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When I first met May all of the qualities that were so evident in her personality soon revealed themselves in her music making. Her warmth, communication, attention to detail, and depth of feeling were all present from the first note.


Larry Koonse ラリー・クーンズ: ギタリスト、カリフォルニア芸術大学ジャズ専攻教授

May Okita (メイ・オキタ) Biography



ジャズについてはワールドクラスのジャズミュージシャンであるSara Gazarek, Josh Nelson, Michele Weir, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Tierney Sutton, Cheryl Bentyne らを自ら訪ね、指導を仰ぎ、これら指導者たちも彼女のヴォーカリストとしての成長を温かく応援し、大きく貢献した。

2015年にはJazz Vocal Alliance Japanを設立。自分が過去に悩み見出した解決策を元に、国際的ジャズエデュケーターによる日本でのワークショップやオンライン講座の運営、パフォーマンス心理学の記事の寄稿など、良質な学びを日本の仲間と分かち合う。

2017年の帰国後は、東京・千葉・浜松を中心に活動を展開。同世代の人たちにもジャズを聴いてもらいたいという趣旨から、キッズフレンドリーなライブや、ジャズとマインドフルネス瞑想・呼吸法を融合させストレスを低減させる試みを行う。”Being in the moment”をモットーとし、語りかける歌唱スタイルはオーディエンスの五感を呼び覚まし、マインドフルにかつ感情を込めて歌う能力は、彼女とリスナーとを意味ある形でつないでゆく。   

2019年1月、長年憧れてきたL.A.を代表するミュージシャン Josh Nelson(pf)、Larry Koonse(g)とともに現地で録音したファーストアルバム「Art of Life」を米シアトルのジャズレーベルOrigin Recordsからリリース。日本、全米、カナダ、ヨーロッパ、スカンジナビアなど、世界各国で発売・配信となる。

May Okita is an inspirational artist who continually breathes new life into each of her parallel careers as jazz vocalist, psychiatrist, and mom of a beautiful daughter! In each area, she is graced with ample opportunity to practice living in the moment.

Okita moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to both study medicine and pursue her passion for Jazz. For medicine, she studied clinical psychiatry for 4 years at UCLA, one of the most prestigious clinics in the U.S.

At the same time, she was compelled to seek out and learn from world-class Jazz musicians such as Sara Gazarek, Josh Nelson, Michele Weir, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Tierney Sutton and Cheryl Bentyne who gladly took Okita under their wings to help her on her path.

What emerged is a sparkling new jazz vocalist for the enjoyment of jazz fans around the world! Sensitive, creative, open and sophisticated… May Okita is a pleasure worth listening to.

Okita’s ability to perform both mindfully and emotionally allow her to connect with her listeners in a meaningful way. She is forever in pursuit of new artistic offerings, not only incorporating elements of improvisation, but also exploring the idea of giving her audiences a unique multi- dimensional experience by gently guiding them in meditation and breathing techniques during performance.

She had been a fan of Josh Nelson’s for 10 years, and he has become an important artist- mentor to her, bringing to the surface May’s best creative self. They collaborated on the composing of the title song “Art of Life”.

In 2015, Okita founded the Jazz Vocal Alliance Japan, a Tokyo based organization which provides authentic Jazz education, resources, special events and opportunities for singers across the globe as well as the Japanese vocal jazz community.

May Okita is signed with Seattle-based Jazz record label Origin Records, her debut album, “Art of Life” released in January 2019.