“PACJE has no peer in melding classical and jazz within an ethnically informed chamber setting.”
- Elliot Simon, The New York City Jazz Record
The ensemble’s self-titled debut album “Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble” was one of the “2006 Best Albums” of the Independent Music Awards. The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble has since released Naima (2010), Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto (2013), and the forthcoming Ima Ima (2018) to critical acclaim. The group has performed over 50 concerts and festivals nationally and internationally, including NYC Winter Jazzfest, Lincoln Center, Levitt Pavilion (CA), KL International Jazz Festival in Malaysia and sold-out concerts in Japan.
A native of Tokyo, Ms. Okura moved to New York after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center as 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.
Her composer credits appear on films such a documentary, The Congregation, or TV Series, Louie, among others. She has also written for C. Eule Dance, the New York Symphonic Ensemble, Sirius String Quartet, the J-Orchestra (18- piece jazz orchestra), and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble. She has received numerous grants and awards including Metlife Creative Connections Grant (Meet The Composer), Brand Personality Award (Asia Pacific Brands Foundation), Manhattan Community Arts Fund (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), Jerome Composers Commissioning Program (American Composers Forum), and most recently, New Music USA Project Grant.
1. Ima Ima
2. A Summer In Jerusalem 10:27
3. A Night Insomnia 08:42
4. Birth of Shakyamuni 09:33
5. Blues In Jade 08:46
6. Black Rain 07:06
7. Tomiya 07:38
Tom Harrell (trumpet)
Anne Drummond (flute, alto flute, piccolo)
Sam Newsome (soprano sax)
Sam Sadigursky (bass clarinet, clarinet)
Brian Marsella (piano, Wurlitzer electric piano)
Riza Printup (harp)
Pablo Aslan (bass)
Jared Schonig (drums)
Rez Abbasi (guitar)