PAN ASIAN

 CHAMBER JAZZ ENSEMBLE

IMA IMA - Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
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IMA IMA (New CD)          BIO          LISTEN           WATCH           PRESS QUOTES   

PAST GIGS         EDUCATIONAL          STAGE PLOT

IMA IMA

featuring TOM HARRELL

Dan Bilawsky's

All About Jazz

The Best Releases of

2018

IMAIMA.cover2.jpg

RECIPIENT

Chamber Music America

NEW JAZZ WORKS

2018

Textura.com

No. 4

Best Jazz Album

2018

MEG OKURA compositions|violins       ANNE DRUMMOND flutes        SAM NEWSOME sop. sax          SAM SADIGURSKY   bs. clarinet       

RIZA PRINTUP  harp         REZ ABSASI   guitar        BRIAN MARSELLA piano           PABLO ASLAN bass         JARED SCHONIG drums

PRESS QUOTES

"grandiloquent beauty that transitions easily from grooves to big cascades to buoyant swing"
 

 THE NEW YORK TIMES

"...a suite of knockout compositions...genre-bridging poetic sensibility and structural intelligence...A terrific album."

 

JAZZ JOURNAL

"... it’s one of the best albums of any kind of music released this year."

 

NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY

"Heritage isn't merely defined by blood and DNA. It's about who we are, who we choose to become, and what we take from the past to bring to our individual present and presence."

ALL ABOUT JAZZ

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

THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

more

“…breathtaking...shivers of emotion down the spine...flawless technique..."
- Raul d'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

“Meg has created what surely must someday become a Jazz standard. Meg Okura has given a stunning reintroduction to the music from the genius of Ryuichi Sakamoto."
- Travis Rogers, Jazz Times


“…a stunning improvisation on top of an impressionistic backdrop."
- Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times

“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.”

- Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

“PACJE (Meg Okura & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble) have no peer in melding classical and jazz within an ethnically informed chamber setting.”

- Elliot Simon, The New York City Jazz Record


“Naima is the magnificent new release from violin virtuoso Meg Okura and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble. Captivating, exciting and refreshing are just one way to describe the track offerings that are featured. Aptly named after one of John Coltrane’s famous compositions, Naima is marvelously diverse mixing the past, present and future."
- Esther Cailens, Birmingham Times


“Okura has made a bold statement with Naima, ensuring her place among the top names playing chamber jazz."
- Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility


“A confident collection of chamber jazz that is wide in scope and deep in feeling…features outstanding solos by Okura."
“Meg Okura offers a clear sense of vision of her world of music. Okura's Naima goes to many places, speaks in many voices, and is often rich with surprises and admirable in its aspirations."
- Mark Hayes, EJazz News


“Ms. Okura’s vibrant, Eastern-influenced, jazzy score and the playing of her musicians were the most sophisticated parts of the work"
- Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times


“… (some of) the best jazz New York has to offer."
- Elliot Simon, All About Jazz


"... mixes a classically trained mastery of strings, piano and drums with quick-witted compositional twist performed with high energy."
- Jennifer Odell, Down Beat Magazine


“The group delivers exactly what its name promises… the group found a common ground in '60s-style modality, occasionally reminiscent of John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner's Eastern explorations."
- Will Friedwald, The New York Sun


“…elegantly intertwine(s) elements of classical, jazz and world folk into a new sound…by presenting precisely played ethnically inspired original compositions in an exciting modern jazz context."
- Elliot Simon, All About Jazz

 

Dan Bilawsky's

All About Jazz

The Best Releases of

2018

Blue Note
Terrence Howard + PACJE
KLjazzPACJE
KL Jazz Festival
MegKLJ2
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20120519_203621
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Blue Note
Tokyo
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Blue Note
Terrence Howard + PACJE
KLjazzPACJE
KL Jazz Festival
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20120519_203914
20120519_203621
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Blue Note
Tokyo
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"combines jazz, Jewish and Japanese cultures into a distinctive transcendental musical identity."

- Elliot Simon, The New York City Jazz Record

Led by a Tokyo-native jazz violinist Meg Okura, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is a unique brand of Asian-influenced jazz group based in New York City. As a composer, Okura is the latest winner of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant (funded by Doris Duke Foundation), and The New York Times has described her music as of "grandiloquent beauty that transitions easily from grooves to big cascades to buoyant swing."

The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble's fourth and the latest album IMA IMA (featuring Tom Harrell) has been chosen by several critics' "Best Albums of 2018" lists including Dan Bilawsky of the All About Jazz and placed No. 4 Best Jazz Album on Textura.com.

Since the founding in 2006, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble has performed nationally and internationally at festivals and venues including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Blue Note New York, Knitting Factory, Levitt Pavilion (CA), NYC Winter Jazzfest, KL International Jazz Festival (Malaysia), and sold-out concerts in Japan.

Meg Okura grew up in Ome, Tokyo, where she was a local church organist and pianist by the age of eight while receiving intensive musical training at Toho Gakuen. As a violinist, she was the youngest winner of the Tokyo Young Musician’s Debut Audition, and by seventeen, Okura had won the concertmaster chair in the Asian Youth Orchestra, touring all of Asia. Okura moved to New York after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center at 19. She studied at the Juilliard School as a classical violinist, only to switch to jazz upon graduation.

Since then, she has performed and recorded with jazz masters including Michael Brecker, Steve Swallow, Lee Konitz, and Tom Harrell, earning her place as “the queen of chamber jazz.” (All About Jazz) She has appeared on several dozens of albums and soundtracks as a violinist and erhu player.

 

She started piano and violin at four, and by seven, she was playing the piano for services at her parent's church in Japan. As a solo violinist, Meg Okura toured throughout Asia with the Asian Youth Orchestra and moved to New York to study classical violin at Juilliard after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center at 19.  Meg then made a difficult switch to jazz upon graduation.

 

In 2006, she founded the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble as a platform to express her authentic voice and the ensemble has performed at Blue Not New York, NYC Winter Jazzfest, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Levitt Pavilion (CA), KL International Jazz Festival in Malaysia and sold-out concerts in Japan.  The group has released four albums to date: Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble(2006), Naima (2010), Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto (2013), and Ima Ima (2018).

 
 

DISCOGRAPHY

IMA IMA

Tom Harrell (trumpet), Meg Okura (violin, vocals, erhu) Anne Drummond (flutes), Sam Newsome (soprano sax),Sam Sadigursky (bass clarinet), Riza Printup (harp), Rez Abbasi (guitar), Brian Marsella (piano), Pablo Aslan (bass), Jared Schonig

05/13/2018

*all compositions by Meg Okura

Ima Ima - Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
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Music of ryuichi sakamoto

Meg Okura (violin & erhu)

Anne Drummond (flute)

Helen Sung (piano)

Dezron Douglas (bass)

E.J.Strickland (drums

2013

*all arrangements by Meg Okura

Grasshoppers - Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
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naima

Meg Okura (violin, erhu), Anne Drummond (flute), Jun Kubo (flute), Rubin Kodheli (cello), Mamiko Kitaura (piano), Jennifer Vincent (bass), Willard Dyson (drums), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)

2010

*all compositions by Meg Okura except "Naima"

Lu Chai II Echo of Voices - Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
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Meg Okura's pan asian chamber jazz ensemble

Meg Okura (violin, erhu), Anne Drummond (flute), Jun Kubo (flute), Rubin Kodheli (cello), Mamiko Kitaura (piano), Jennifer Vincent (bass), Willard Dyson (drums), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)

2006

*all compositions by Meg Okura except "Naima"

Step by Step - Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
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EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Meg Okura has given lectures, speeches, masterclasses, lecture concerts and coaching to thousands of students across the country. She is also a mentor at the Juilliard School.
 

High School & College

Jazz Major Students


Masterclasses (45- 90 min.)


Jazz Combo Coaching (45- 60 min.)

Improvisation Workshops

A Talk on "Musical Identity & Authenticity"

Private Instructions (45- 60 min.)

High School and College

Non-Music Students


“World Voyage Through Music” (60 min.)


• Demonstration of each instrument including ERHU (two-stringed Chinese violin) and electric violin.
• Original works utilizing characteristics of different musical styles from Classical to jazz, various world music.
• Q & A
• a closing piece



 

High School and College

Classical Majors


“Intro to Improv”  (60- min. – one week)

• a group improvisation based on pitches picked by the students
• Demonstration on improvisation, using a jazzed-up arrangement of a classical piece
• Call and answer practice, using a blues scale on a blues form
• select students will perform improvised solos with the band



Grade 2- Grade 8


“Hooked on Classic” (45-60 min.)


• short classical pieces
• jazzed up versions of the classical pieces
• demonstration of each instrument
• working together to create a whole new composition with students help
• premiering the new composition
• Original world chamber jazz works
• Q&A
• jazz standards



Pre-K - 1st Grade


Sing & Swing with the Band! (25 - 30 min.)



• classic children’s songs performed by the ensemble
• engaging demonstration of each instrument
• sing along with the P.A.C.J.E.
• short versions of standard classical pieces
• one jazz standard with short solos


 

PRESENTER TESTIMONIAL

“WHAT A FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE! MY GOODNESS THAT WAS BRILLIANT MUSICIANSHIP. YOU (PRESENTER) ROCKED THE SEASON AND ENDED WITH A CLASS ACT. CONGRATULATIONS!!"

E. LEVITT, LEVITT PAVILION PASADENA (CA)

“MEG AND HER FELLOW ARTISTS WERE ENTIRELY EXPERT, ENGAGING...MEG'S PERSONALITY BURST THROUGH TO OUR AUDIENCE..."

CORNING CIVIC MUSIC

 

PAST PERFORMANCES

 

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

Blue Note New York

Rubin Museum

The Stone

Knitting Factory

MoMA

Corning Civic Music

Flushing Town Hall

Corning Civic Music

Flushing Town Hall

Levitt Pavilion Pasadena

Trinity Church

NYC Winter JazzFest

KL International Jazz Festival

 Shapeshifter Lab

Silvana

Harlem School of the Arts

Mariner's Temple Baptist Church

Children's Museum of Manhattan

The Harvard Club

Zinc Bar

Hartford Public Library

 
 
 

PRESS CONTACT

Lydia Liebman

lydialiebmanjazz@gmail.com

lydialiebman.com

BOOKING

Moishe Rosenfeld

Golden Land Concerts & Connections

concerts@goldenland.com

118 East 28th Street Room 304
New York

(212) 683-7816

MEG OKURA

Meg Okura

MegOkuraViolin@gmail.com

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©2017 created by Meg Okura