November 25, 2015The PACJE Launches Its First Indiegogo Campaign for the next album

The pan asian chamber jazz ensemble had just launched its first Indiegogo campaign to support its 4th album IMA IMA. This will be our very first large ensemble album. Yes, we have expanded to a large ensemble of ten, including our special guest, Tom Harrell on trumpet and flugelhorn. And we need YOUR HELP to bring this to fruition! Please click the link on the right & share this with everyone you know!

February 01, 2015Congratulations Meg for the Grammy Nomination!

The founder, composer, violinist and the leader of the PACJE, Meg Okura is a 2015, the 57th Grammy Nominee! She was nominated as a violinist in the Best Latin Jazz category for the album \"Second Half\" by Emilio Solla y La Inestable de Brooklyn. Congratulations, Meg!

March 03, 2014New Music USA Awards Meg Okura for Her Upcoming Project!

New Music USA announced the grantees of the latest Project Grant last week. Of the 1,618 projects received, Ima Ima - (L'dor Vador) by The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is one of 60 projects awarded and now published on www.newmusicusa.org. The project is one of the 3% of projects that were awarded in one of the most competitive rounds in the organization's history. Congratulations, Meg & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble!

October 10, 2013Tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto CD is Finally Here!

"***** 5/5 Excellent" - The World Music Report. Our latest album "Tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto" is finally here, featuring Anne Drummond, Helen Sung, Dezron Douglas, & E.J. Strickland.
"This is very good, and at times even brilliant. I am also sure this will not only appeal to Ryuichi Sakomoto fans. Recommended!" - http://www.psychemusic.org

July 19, 2012Residency in Quad Cities Confirms for Fall of 2013!

We are excited to announce that the PACJE will be making over a dozen appearances in The Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline) in the fall of 2013, performing for thousands people in the communities. This will be Meg's third time residency with the Quad City Arts Council, the first time in 2003 with Pharaoh's Daughter, and the second time in 2006, co-leading a group with cellist Dave Eggar.

May 18, 2012PACJE performing at the KL International Jazz Festival!

The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is appearing at Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival on May 19th at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. Other featured artists are AHMAD JAMAL, HIROMI, INCOGNITO, among others. PACJE features Helen Sung, Anne Drummond, Dezron Douglas, EJ Strickland, and Meg Okura. We will perform a few original compositions and several arrangements of Ryuichi Sakamoto pieces.

January 13, 2012PACJE Launches a New Program "Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto"

The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is now working on a new & exciting program "Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto" showcasing his classics from YMO to Accademy winning soundtracks, The Last Emperor. You can check out our first live performance video, performing Sakamoto's "Tango" from his 1996 album "Smoochy."

November 01, 2011"Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto" by PACJE

We are happy to announce that Ryuichi Sakamoto has just given a permission for us to perform his music for the upcoming year. We will be re-imagining his stunning and electrifying compositions from Yellow Magic Orchestra to Oscar winning soundtracks.

October 26, 2011PACJE Comes Back To APAP!

After taking a short break due to the birth of Meg's baby, Naomi, PACJE is coming back stronger than ever to perform for the fans and presenters this winter at the Hilton New York (APAP) on January 7th!

November 24, 2010Congratulations PACJE for a Superb Performance at Rubin Museum of Art

Meg & her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, featuring Anne Drummond, Michael Rabinowitz, Mamiko Kitaura, Yasushi Nakamura and Keita Okada, had just premiered four new works by Meg at Rubin Museum of Art last Friday, November 19th. The ensemble showcased solos and cadenzas by each player in a beautiful acoustic setting, helping audience experience chamber jazz at its best. The final piece of the evening was the world premiere of "Birth of Shakyamuni Buddha"--the piece inspired by the painting shown at the museum-- which was projected onto the stage for the duration of the performance.
There were some notables in the audience, including Fred Ho, Sam Newsome, Bill Milkowski, Elliot Simon, and others. At the conclusion of the performance, the Rubin Museum presented each member of the ensemble with a Tibetan scarf which signifies the highest honor.

October 19, 2010November 19 at Rubin Museum- Harlem in Himalayas

We will be performing at Rubin Museum as a part of "Harlem in Himalayas"- an acoustic jazz series presented by Rubin Museum with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on Friday, November 19th,

The program will include the world premiere "Birth of Shakyamuni Buddha" - a chamber jazz piece inspired by a painting of the same title at the Rubin Museum, which will be projected on the screen during the performance. And of course, you can visit to the museum to see the real thing as well.

Meg Okura(violin, erhu)
Anne Drummond (flute)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Yasushi Nakamura (bass)
Keita Ogawa (percussion)
Michael Rabinowitz (bassoon)

November 19, 2010
7:00 pm
Rubin Museum of Arts

150 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
$18.00 in advance / $20.00 day of

Box office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

September 27, 2010Coming To Corning, NY on October 9, 2010!

PACJE is driving up to Corning, NY on October 9 to play a concert at Corning Museum of Glass, presented by Corning Civic Music. The series kicked off its season with the great Paquito D'Rivera this month. We are excited and honored to be a part of over 80-year old concert series which has been presenting world class acts including our heroes such as Nathan Milstein, Mark O'Connor, Joshua Bell, Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins, just to name a few!

Saturday, October 9, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium
1 Museum Way, Corning NY 14830.
Corning Civic Music
1-800.531.3679

Meg Okura (violin/erhu)
Jamie Baum (flute)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Jennifer Vincent (bass)
E.J. Strickland (drums)

July 07, 2010AAJ Calls Meg "The Queen of Chamber Jazz" - a new rave review from AAJ

A new review had just come out again on All About Jazz, this time by Dan Bilawsky. He not only addresses the compositions but also our performances. He called Meg "the Queen of Chamber Jazz". Please check out this article!

June 27, 2010A New Review On "Naima" on All About Jazz

A new CD review came out today on All About Jazz. This is the first of, hopefully many to come! Hope you enjoy the article.

June 16, 2010Our New CD Available Everywhere!

We are excited to let you know that our new CD "Naima" is finally out and thanks to all of YOU, it is selling!! The album features Anne Drummond, Jun Kubo, Mamiko Kitaura, Jennifer Vincent, Willard Dyson, Rubin Kodheli, Dave Eggar and Satoshi Takeishi. Please make sure you befriend us and write to us on Facebook so we can let you know about our live shows, new videos and etc.

May 23, 2010Free Sheet Music Download Available!

Our new album "Naima" is scheduled to be released next month. In addition to streaming sample tracks, we made some of our sheet music available for free downloads. Just click on "Sheet Music" and chose the tune you would like to download.

Hope you enjoy!

May 12, 2010PACJE's New Album "Naima" Coming Soon & Specials for Facebook Friends

We are so excited to announce that our latest and the second album entitled "Naima" is almost ready. This album features all of us; Anne Drumond, Jun Kubo, Jennifer Vincent, Rubin Kodheli, Mamiko Kitaura, Willard Dyson, Satoshi Takeishi and Dave Eggar, and we would like YOU (who visit this website) to be the first to find out about the album's availability before the album's official release, and receive special discounts which we will offer for a very limited time. In the next few days, we will also have one or more "full tune(s)" for free streaming. All of that news will be posted on our page on Facebook. So please "like" us on Facebook to get all of our exciting updates.

May 04, 2010There Is No Small Gig in New York, our gig at Rosie O'Grady's Last Night

When I was a student at Juilliard, I remember one of the teachers telling us "There is no small gig in New York." He meant that you just never know who is in the audience, and what repercussion that one gig can have. Last night's gig at Rosie O'Grady's was no exception.

The internationally renowned "sax shop" Roberto's Winds' owner Roberto Romeo started a concert series called "Times Square Jazz" at Rosie O'Grady's, the restaurant right downstairs from his shop on 46th Street right off Broadway. The shows happen every Monday, two groups each night featuring some of the most distinguished artists including Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding, Greg Osby, Ravi Coltrane just to name a few.

Last night was my ensemble's turn to perform there, the first band to go on that night, followed by Marcus Strickland Trio. To be honest, performing in New York City can be a very rough thing as there are literally hundreds of shows playing on any given night, and to "get those busy New Yorkers out", can be a very difficult thing. So before the show, I did what I always do whenever I perform at a club in New York. I sent emails and sent invitations on FaceBook, and went to bed feeling a little bit concerned if anybody is going to show up.

As we were sound checking, some of the audiences started to show up. And soon, my concerns turned to excitement. Some of my most distinguished friends, these "busy" New Yorkers started to show up. Okay, we didn't have hundreds of people, but the ones who attended the show were: a painter, an author, a journalist, composers, jazz musicians, band-leaders, a singer-songwriter/star, a concert cellist, contortionists from Cirque du Soleil, and a very important person from the United Nations.

Maybe it's because jazz only attracts sophisticates. Or maybe it's a typical New York thing. In any case, it was so great to see some of the most distinguished, interesting and fascinating people I know all at once last night. The crowd wasn't huge, but it might have been the most concentrated population of important people I have had in the audience.

Frankly, I remember very few things that I learned at Juilliard, but I am glad I remembered this lesson--there is no small gig in New York, and you have to put the best foot forward no matter the size of the audience. And it looks like this gig is already leading to exciting future collaborations.

March 31, 2010Our Debut at Rosie O'Grady's on May 3rd, 2010!

We will hit one of the newest and most happening jazz venues in town, Rosie O'Grady's (hosted by Roberto's Winds) on May 3rd. The ensemble will perform pieces from their upcoming album "Naima" (our second album) as well as the ones that will be on our third album.

Meg Okura and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble featuring
Gregg August (bass)
Anne Drummond (flute)
Alvester Garnett (drums)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Meg Okura (violin, erhu, and vocal)

149 West 46th Street
Cover: $10

March 21, 2010PACJE feat. Jamie Baum performs This Saturday in NYC

The PACJE will perform an intimate set at Shmbhala Meditation Center this Saturday.
Special guests: Jamie Baum (flutes) & Sam Newsome (soprano sax)
Mamiko Kitaura (keys)
Jennifer Vincent (bass/cello)
Meg Okura (violin/erhu)
Philip Meyer (percussion)
$10 cover
118 West 22nd Street, 6th Floor

March 02, 2010Our Upcoming CD "Naima" Preview Tracks Available Now!

We have our sample tracks available here on this site for you to preview our upcoming CD "Naima." Please feel free to send us any feed back! We will be giving out 5 free copies to our fans on Facebook as soon as it's available! So please do not forget to become our fan on Facebook, if you haven't done so already!

February 15, 2010Thank you for attending our concert at Flushing Town Hall!!

We would like to thank everyone who attended and gave us standing ovation at our concert yesterday at Flushing Town Hall. Please stay in touch with us through FB!

February 05, 2010Special Discount For Our Flushing Town Hall Show!

Featuring jazz-flute star Anne Drummond, the PACJE will perform on February 14, 2010 as a part of Flushing Town Hall’s Lunar New Year celebration.

Sunday, Feb 14th, 2:00 PM
Flushing Town Hall*

137-35 Northern Boulevard (at the corner of Linden Place)
Flushing, NY 11354
Tickets: $12
$10 Members & Students
$5 Children
(718) 463-7700 x222

Anne Drummond
(flute)
Alvester Garnett (drums)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Meg Okura (violin, erhu)
Jennifer Vincent (bass)

To receive 15% off, mention the code “MO15" when you call (718) 463-7700 x222 or visit Flushing Town Hall box office.

*A Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America, Inc. production
presented by Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts as
part of the Lunar New Year Festival.

January 08, 2010PACJE Performs Tomorrow at 8:50pm and NOT 8:30 pm at Hilton Regent Parlor

Please come join us for our annual APAP show case presented by Golden Lance Concerts and Connections at NY Hilton Regency Parlor on the second floor at 8:50pm, and not at 8:30 pm as I have previously announced.

Meg Okura's Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
Golden Land Concerts and Connections Show Case at APAP
NY HILTON - REGENT PARLOR, 2nd Floor
8:50 -9:10 pm

Alvester Garnett (drums)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Jun Kubo (flute & shinobue)
Meg Okura (erhu & violin)
Jennifer Vincent (bass)

October 15, 2009"The Meaning of Tea" Movie Screening Tonight!

Composer, erhu player and the violinist Meg Okura has participated in the making of the soundtrack by Joel Doubeck for a film called "Meaning of the Tea" more than a year ago. The time has finally come for the screening and tonight there will be a screening at Soho House in New York City.

October 06, 2009Recording Finally!

In 2006, Meg founded her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, her first world chamber jazz project, consisting of mostly female, mostly Asian members. Since then, the ensemble has had some successes--from collaborating with an Oscar nominated film actor Terrence Haward to closing a two-month long festival in California, touring Japan, while staying active, performing in Festivals, theaters, clubs as well as churches. However, all of these things did not come easily. After the first year, Meg had to revamp the whole band because she wasn't getting what she needed from the band.

After the personnel change, which felt awkward at the time, the new members started performing together steadily for at least two years now with occasional subs and special guests. This past summer, Meg also added a wonderful jazz flutist Anne Drummond to the ensemble. Jennifer now plays the bass for the ensemble, and added Rubin Kodheli to play the cello who has subbed for Jennifer on occasions.

As the ensemble grew in size and quality, so did the repertoire. After the uncomfortable firing of the old band mates, Meg continued to write new compositions and arrangements having those musicians in mind. And what was more uncomfortable than having to fire the old band members is that Meg had to sell the ensemble's debut CD (with the old members) after each gig in front of the new members, who just gave a great performance.

So what should the ensemble do? They are finally going into the studio this month! Meg will record part of the ensembles repertoire in a recording studio for the first time since the debut CD was recorded in her apartment four years ago. Meg is hoping to release the ensemble's second album in 2010.

September 12, 2009Double Bill with Soprano Saxophonist Sam Newsome this Month!

Golden Land Concert and Connections will present a double bill performance featuring Sam Newsome playing solo saxophone & violinist/composer Meg Okura and her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble at DROM in New York City on Friday, September 25, 2009.

Program

“Blue Soliloquy" by Sam Newsome
a collection of solo soprano saxophone works
Performed by Sam Newsome

The Suite “Lu Chai" by Meg Okura
a chamber jazz suite inspired by a poem “Lu Chai" by Wang Wei
Performed by Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble

Anne Drummond (flute)
Willard Dyson (drums)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Rubin Kodheli (cello)
Jun Kubo (shinobue/flute)
Meg Okura (violin, erhu)
Jennifer Vincent (double bass)



Listings Information: Double Bill: Sam Newsome (solo) & Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
September 25, 2009 – 7:00 PM
DROM -85 Avenue A (b/w 5th & 6th) New York City
Admission -$15 –For Tickets and Information call 212-777-1157

Solo Soprano Saxophone Works by Sam Newsome
Newsome, named a “Rising Star" in the Soprano Saxophone category in this year’s 56th Annual Downbeat Critic’s Poll, will be performing music from his soon-to-be released CD, Blue Soliloquy, a collection of cross-cultural works for solo saxophone that takes listeners on a journey from the Mississippi Delta all the way to the mountains of Mongolia. Time Out New York has referred to Newsome’s solo works as “…an astounding display of extended techniques."

A Chamber Suite “Lu Chai" by Meg Okura
I. Empty Mountains
II. Echo of Voices
III. Sunlight
IV. Green Moss

For Okura and her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, this will make their second appearance at Drom--the first being a sold-out concert last fall with Oscar Award winning actor/singer Terrence Howard. The ensemble will perform music from Okura’s extended suite “Lu Chai," (inspired by a poetry by Wang Wei) which fuses traditional sounds of Asia with contemporary classical and jazz. Originally commissioned by the Jerome Composer Commission Program (JCCP) in 2007, the suite will feature traditional instruments including Okura’s erhu (Chinese violin) and Jun Kubo’s shinobue (Japanese flute), as well as premiere jazz flutist Anne Drummond, Rubin Kodheli on cello, Jennifer Vincent on double bass, Mamiko Kitaura on piano, and Willard Dyson on drums.

September 02, 2009We Can Finally Breath Now!

We did it! We just came back to New York City after making our West Coast debut on August 30, at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena in the midst of the mountain fires. It was the last day of the whole festival which lasted for the entire summer for two and half months, presenting 50 concerts. Because of hazardous air quality and heat, we were not expecting many people in the audience. We wouldn't have been outdoors if it wasn't for the gig. Well, it turns out that so many people still came to the concert, giving us so much enthusiasm! We were so touched by how the audience welcomed us and gave us so much love and support! We ended up performed straight for 120 minutes!

And for those of you who use facebook, the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena is taking votes for the best performer of 2009. Please vote for us if you liked our performance! One of the audience member has also posted our video clip on facebook from that evening. So please check it out!

We left smoky Pasadena, and we are now back in NYC, and we can finally breath now, literally.

August 01, 2009PACJE making its West Coast Debut This Month!

On Sunday, August 30th at 7:00, we will be making our west coast debut at The Levitt Pavilion Pasadena at Memorial Park as a part of "Music Under The Stars" - Levvit Pavilion's free concert series which runs throughout the summer. Levitt is presenting us in their new series called "Tru Jazz New Jazz" - a series which introduce diverse jazz artists from straight ahead to smooth jazz. We will be closing the whole festival on August 30th. So please bring everybody!

Meg Okura (violin, erhu)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano and keyboard)
Jun Kubo (flute, shinobue)
Jennifer Vincent (bass)
Willard Dyson (drums)

Sunday, August 30th, 2009 7:00 PM
The Levitt Pavilion

85 E. Holly St. (Memorial Park on Raymond and Walnut Ave)
Admission – Free
Information 626-683-3230

July 11, 2009Lincoln Center 50 Years- featuring Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble at borough libraries

As Lincoln Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are honored to take a part in one of many special events held place both in and out of the Lincoln Center facilities. The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble will be presented at two of the borough libraries, Forest Hills and the Bronx this month, representing Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist program.

The presentation will include our repertoire (mixing and intertwining of jazz, classical and world music) audience participation, and Q &A with all of the performers which include some of the finest jazz musicians today.

Meg Okura (violin)
Anne Drummond (flute)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Jennifer Vincent (bass & cello)
Alvester Garnett (drums)

February 12, 2009Meg Performing in Tokyo with Corteo

Meg is now performing ten times a week in Tokyo with Cirque du Soleil's Corteo!

January 24, 2009Meg Okura returns to Tokyo- this time with Corteo, a Cirque du Soleil Production

New York based jazz violinist Meg Okura is returning to Japan this month to join the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo in Tokyo. The original violinist Gale Hess will be taking a personal leave soon after she finishes the Tokyo premiere, and Meg Okura will be the violinist from February 9 through April 15.

Meg Okura was born in Ome, Tokyo, went to Toho School of Music, graduated with BM and MM from the Juilliard School. She has worked with many of the jazz giants including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Diane Reeves, and the late Michael Brecker, with whom she has toured Japan with in 2004. She has also worked with many pop artists including David Bowie, Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West to name a few. Last fall, she was the concertmaster and the arranger for the New York All Star Strings, backing up a Japanese pop singer, Mariko Takahashi.

This is Meg’s first work with Corteo, and the third show with the Cirque du Soleil. She toured the U.S. with VAREKAI in 2004, then Wintuk, a production at New York’s Madison Square Garden for the winter of 2007 & 2008.

January 13, 2009View PACJE Videos On This Site!

We have just uploaded some short video clips of our live performances on our site. You can now view our clips without leaving the site. I hope you enjoy viewing them. We are also planning to put videos from more recent performances, rehearsals, and some interviews with the band members. So please come visit us back again. In the mean time, if you have any questions, comments, or request, please write to us!

December 26, 2008PACJE Appearing at APAP Showcase

We are pleased to announce that Meg Okura and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble will be appearing at the 2009 APAP showcase as a part of the Golden Land Concerts and Connections, a premiere booking agency in New York City. We will be performing a 35 min. set, (using two time slots as one) which includes Okura's original arrangements of John Coltrane's "Naima", Paganini "Caprice No. 24", music from China "Horse Race", as well as Okura's popular originals "Afrasia" & "Dance at the Palace."

Sutton Suite -Regent Parlor at Hilton Hotel in New York City
January 10, 2009

9:30 PM - 10:10 PM

Meg Okura (violin & erhu)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Jun Kubo (flute & shinobue)
Jennifer Vincent (bass & cello)
Willard Dyson (drums)
Mathias Kunzli (percussion)

November 03, 2008Actor Terrence Howard Sings With MEG OKURA'S PACJE!!

Oscar nominated film actor Terrence Howard sat in last night with Meg Okura's Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble at Drom in New York City. Mr. Howard sang two songs from his debut album "Shine Through It", the title song and "Love Makes You Beautiful." We will be posting some pictures from this event. Please check back!

October 05, 2008Come out to DROM on November 2nd!

So far we are having a great month. We started out with our Harlem debut on October 2, then the four performances of the Crane Wife production this weekend were just amazing- outdoor at the Pier 66, performing for hundreds of our new audiences. This month, we will be performing on a ship again for a special event to celebrate the 35th debut anniversary of a Japanese icon and pop singer, Mariko Takahashi. The following day, we will have our public performance at a fabulous NY club, DROM in Alphabet City. This will be our most special performance ever with our surprise special guests! So please come out on November 2nd. You won't be disappointed.

October 03, 2008Bring Your Whole Family to Frying Pan This Saturday and Sunday!

Thank you again for coming to our Harlem debut at the Sister's Bookstore. We had an amazing time on stage!!

This weekend, the PACJE is performing the music to "The Crane Wife" live, choreographed by Caron Eule, and original score by Meg Okura. It's a free community performance. So bring your whole family. There will be a workshop for kids, complete menu at the restaurant, and live music and dance!

September 20, 2008Save The Dates! October 2nd, October 1st and the 2nd in NYC!

We are kicking off our new season in Harlem, NYC on October 2nd at the Sister's Bookstore. Curated by my old friend and violist Judith Insell, the PACJE will debut in Harlem, playing our exciting repertoire on electric violin, electric bass, electric piano and keyboard, drums and flutes. Of course you will also get to hear our sweet ethnic instruments, the erhu and shinobue.

The highlight of the season is our 30 min. showcase as a part of Mariko Takahashi Special Dinner Cruise on November 1st. The PACJE was chosen to entertain the fans of Mariko Takahashi from Japan as well as V.I.P.’s and industry executives who will be attending this fabulous dinner cruise. The following day, the PACJE will give a full concert at the NY’s hip club DROM.

So please save the dates. We would love to see you this fall!

September 08, 2008One Autumn Night -Come join us for an evening of cocktail, music and dance with live auction!

On Friday, September 19th, C. Eule Dance is having a benefit party at Tenri Cultural Institute (43A West 13th Street, New York City) to raise money for their upcoming performance of the Crane Wife. The event will include cocktail, live music, Japanese dance by Momo Suzuki, and a dance performance of excerpts from the Carne Wife (choreography by Caron Eule, and original score by Meg Okura). And of course PACJE members will there to show our support, but more for the fun. The live auction items will include dates with hot dancers paired with restaurant gift certificates. My friends Mu Pan and Kazuo Ooka have kindly donated their amazing art works for the auction as well. There will be some jamming with the house band, food and wine, and many beautiful people. So please do not miss this opportunity to support performing and get to know us! Let’s party!

One Autumn Night
Friday, September 19th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street, New York City

The proceeds will support their free community performances with the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz at Pier 66 as a part of the openhousenewyork weekend.

August 07, 2008Meg and Mamiko Receive "Metlife Creative Connections" Grant Again!

Composers, Meg Okura and Mamiko Kitaura were recently selected for the “Metlife Creative Connections" grant by the Meet The Composer for their upcoming performances of the Crane Wife with the PACJE and the C. Eule Dance on October 4th & 5th. The grant will also cover their educational program called “Music and Movements" held at Ballet Hispanico. This is their second time receiving the Creative Connections grant for the PACJE performance. The upcoming performances of the Crane Wife will be held on a boat floating at Pier 66, know as “Frying Pan". The performances are free, and there will be delicious food and drinks menu to order from.

June 26, 2008PACJE's Huge Success In Japan!

After our debut in Japan, PACJE has safely returned to our home in NYC. We wanted to thank our unbelievably enthusiastic audiences for coming to our concerts, buying our CD, giving us standing ovations, and just so much love! We have never felt so much support anywhere else! We would also like to apologize to those two hundred friends and fans, those who were not able to purchase the tickets due to the limited seats in the house. Next time, we will perform at a larger theater so we can perform for more friends and fans! We have uploaded some video clips on YouTube. (click on this link for our "Horse Race" encore!) So please check them out! Also, the final concert at Ome Shimin Hall will be aired on Tama Cable Network in July! Also, please email us any pictures of us with you in Japan so I can put them up on this site!

June 13, 2008Tickets SOLD OUT for Ome Shimin Hall- Come to Sengawa!!

Good news is that tickets for all 600 seats for the concert at the Ome Shimin Hall are now completely sold out. The bad news is that all 600 seats are sold out. If you would still like to catch Meg Okura & Sam Newsome Quintet, and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble featuring the legendary Tommy Campbell, please come to our concert at Kick Back Cafe in Sengawa on June 19th! There might be limited seats available.


E-mail info@kickbackcafe.jp
TEL 03-5384-1577

June 05, 2008Crane Wife Reviewed on The New York Times!

Our Saturday performance by the C. Eule Dance and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble was reviewed on the New York Times! Please check it out!

May 31, 2008Thank You From Meg For the Amazing Performance of the Crane Wife.

Three sold-out shows at the University Settlement, the Manhattan debut of the Crane Wife production was a great success. I never knew how wonderful it feels to be a part of such an amazing show- elegant, seamless, yet dynamic and exciting, classy and edgy, near perfect performance and production. I am truly honored to collaborate with such a talented young choreographer Caron Eule, and her C. Eule Dance. I love and adore each one of the dancers. Michelle and Hasi, Erin, Faith, Gisela, Matt, Justin, Cornelius, Mona, Yuu, and Ivanova. And on behalf of the entire nation of Japan, I would like to thank all of you for learning Japanese dances and performing with such grace. I think Momo did a great job, showing you guys the Japanese movements. Would have never been the same without her.
I would like to also thank "MY" talented and devoted musicians. You played with so much emotion and energy. I think you added so much to the dance and the story itself. Thank you Jun, Jennifer, Mathias and Mamiko. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with you!
And the special thanks to Tony, the amazing lighting director and Rachel- stage manager who was somehow able to manage all of us! And very very special thanks to DAVID and SAM. You guys are angels.

May 05, 2008PACJE Going To JAPAN!!

We are please to announce that we are coming to Japan this summer! We will be performing just three venues in the Tokyo area with a special guest drummer, Tommy Campbell!

April 21, 2008The Crane Wife Coming to Manhattan!

The Performance Project @ University Settlement will present C. Eule Dance and The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble performing The Crane Wife and other repertory favorites. The Performance Project is a new presenting series at a historic location. There will be three performances: May 30th and May 31st at 8PM, and a Family Matinee (consisting of The Crane Wife, followed by a dance workshop) on May 31st at 3PM. Tickets for the evening performances are $15, $10 for students, seniors, and free for children under 12. Tickets for the Family Matinee and Workshop are $7. To reserve tickets call (212)453-4532 or email project.audience@gmail.com. The Performance Project @ University Settlement is located at 184 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10022 (on the corner of Rivington St.) F/V to Second Ave, B/D to Grand Street.
Choreographer Caron Eule and composer, jazz violinist and erhu player Meg Okura collaborated to create The Crane Wife. Intertwining traditional Japanese culture with cutting edge movement and live music, the work re-imagines an ancient Japanese fable. The Family Matinee will be followed by a hands-on workshop in which children will retell the story of The Crane Wife using their own invented movements. The evening program will also include a segment of original music by The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, as well as two C. Eule Dance favorites:
Prelude/Nocturne – a contemporary ballet performed to piano music by Scriabin and Chopin where Koji Atwood seamlessly plays the piano while performing the pivotal role in the piece, merging the line between dancer and pianist.
Jazz Tunes of the '20s – a suite of three vignettes, which blends contemporary dance with musical theater elements set to the popular songs of The Manhattan Rhythm Kings.

April 06, 2008Crane Wife Clips Up on YouTube

C. Eule Dance & Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble's Crane Wife reel is finally up on YouTube!! Crane Wife (Tsuruno Ongaeshi) is a Japanese fable, told through live music, dance and narration. Check it our!

February 16, 2008Special Thanks from Meg -Lu Chai & Crane Wife's Great Success Last Week!

Thank you for coming out last week to attend the premiere performance of "Lu Chai" and PACJE collaboration with C.Eule Dance "Crane Wife." I heard that many were moved to tears, even adult men. I wanted to express my sincere thanks to Jun, Mamiko, Jennifer, and Rich to make this possible. Also Caron for this wonderful opportunity to collaborate on such an amazing production! Thanks to LIU & Kumble Theater. Very special thanks to Rodney Hurly and stafffs!

February 02, 2008Asian New Year Celebration 2008 at Kumble Theater

The Kumble Theater, Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, C. Eule Dance and ASA
Presents Asian New Year Celebration 2008

February 15th 7:30PM
February 16th 3:00PM


Kumble Theater
1 University Plaza, Brooklyn


In celebration of the Asian New Year, the Kumble Theater will present three acts of dance and music inspired by Chinese and Japanese cultures performed by The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, C. Eule Dance, and the LIU Asian Student Association. There will be two performances: February 15th at 7:30 p.m. and a Family Day Matinee on February 16th at 3 p.m.. Tickets for both performances are $15, $10 for students, seniors, and children. Tickets can be purchased online at www.kumbletheater.org or by contacting the Kumble Theater box office at (718) 488-1624. You may also stop by the box office located on the Long Island University Brooklyn campus at 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn NY, 11201, via train lines 2,3,4,5, B,M,Q,R, A,C, or G.


C. Eule Dance and The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble will premier their original collaboration based on the Japanese Fable Tsuru-no Ongaeishi/The Crane Wife. This dance/theater work is performed by a fusion of contemporary dance, choreographed by Caron Eule, with traditional Japanese dance, choreographed by Momo Suzuki. The music, composed by Meg Okura, also blends Japanese music with contemporary jazz and will be performed live by her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble. Narrator, Allison Hiroto, weaves the story together in both English and Japanese, adding a linguistic element to the piece. Other than The Crane Wife’s Japanese cultural offerings, the fable demonstrates an important message concerning greed and the consequences of one’s actions.

C. Eule Dance is a New York City-based modern dance company of twelve dancers under the direction of choreographer Caron Eule. Eule’s movement fuses classical modern dance, ballet, gymnastics, and traditional dances from around the globe. The work is spirited and dynamic. The diversity of style, media and themes combined with the artistic excellence of performers and interdisciplinary collaborating artists makes C. Eule Dance performances compelling, proving to be enjoyed by dance connoisseurs and novices alike. www.ceuledance.org

Founded in 2006 by violinist Meg Okura, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble has defined a new genre of music “world chamber jazz" with its multi-cultural and original sounds. The five players demonstrate dexterous playing on all of their instruments, including traditional instruments such as the erhu (two-stringed Chinese violin), shinobue (a Japanese bamboo flute), as well violin, flute, cello, soprano sax, piano, and world percussion. www.panasianchamberjazzensemble.com


Press Information: Peg Byron 718-488-1418
pegbyron@liu.edukumble@brooklyn.liu.edu

January 18, 2008PACJE's Video Clips Now on YouTube!!

For those of who missed our concert at the Winter JazzFest 2008 last Saturday at the Knitting Factory, we now have some clips available for your viewing on YouTube. If you like what you watch, please feel free to share with your friends and family, and they can so as well. Enjoy!

January 15, 2008Come Celebrate Asian New Year With PACJE & C. Eule Dance!

PACJE will be performing at the Kumble Theater in Brooklyn on February 15 & 16. The performance will include premiere of Meg Okura’s new composition suite “Lu Chai" (Deer Park), as well as a dance & music production of “Crane Wife" (Tsuru-no ongaeshi), choreographed by Caron Eule and original composition by Meg Okura, performed by PACJE & C.Eule Dance.

November 29, 2007Come See PACJE and Dave Douglas, David Murray, and many others!

PACJE and 22 other jazz groups will be featured in The 2008 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST during the Arts Presenters (APAP) conference. Over 5000 arts professionals will be in New York City for the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference from January 11-14. As there will be hundreds of showcases scheduled throughout the weekend around the city both at the Hilton Hotel and in alternative venues, the Knitting Factory offers APAP conference attendees, and the general public, the opportunity to experience the best of today's new live jazz and experimental music in a club venue setting.

The 2008 festival will include Dave Douglas, Don Byron, David Murray and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble.

The Knitting Factory welcomes all Arts Presenter conference badge-holders to RSVP and reserve their Full-Club Pass to the 2008 NYC WINTER JAZZFEST on January 12th, by emailing rsvp@winterjazzfest.com. Only 2008 APAP Conference attendees are able to RSVP. Tickets / Full-Club Passes are available to the General Public for $25 at www.knittingfactory.com. For more information spend time at www.winterjazzfest.com

November 22, 2007PACJE Live on Channel 7 This Sunday! - Lincoln Center Pre-Treelighting

PACJE will be featured on TV this coming Sunday for the pre tree-lighting at the Lincoln Center. It will be outside near the Christmas tree at Lincoln Center. Please come by or catch us on TV on channel 7!

October 31, 2007PACJE updates- New CD, Gigs and Dance Project!

PACJE would like to thank those who came to our concert this Monday at St. Paul's Chapel! It was so great to see so many of you!

We are currently working on our next CD and our collaboration project with C. Eule Dance on the new production of "The Cane Wife" (Tsuruno Ongaeshi) to be premiered in the spring of 2008. The album will showcase many of our new compositions including "AFRASIA" featuring some of our ethnic instruments such as erhu and shinobue.

Our next big performances are our first APAP appearance at the Winter Fest in New York City, and our performance at the Kumble Theater in Brooklyn for the Asian New Years. We will premiere Meg's new suite "Lu Chai" in the first half. The second half will be PACJE's collaboration with choreographer Caren Eule, and will be performing excerpts from the new production "Crane Wife" (Tsuru-no Ongaeshi) with the C.Eule Dance.

We will be rehearsing and recording for the next few months! In the mean time, we would love to hear your feedback from our live performances or recordings on this site!

Keep in touch!

Meg

September 23, 2007PACJE Returns to St. Paul's Chapel With a Whole New Program This Fall!

After our successful concert at the St. Paul’s Chapel in April, PACJE is performing there again with a new program. For the past few months, we have been rehearsing our new repertoire written by the ensemble members and including original arrangements of exciting jazz standards. We will bring totally fresh sounds to our third season! We are also preparing for our new recording- the first recording with the current members featuring new compositions and arrangements using erhu, shinobue and other exotic instruments.

Hope to see you on October 29 at St. Paul’s Chapel. Feel free to bring your video camera to put it on YouTube!

PACJE

July 24, 2007Sam Newsome's New Solo Saxophone CD Available Now

PACJE’s frequent guest and a great saxophonist Sam Newsome has a new solo saxophone CD, now available online. Mr. Newsome, best known for his cross-cultural jazz group “Global Unity" as well as sideman works with Terence Blanchard and Donald Bird, is now embarking a new chapter in his career as a solo soprano saxophonist, showcasing his highly sophisticated extended techniques. Three years in the making, this new CD “Monk Abstraction" will change your mind about soprano saxophones.

June 21, 2007Jerome Composers Commissioning Program Winners Announced

The American Composers Forum announces the results of the 2006 Jerome Composers Commissioning Program (JCCP). Meg Okura was one of the seven winners, and will write a large piece for the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble to be premiered February 2008.
Other winners are: William Brittelle, Corey Dargel, Michael Dellaira, Bryce Dessner, Kristin Norderval and Rob Reddy.

May 06, 2007Featured On Meet The Composer

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble and three of its' composers (Mamiko Kitaura, Sam Newsome, and Meg Okura) are featured on Meet The Composer's site for their "Creative Connections" grant.

April 25, 2007Pulse Features Meg Okura on erhu, vocal, and violin@ Roulette on May 5th, 2007

Sihr Halal, featuring the Pulse ensemble with various non-Western musicians performing new compositions celebrating the human spirit.
2007-05-05 8:30 PM
Roulette - 20 Greene Street, New York City
$15

www.roulette.org


Sihr Halal will feature the premiere of six new compositions, melding improvisation, contemporary classical and world music: a contemporary re-imagining of Western and non-Western musical traditions.

April 18, 2007Free Concert Next Week!

Trinity Concerts presents Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble at Saint Paul's Chapel on April 23, 2007.

Compositions by Mamiko Kitaura, Sam Newsome, & Meg Okura

Meg Okura (violin & erhu)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Jun Kubo (flute & shinobue)
Jennifer Vincent (cello)
Rich Stein (percussion)
Sam Newsome (soprano saxophone)

April 16, 2007PACJE Open Rehearsal on April 16! (Free)

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is inviting you to join us for our special open rehearsal, sponsored by the Meet The Composer “Creative Connections" grant. The ensemble will be going over some of the latest original works to be performed at Saint Paul’s Chapel in Tribeca on April 23. Great oportunity to come ask any questions to each player & three of the composers.

April 16, 2007
7:30pm 9:00pm
H-106 at the Long Island University Brooklyn Campus
(FREE)


Meg Okura (erhu)
Jun Kubo (flute)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Jennifer Vincent (cello)
Rich Stein (percussion)

Repertoire: Afrasia, 3-3-7, Fly High, Requiem, Dance at the Palace, and more

*The Campus is on your right at the corner of DeKalb and Flatbush avenues.

March 31, 2007Special Thanks....

Thank you so much for supporting my project, Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble by showing up to our gig last Friday. I was touched by your presence and humbled by your standing-ovation. It was so nice to see all of you, including many accomplished musicians, composers and singers, students from NYU, and an old friend whom I hadn't seen since the early 90's.

Special thanks to Paul, Neil and Rose at the Paul's Imports. Very special thanks to my band for your musicianship and friendship. Thank you Jun, Mamiko, Rich and Greg. I can't thank you guys enough.

March 30, 2007This Friday, March 30th- PACJE in Concert!

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is making its Morningside Heights debut this week at Parish Hall on 114th street and Broadway. The door will open at 7:00pm for sake and wine. The performance at 8:00pm will include premieres as well as tunes from our debut album with fresh new personnel and exotic instruments.


Tickets are now available for $9.00. ($12 at the door)

March 30th, 2007
7:00 pm door
8:00 pm performance
Parish Hall

Meg Okura (erhu & violin)
Jun Kubo (flute & shinobue)
Mamiko Kitaura (piano)
Greg Heffernan (cello)
Rich Stein (percussion)

March 12, 2007Congratulations! Three Composers of the PACJE receive Meet The Composer's "Creative Connections" grant.

Three composers of the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Meg Okura, Mamiko Kitaura, and Sam Newsome were chosen to receive "Creative Connections" grant from "Meet The Composer" organization for thee performance of their new works on April 23 at Saint Paul's Chapel in Tribeca.

March 01, 2007Hina-matsuri (Doll Festival) MP3 Free Give Away!

Hina-Matsuri, also know as Doll Festival or Girl’s Day is a Japanese festival for girls, celebrated on March 3rd. Japanese families with young girls display seven-tired sets of Hina doll, ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period. While “Boy’s Day" on May 5th is a national holiday of Japan, Hina-matsuri isn’t at all a national holiday, and they have to carry on with their daily duties. Growing up in Japan, I always felt insulted about this matter even as a little girl. So this year, I am giving away my MP3 only on the Hina-matsuri. I have some new tracks featuring myself on “erhu"- two stringed Chinese violin. So please check back again on March 3rd and receive free MP3 downloads!

February 17, 2007A Happy Chinese New Year!

This year is the year of pig, and this happens in a cycle of every twelve years. Some jazz musicians who were born in the year of pig are: Milt Jackson, Thad Jones, Elvin Jones, Antonio Sanchez, Paul Chambers, Chris Potter, and Aaron Parks.

January 13, 2007Michael Brecker Dies

The greatest tenor saxophonist for the past three decades, and a friend, Michael Brecker died on January 13. He touched millions of hearts through his music, and he will be missed devastatingly. He was kind, thoughtful, and never jive. He was one of the biggest influences as a musician, and massive inspiration in my life, and will continue to be so as long as I live.

December 01, 2006World AIDS Day Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble performs at the Women's Call for Action Event Today

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble was invited to perform at the Women's Call For Action event hosted by World Vision this afternoon, together with keynote speaker Sandra Thurman, the president of the International AIDS Trust, Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda, Hanna Teter, the 2006 olympic gold medalist and others. The women gethered there were inspired, challenged, laughted and teared up more than a few times. PACJE performed four selections from the repertoir, featuring Jun Kubo on flute and shinobue, Mamiko Kitaura on piano, Jennifer Vincent on cello, Shane Shanahan on percussion, and Meg Okura on violin & erhu.

Here is Meg's Speech from this afternoon.

When World Vision first contacted me about performing at today’s event, I was told to address “AIDS epidemic in Africa." I said, “Sure, I could do that." Then a few minutes later, I thought to myself, “Wow, I really don’t know much about the AIDS epidemic in Africa." So, I decided to take the “AIDS Test" the interactive exam on the World Vision site. By the way congratulations on the “Echo Award." The result? I didn’t do that great. And I wondered why I didn’t do so well.

How often do we talk about AIDS, which orphans 6,000 a day? We talk about other things such as the war on Iraq, black Friday and cyber Monday, Tom and Katie’s wedding, all of those other important issues. 6,000 new orphans everyday. How many orphans of AIDS do we know of? None. Because all AIDS newborns get treated right away in the United States, so that’s not our problem, is it?

I recently had a heated argument with my colleagues while on the road. One of the colleagues was expressing how much he hates his neighborhood because they harass him “because he is white." After that, the whole band joined him, discussing how African Americans should stop being “so lazy" and start educating their children, “like the Jews." I suggested that there are many African Americans who were born into unfortunate circumstances and that we need to be more compassionate toward them. Their answer: we can’t do anything about their problems. They have to start educating their own people and stop having children. I said, “How could you say it’s “THEIR" problem? You are talking about the people in the same building! And you call it- it’s THEIR PROBLEM? I then thought to myself, “How could we care about AIDS orphans in Africa thousands of miles away if we couldn’t care about the children living right up stairs? Just because of the difference of skin colors"

What happened to us? Out of all Americans, we are New Yorkers! People live in the same city, in the same neighborhood, on the same street, yet we don’t identify at all with each other. Why is that? Why can’t we be one community? I really wanted to find a way to connect, identify, and have empathy for people who look different from me, who grew up in vastly different climate, culture, and environment.

We are gathered here today, as women. We, women, know that we are very special because God designed us to be different from men. For example, we have boobs. What do boobs do? They feed babies! My mother breastfed me, I don’t remember it, but I am sure she did. I have a very special bond with my mother, as many of you do with your mothers. My mother has always been proud of her role as a mother, and she once said; “It’s always the “mommy," no matter boy or a girl. They always want mommy when then cry." I remember fighting over my mother’s laps with my sister, and every time, we ended up sharing her laps, sitting on each side. I asked lots of questions to my mother growing up, the kind of questions that I would never ask my dad. I have even shared some secrets with her when I was a bit older. We argued and hurt each other’s feelings sometimes, and sometimes, quite severely. But we never stopped loving each other no matter what had been said. Now, my mother will be a grandmother soon, not through me, but through my sister. She is four months pregnant.

Let’s stop for a moment and try to imagine, me having lost my mother at the age of five or six, or eight. I wouldn’t even be the same person today! No one to teach me things like, etiquette, about compassion, about relationships, about how to treat other people. I can’t imagine not having had the encouragement, support and love that I had received from my mother. Not only that, if in Africa, I would have had to drop out of elementary school and start earning money to support my siblings, in an extremely dangerous way, because I would be considered “uneducated" and have no skills. I would soon contract HIV, maybe through rape or prostitution, then, have children of my own, give them AIDS perhaps, then die before they are old enough to comprehend AIDS.

This is what’s happening today in Africa. Women are not encouraged to use condoms, women can’t say “no" and are raped, especially the virgins because they believe that having an intercourse with a virgin cures AIDS. These things happen to women in Africa everyday. These are mothers, wives, daughters, and young girls. Is this “THEIR problem" or “OUR problem."? We are all women here, we are mothers or future mothers, and all of us are daughters of a mother! Every girl AND boy needs a mother. Let’s be compassionate. We women are made to be compassionate. I would like to dedicate this next tune for all of the mothers in Africa. Thank you.

November 07, 2006Congratulations Meg Okura & Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, 2006 Recipient of the American Composers Forum Composers Commissioning Program!

Composer & Music Director of the PACJE, Meg Okura was selected as one of the recipients of the prestigious Jerome Foundation’s Commissioning Program. She is commissioned to write a piece incorporating both Japanese and Chinese traditional music and musical instruments for the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble to be premiered in New York during the Beijing Olympics 2008.

November 03, 2006IMA Announces 2006 Finalists- "Meg Okura's Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble"

Our debut CD has been selected as one of the Finalists in the IMA (Independent Music Awards) this year. Thanks for your support!

September 06, 2006Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble featured on Bowed Radio.

Podcast “Bowed Radio" now features Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble’s “Yuki" in the Episode 014! Other featured artists include some of our friends from NYC, Ethel and Joe deninzon’s Stratospheerius. Hope you enjoy the show!

Click Here for Episode 014

August 07, 2006Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble Featured on All About Jazz

Our CD release gig at Makor was covered by Elliot Simon of All About Jazz as a part of his “Jazz Holiday on a Budget." We are the “up – and coming" category, followed by jazz greats such as Mulgrew Miller, Steve Nelson, and Wycliffe Gordon. Please take a look!

June 23, 2006New CD Now Available at “iTunes” Music Store

Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is now available at iTunes music store as well as many other digital distribution sites. Simply type in “Meg Okura" in the search window and you will be able to download each song for $0.99 and the whole album just for $7.92!! I hope you will enjoy the music…



All About Jazz
…elegantly intertwine(s) elements of classical, jazz and world folk into a new sound. … they do so by presenting precisely played ethnically inspired original compositions in an exciting modern jazz context.

complete review:www.alaboutjazz.com



Chris Ruel’s Instrumental Music Reviews
… a phenomenal new album that showcases her stunning compositional skills that integrate stylistic elements from multiple genres of music within individual arrangements. ….simply astounding.

track by track review:www.chrisruel.com



Boudica's Music Reviews
…very original and fresh. It crosses between classical and jazz. It is relaxing, it is invigorating. It never disappoints; rather it draws your attention throughout the entire production. The compositions are complex, the skill of the musicians is without question and the quality does not hint at all of it’s independent production.

track by track review: www.zodiacbistro.com




Customer Reviews:

Original and Powerful and Very Enjoyable
www.epinions.com


Absolutely Phenomenal
www.CDBaby.com


May 23, 2006Long Island University Elects Saxophonist Sam Newsome As The New Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies.

Saxophonist Sam Newsome was chosen to be the new assistant professor in jazz studies at LIU yesterday, after having taught as an adjunct professor for the past two years.

Originally from Hampton, Virginia, Mr. Newsome studied jazz composition and arranging at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating in 1988, he moved to New York City where he soon caught the eye of trumpeter Terrance Blanchard with whom he toured and recorded for the next five years as a “young lion." Since then, Mr. Newsome has recorded seven albums as a leader, including critically acclaimed world jazz recording “Sam Newsome & Global Unity" on Colombia/SONY Records. Mr. Newsome has received numerous grants and awards including Jerome Composers Commissioning Fund, CEC Artslink, and was chosen as the Kennedy Center’s Jazz Ambassador by the State Department and toured all over Africa in 2002. As the founder and producer of the Next Door Jazz Festival, Mr. Newsome has also received Brooklyn Arts Council’s Community Arts Regrant Award.

Mr. Newsome currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife of nearly two years, jazz violinist/composer Meg Okura.

May 10, 2006June 13th - gig cancelled

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble won't be performing at 180 Maiden Lane, (Juilliard's concert series) any more. Meg Okura Jazz Quartet will perform instead.

May 04, 2006Official Announcement: Opening for a Drummer/Percussionist

Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble is now looking for a percussionist/Drummer to perform regularly with the group in greater New York area. Female preferred. All ethnicity. Able to read music with meter changes and odd meters. For questions, please contact: percussionist@panasianchamberjazzensemble.com

April 02, 2006Meg Okura Receives Honourable Mention from the International Songwriting Competition

On April 1, 2006, ISC announced the winners of the 2005 competition. Meg Okura’s composition “Creation" received Honorable Mention. ISC received almost 15,000 entries from 82 countries throughout the world. Thank you for your support!

March 07, 2006CD Baby Picks Our NEW CD!

CD Baby picked our debut CD as their Editor's Picks under Jazz: World Fusion. Please visit CDbaby and/or TowerRecords.com to write your own review!

February 11, 2006Packed With Friends and Fans, The Gig At The Stone Was a Great Success!

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble performed Friday night at the Stone, New York’s new non-profit performance space run by John Zorn. The concert was a great success and I would like to first and foremost thank the girls and a guy in the band, who showed their incredible musicianship and passion. Thank you Rose, Yukari, Jennifer, Megumi and Satoshi!

I would also like to thank the audience members for showing up. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and incredible support. I was so happy to see you, Phil & Susanna, Yan W. and her friends, Archie, Nina’s students from NYU jazz appreciation class, and my husband and my parents. My musician friends, mentors and industry professionals for your presence and cheer; Basya, Michael, Jill, Elliot, Sam, Ernesto, Audrey, Uri, and everyone else who were there.

Special thanks to Basya and John Zorn for this incredible opportunity, and Matt for manning the house & selling our CD’s.

February 02, 2006ISC Announced The Finalists. Please Vote For MEG!!

International Songwriting Competition announced their annual competition’s finalists today. Out of 15,000 tunes entered, only 1.4% went to the finals. One of Meg’s tunes “Creation" was chosen at this time and as a part of the final judgement process, they are ISC is welcoming public to vote their favourite tunes. So please visit the ISC site to listen to the tunes and vote! Meg’s tune is under “Performance" category.

January 21, 2006Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble’s Debut CD in the Works!

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble will finally have a CD for you coming next month. It will feature members of the group, Meg Okura on violin, Yukari on flute, Jennifer Vincent on cello and bass, and Megumi Yonezawa on piano, with special guests Satoshi Takeishi on percussion and Dave Eggar on cello. The self-titled CD will be available through CDbaby.com and Cafépress.com Get a sneak peek of the artwork in the "photos" section.

January 18, 2006International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Has Chosen All Six of Meg’s Compositions To Advance to the Third Round!

January 17, ISC sent out e-mails to those whose compositions have advanced to the third round of their competition, congratulating their achievements. Once again, Meg has received six e-mails, notifying each and every tune she has entered has been chosen. The semi-finalists will be announced by the end of the month. “I thought I would be notified as a finalist, but I guess it takes a long and complicated procedure to process 15,000 compositions. I am happy to have advanced this far anyways, considering how many people from all over the world have entered. It’s pretty reassuring" Meg says.

January 06, 2006Congratulations To Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble on International Songwriting Competition

Today, January 6, 2006, International Songwriting Competition sent out e-mails to those who had advanced to the second round of the competition, congratulating their achievements for being chosen from 15,000 entries this year.

Meg has entered three tunes for the Instrumental category, two for the Electronica/Dance category, and one for the Performance category, and all of them have been chosen. Among those six tunes, three were performed by Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble. Congratulations to Yukari, Megumi Yonezawa, Jennifer Vincent, Satoshi Takeishi, and Dave Eggar for great performances. The one tune in the Performance category was performed by OKURA Sisters: a project Meg and her sister Sarah Okura put together a few years ago. Congratulations to Sarah Okura on viola.

In the Singer-Songwriter category, a song called “Broken Sky" which Meg has produced and arranged, sung the lead vocals, played all of the instruments including piano and all strings has been chosen to advance. The lyrics and music were written by a soprano saxophonist and composer Sam Newsome. Congratulations to Sam Newsome.

The winners will be announced in March, 2006.