New York Times described her music as "grandiloquent beauty that transitions easily from grooves to big cascades to buoyant swing,"
Meg Okura was the No. 6 Violinist/Violist in the International Critics Poll in 2018. A native of Tokyo, Ms. Okura moved to New York after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center 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 David Bowie, 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.
In 2006, Meg Okura founded the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble. 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, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Levitt Pavilion (CA), KL International Jazz Festival in Malaysia and sold-out concerts in Japan.
“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