.I.

  • a monitor speaker

  • speakers (sound system)

  • music stand OR

  • a boom mic with an iPad mount

  • a speaking mic

"It's not exclusive but inclusive.
That is the spirit of jazz."
- Herbie Hancock



     A 75-90 minute concert


     Two 45-minute sets


  • Jazz standards

  • A chamber jazz version of Paganini and beyond

  • Creating a new piece using students' ideas

  • Original works by Okura and Hays


MASTERCLASSES   - collegiate & advanced

  • Jazz combo coaching

  • Jazz Improvisation masterclass

  • Introduction to Improvisation for classical majors

  • Writing for strings in jazz settings


based on your communities’ interests and needs, including

  • pre-concert Q & A

  • interviews and panels

  • nusach & worship services

  • new works commission

Custom Programs
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