Born: August 9 Primary Instrument: Violin
All About Jazz called her “the queen of chamber jazz,” violin virtuoso Meg Okura has found the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble in 2006. Juilliard trained concert violinist, the composer and jazz violinist has revolutionized the world of chamber jazz by entwining her artful pieces with inspirations from various cultures and countries to create a purely enchanting experience.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, the multi-faceted artist cultivated her adoration for music at the Toho Gakuen School of Music at the young age of five. Talented and determined, Meg’s artistic ability later led to her position as concertmaster and soloist of Asian Youth Orchestra, and eventually her brilliant United States debut with the late Alexander Schneider’s New York String Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in her teenage years. She furthered her education at the Julliard School, earning both bachelors and masters degree in the study of classical violin. Soon, persuaded by her Juilliard professors’ belief in her exceptional talent in composition and improvisation, Meg began to pursue a transition from the classical violin to something even more electrifyingjazz. ...
“Ms. Okura’s vibrant, Eastern-influenced, jazzy score and the playing of her musicians were the most sophisticated parts of the work” (Roslyn Sulcas)
All About Jazz
“…chamber jazz has found its queen in Meg Okura.” (Dan Bilawsky)
“…a stunning improvisation on top of an impressionistic backdrop.” (Bill Milkowski)
“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)
Sea of Tranquility
“Okura has made a bold statement with Naima, ensuring her place among the top names playing chamber jazz.” (Jon Neudorf)
“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)
New York Times
“…(Meg Okura ) is equally comfortable playing classical chamber music, rock and everything in between.” (Stephen Holden)
All About Jazz
“… (some of) the best jazz New York has to offer.” (Elliot Simon)
Down Beat Magazine
... mixes a classically trained mastery of strings, piano and drums with quick-witted compositional twist performed with high energy. (Jennifer Odell)
New York Sun
“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)
All About Jazz
“…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)
New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Meg Okura has conducted clinics and lecture concert programs for the past three years, creating unforgettable memories for over 10,000 students of all ages across the United States.
“Jazz Violin and Improvisation Workshop”
A program for students of all levels to learn the secrets of improvisation. The program will de-mystify the process of improvising by showing the basic methods for improvising, while students having a ton of fun. The program includes brief demonstrations of various styles of improvisation. Students will discover new possibilities for expressing their creativities in music and joy of playing their instruments, while opening their minds to diversity in music and culture.
Private Lessons in Jazz Violin and Improvisation
For advanced young students and college students, and professional violinists/violists only. Lessons could be given through Long Island University for college credits.
For college credits, please contact L.I.U. Music Department Chairman, Bob Aquino at 718-488-1051
For all of the other inquiries, please contact Meg Okura directly at 917-449-5073.