"5/5 Excellent" - The World Music Report
"catchy as hell, never lacking for energy and invention.
...refurbishing the oeuvre is both subtle and in your face, brilliantly crafted and daunting one moment, smooth but deceptive the next." - Mark S. Tucker ( Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange)
"This is very good, and at times even brilliant. I am also sure this will not only appeal to Ryuichi Sakomoto fans. Recommended!" -psychemusic.org
Meg Okura (arrangements, violin & erhu)
Anne Drummond (flute & alto flute)
Helen Sung (piano)
Dezron Douglas (bass)
E.J. Strickland (drums)
“In paying homage to Sakomoto, Okura and the PACJE revealed the common threads that unite all music. 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.
Jazz violinist and composer, Meg Okura leads a group of virtuosi, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, found in 2006. Jazz Inside New York Magazine writes “(the ensemble) successfully blends the musical cultures of East and West for a new and exciting direction in modern jazz expression.”
A native of Tokyo, Ms. Okura moved to New York after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center as a teen. She studied at the Juilliard School as a classical violinist, only to switch to jazz upon graduation. Since then, she has worked 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)
The ensemble’s self-titled debut album was the finalist in the “2006 Best Albums” of the Independent Music Awards, and the group has performed over 50 concerts and festivals including NYC Winter Jazzfest, Lincoln Center, Levitt Pavilion (CA), KL International Jazz Festival, and sold-out concerts in Japan. In 2010, the ensemble released its second album, “Naima” which has earned international recognition.