The Panache Orchestra suggests turning off your cell phones and your useless genres. If you must have labels, perhaps Brenda K’s classical violin and Chi Saito’s rhythm-driven acoustic guitar and dramatic instrumental compositions are “Rattling the Chamber-Music Cage.” Or “Anime Beatnik Combo.” Another label might be simply “Beautiful.” Woven into TPO's DNA are strands of The Beatles, Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli , Mahavishnu Orchestra, and traditional music of Europe and Japan shaken up with a shot of vintage rock ‘n roll, and as the night grows longer and the cocktails accumulate, a dynamic, swashbuckling romanticism emerges.
The Panache Orchestra, whose music and creative process is a study of polarity and extremes, came about through a totally implausible combination of events and people: a random encounter in a Tokyo sushi bar in 1998 of two semi-retired professional instrumentalists: Brenda K of San Diego, CA and Chi Saito of Tokyo, Japan, and a strange dream. Neither Brenda nor Chi had any idea how they could make TPO work as a viable ensemble as they worked through the inherent incompatibility of classical and rock, and it took awhile for the two to realize that their radical differences might make for a marketable, if volatile chemistry. TPO’s brand of Insurgent Melody is perhaps reflected in one attribute that Brenda K and Chi do share: a rebel, anti-authority streak along with irrepressible originality and lack of interest in creating music that mimics established styles and conventions.
Their music, while unusual, is not inaccessible, and typically described in superlatives such as:
“You guys were INCREDIBLE!! Your music was all people could talk about!"
"Brenda & Saito-san are incredible musical performers. Their blended notes and creative weaving in & out of each others music is just something you've got to hear for yourself. It really takes your breath away...."
"We played the CD on Sunday, and we both found it so moving and romantic. It has even more meaning because we know the emotion you both put into your music. It will be a CD we play many, many times."