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Jaffa

The Global UnityProject

Three Continents
One harmony

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"Okura's classical virtuosity combines jazz, Jewish and Japanese cultures into a distinctive transcendental musical identity."

- Elliott Simon, New York City Jazz Record

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the Global Unity Project

Led by the visionary composers, violinist Meg Okura and Yotam Ishay, the GLOBAL UNITY PROJECT takes you on a whimsical and transcendental musical journey exploring the exoticism inspired by Japanese, Jewish, and Jazz influences. The name "Ensemble KATAN," drawn from the Hebrew term for "small ensemble," encapsulates the intimate nature of this musical odyssey with Okura’s violin, Israeli composer Yotam Ishay’s piano, and world-renown Sam Newsome's soprano saxophone, inviting spontaneous collective improvisations. The result is a blend of meditative introspection and invigorating ecstasy, where moments of melancholy coexist with the thrill of unpredictability.

The New York Times called her music "grandiloquent beauty that transitions easily from grooves to big cascades to buoyant swing"(Giovanni Russonello), Meg Okura is Grammy-nominated violinist and acclaimed jazz composer and the founder of the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble residing in the Bronx, NY. In the last decade, she has won over two dozen prizes and honors, including the ISJAC Fundamental Freedom Commission. Over the last two decades, her ensembles have graced iconic venues in New York, such as Birdland Jazz Club, Blue Note, Dizzy’s, and Knitting Factory, as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., K.L. Jazz Festival in Malaysia, and other performances in the U.S., Israel, Serbia, and Japan. 

A Juilliard graduate in violin, she has performed and recorded with many jazz greats, including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, and Tom Harrell. She also toured Japan and the U.S. with the late Michael Brecker’s Quindectet with musical director Gil Goldstein. Okura has contributed to over 100 projects, including film, TV, live videos, and albums with artists like David Bowie, Diane Reeves, Sam Newsome, and others.

Meg Okura

Japan

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YOTAM ISHAY

Israel

Brooklyn-based Grammy-nominated Interdisciplinary composer, arranger, and pianist. With over 800k streams on Spotify, music from his debut album "Opus 1" was placed in Netflix shows, and his solo piano album "SEED" was praised by the Japanese magazine "JAZZ LIFE" and the French magazine "Djolo". His compositions express a unique dialect by blending Western classical music, Middle-Eastern music, and Jazz influences.

 

Yotam graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, earning a composition degree with a full scholarship. He collaborated with renowned and Grammy-winning artists such as Zakir Hussain, Michael League & Bill Laurence of Snarky Puppy, Javier Limón, Berklee Indian Ensemble, Shankar Mahadevan, and Jamey Haddad. Yotam has also been active in the classical composition field and is a twice finalist of the International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition in Prague, the Czech Republic.

For more information, please visit www.yotamishay.com

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SAM NEWSOME

u.s.a.

Sam Newsome stands as a multifaceted figure in the world of jazz—a saxophonist, music professor, and accomplished writer. In 2023, his artistic endeavors manifested in two duo recordings: Soprano-Logues, a collaborative effort with saxophonist Dave Liebman, and Cosmic Unconsciousness Unplugged, where he joined forces with pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. These releases showcased Newsome's ability to engage in sonically-rich musical dialogues across different instrumental landscapes.

 

His contributions to the music world have not gone unnoticed. In 2022, Newsome received the BRIO Award for Instrumental Music and secured the title of Soprano Saxophonist of the Year in the 14th Annual International Critics Polls. His accolades extend to the 2020 Instant Award in Improvised Music, the 2018 Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Music Composition, the 2016 NYFA Fellowship for Music Composition, and he's been a consistent nominee for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association over the past five years.

 

Newsome's avant-garde approach, particularly in the realm of prepared saxophone, has positioned him as a sought-after player in New York's improvised music scene. His innovative voice has resonated in collaborations with notable artists such as Elliot Sharpe, William Parker, Fay Victor, Daniel Carter, Joe Morris, and Dave Liebman. Through his diverse talents and contributions, Sam Newsome continues to shape and enrich the landscape of contemporary jazz.

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917-449-5073

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