Tomoko Omura

Tomoko Omura

Musicians | Instrument: Violin | Location: New York City

With a clear and sturdy violin attack, and an inventive voice as an improviser... A rising talent worth watching.
—New York Times

Updated: May 24, 2022

Born: August 31, 1980

Tomoko Omura is a composer and violinist. She was named #1 Rising Star Violinist by Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll in 2021. Her latest album, “Branches Vol. 2” (Outside In Music, 2021) was named Bandcamp’s “Best Jazz of 2021”. She has played at internationally renowned venues including the Village Vanguard, th Jazz Gallery, Jazz Standard, Lincoln Center Appel Room, Smalls, Mezzrow, SF Jazz Miner Auditorium, National Sawdust, Newport Jazz Festival, Blue Note, among others. She has also performed and recorded with many of today’s leading artists including Paquito D’Rivera, Fabian Almazan, Linda Oh, Camila Meza, Aubrey Johnson, Vadim Neselovsky, David Broza, David Amram, and more. Her music has been featured on major international publications including Strings magazine, GRAMMY.com, WBGO’s “Jazz United” & “The Pulse”, Bandcamp Daily, Jazz Sessions, Jazz Times, Downbeat, AllAboutJazz, and more. Her fourth album “Branches Vol. 1” (Outside In Music, 2020) was also chosen for Bandcamp’s Best Jazz August 2020, among other critical acclaim. Jazz Times also premiered the music video of “Revenge Of The Rabbit” from this album. Her 3rd release, “Post Bop Gypsies” (Inner Circle, 2017), is a contemporary jazz trio album in the classic Gypsy jazz instrumentation of violin, guitar and bass. “Roots”, her second album, and first for Inner Circle Music, is a compelling tribute to her native Japan, featuring original arrangements of ten classic Japanese folk and popular songs. Downbeat awarded “Roots” four and half stars, naming Omura “a leader with a fine future”. From 2015-2020, she was also named a “Rising Star” in Downbeat magazine's Critic's Poll. In earlier years, she was a full time member of the world folk group, The Guy Mendilow Ensemble, as well as the contemporary Celtic ensemble, Runa, and toured around the US as a folk musician. She was also a member of the vintage jazz band Carte Blanche. Born and raised in Shizuoka, Japan, Omura began playing the violin at a young age under her mother’s instruction, and later began self-studying jazz while attending Yokohama National University. In 2004, she relocated to the United States when she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. While at Berklee, she worked with such legendary musicians as George Garzone, Hal Crook, Ed Tomassi, Jamey Haddad, Matt Glaser and Rob Thomas. Also at Berklee, she was the first violinist to receive the school’s prestigious Roy Haynes Award. Omura became a mother in 2020 and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her son, Allan, her husband, Glenn Zaleski and her cat, Leila.

Awards

Roy Haynes Award, 2005, Berklee College of Music
Honorable Mention, 2008 International Songwriting Competition

Gear

Ithaca Aceto pickup, Schetler pickup, Acoustic Image amp, ZT Lunch Box Acoustic, D'addario Kaplan Vivo, Thomastik Infeld Visions strings, AER amp, Crybaby, Boss RC 300 Looper, Line 6 M9, Ditto Looper, Zoom A3 DI, Remic microphone, DPA microphone, Bartlett microphone, Barry Dudley 5-string violin, Realist 5-string Acoustic/Electric violin.


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A leader with a fine future.
-Downbeat Magazine by Joe Tangari

"With a clear and sturdy violin attack, and an inventive voice as an improviser”
“A rising talent worth watching” - New York Times, July 2017

everything ceaselessly flows, oft breezy, swingin', be-boppy while wafting through the hip museum
- FAME review by Mark S. Tucker

no matter how complex and expansive things may get, she retains those qualities that made the songs memorable in the first place.  It’s a hell of an accomplishment.  It’s also a seriously exciting album
One of the best things to come out all year.  It was my Pick of the Week when it first hit the shelves back in January… and it remains one of the best things on that shelf as the year comes to a close.
-Bird is the Worm

Her swooping lines and emotive outpourings are contemporary without losing the sense of tradition inherent in both Japanese folk and Western jazz - in other words she can swing!
- Bebopspokenhere

Omura masterfully injects her bold and contemporary blend of jazz into these Japanese standards to create a new and refreshing sound she can proudly call her own.
-Nextbop by Sebastien Helary

"Roots" is a tremendous accomplishment, and undoubtedly one of the most important and creative jazz albums produced by a violinist in recent history. 
- Chtistian Howes

"Roots" reaches back for its source material but is most certainly contemporary music at its best.
- Step Tempest

At once, Tomoko Omura's "Roots" is stirring and melodiously captivating

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Primary Instrument

Violin

Location

New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Credentials/Background

All levels are accepted. All lessons, workshops inquiry, please e-mail to: [email protected]

Artists who share similar musical characteristics to Tomoko Omura.

Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Michael Brecker
saxophone, tenor
John Coltrane
saxophone
Miles Davis
trumpet
Allan Holdsworth
guitar, electric
Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto
Frank Zappa
guitar, electric

Karate

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

These Days

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Dindi

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

The Peacocks

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Voice Is Magic

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Lie In Wait

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Happy To Stay

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Unraveled

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Love Again

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

No More 'I Love You's

From: Unraveled
By Tomoko Omura

Tomoko Omura Albums