Now at Copland House
In residence through early September,
Meg Okura looks to musical composition to negotiate her conflicting identities: a violinist in jazz, a Japanese immigrant Jew by choice, and a mother of a Black Jew. Born in Tokyo, she toured throughout Asia as soloist and concertmaster of the Asian Youth Orchestra. Following her move to the U.S., she made her solo debut at the Kennedy Center with violinist Alexander Schneider's famed New York String Orchestra. After having received degrees from The Juilliard School as a violinist, she turned to jazz, and founded the Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, with which she has performed at Winter Jazz Fest, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Blue Note New York, KL Jazz Festival (Malaysia), Levitt Pavilion (Los Angeles), the Kennedy Center, and elsewhere.She has also been heard as a violinist, erhu player, and composer on over 50 recordings and soundtracks; received a New Jazz Works Award from Chamber Music America; and worked with David Bowie, Lee Konitz, and Diane Reeves, among many others.