Community Live Music

Omomuki pays musicians to give public performances and works with non-profit organizations to include live music as part of their events.

2022 Programs and Recipients

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Jazz at Lincoln Center

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in New York City to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. Omomuki sponsored two live performances in February 2022 of "Mansa Mali," an evening-length suite for quintet composed by trumpeter Josh Evans.

2021 Programs and Recipients

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SummerStage NYC + Madison McFerrin

SummerStage is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. In a typical year, SummerStage presents approximately 100 free concerts in 15-18 parks throughout the five boroughs. Since its inception 35 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. The Omomuki grant funded a performance by Madison McFerrin singing original music alongside Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and A.I.M. dancers Jessica Amber Pinkett, Gianna Theodore, and Samantha Figgins. Photo courtesy of City Parks Foundation / Sean Jamar.

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SmallsLIVE Foundation

The SmallsLIVE Foundation for Jazz Art & Education is a non-profit arts organization based in New York City. During the Covid-19 pandemic, SmallsLIVE has been sponsoring live-streamed concerts from New York’s infamous Smalls Jazz Club. The Omomuki grant funds the SmallsLIVE Keep the Cats Working Fund to sponsor ten performances in 2021 in order to keep musicians working during this period.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in New York City is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. The Omomuki grant funds in part two original compositions commissioned by JALC: an untitled work by bassist Endea Owens inspired by the life and work of Ida B. Wells, particularly her crusade against the lynching and wrongful imprisonment of black Americans; and “Red Summer” by trumpeter Josh Evans about the 1919 Elaine Massacre in Hoop Spur, Arkansas. Both pieces will be premiered in spring of 2021 at JALC as part of their Freedom, Justice, and Hope program.

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Vax Fest 2021 + Percussia

Percussia is based in New York City’s vibrant, culturally diverse neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, and seeks to honor and reflect this cultural richness through the music they play. Percussia’s signature sound is created through the marriage of lyrical melodic instruments (flute, viola, and harp) with a variety of percussion instruments. While rooted in the modern classical tradition, Percussia’s style incorporates a wide variety of influences, from world music to elements of pop culture. Their one-of-a-kind body of work includes numerous world-premiere commissions, as well as original arrangements by the group’s members. Omomuki’s Community Live Music Program funded Percussia’s participation in the Vax Fest 2021 vaccination drive.

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The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance, and drama. The Omomuki grant supports a scholarship for an undergraduate student in Juilliard’s jazz program.

2020 Programs and Recipients

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SmallsLIVE Foundation

The SmallsLIVE Foundation for Jazz Art & Education is a non-profit arts organization based in New York City. During the Covid-19 pandemic, SmallsLIVE has been sponsoring live-streamed concerts from New York’s infamous Smalls Jazz Club. The Omomuki grant funds the SmallsLIVE Keep the Cats Working Fund to keep musicians working during this period.

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The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance, and drama. The Omomuki grant supports a scholarship for an undergraduate student in Juilliard’s jazz program.

2019 Programs and Recipients

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The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem / The Hudson Review

In September, in a program sponsored by The Hudson Review, we took the senior class of The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem (80 students) to see Porgy and Bess at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera, after a classroom lesson and discussion on the opera’s history. Following the opera, soprano Golda Schultz (who played Clara in the production) spoke to the students about her personal history.

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Princess Lockerooo

Pricess Lockerooo is a dancer, choreographer, and educator. Her performances and dance workshops throughout the world promote the joyous dance form “waacking,” which originated in the LGBT clubs of Los Angeles during the 1970s disco era. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Apollo Theater, and has appeared on numerous television shows. Her work has brought her to over 27 countries throughout Asia & Europe. The Omomuki grant funds in part her Waack To the Future: Africa dance competition in Brookly in July of 2019, a portion of the proceeds from which were donated to Dancers Responding to AIDS.

Toshiko Akiyoshi and Yasushi Nakamura

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Toshiko Akiyoshi is a New York City-based jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. She is the recipient of fourteen Grammy Award nominations, and in 2007 was named an NEA Jazz Master by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts. Yasushi Nakamura is a New York City-based jazz bassist who graduated from the Juilliard School in 2006. He records and performs all over the world at venues including BlueNote, Birdland, Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Omomuki grant funded a performance at the Japan Society 2019 Gala in New York City.

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The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance, and drama. The Omomuki grant supports in part the Juilliard Jazz Composer’s Ensemble and the Juilliard Dance Division.

Gabriel Lubell

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Gabriel Lubell is a composer and scholar whose music has been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe by numerous soloists and ensembles, including the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Intercontinental Ensemble, Tesla Quartet, and Barkada Quartet. Lubell earned a Doctorate in Music Composition from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has held teaching positions at Knox College, Indiana University, and Macalester College, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Kenyon College. The Omomuki grant commissioned Song of the Little Owls, an original composition for shakuhachi (Japanese flute) and bassoon, which premiered at Kenyon College in February 2019.

2018 Programs and Recipients

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Steve Sandberg

Steve Sandberg is a three-time Emmy-nominated composer whose songwriting for the Dora the Explorer series helped make the show a landmark in children’s television. He won a BMI composers award before attending Yale University, where he majored in musical theory and composition. His studies there with African art historian Robert Farris Thompson kindled his interest Afro-Caribbean music. He has played with, arranged and composed for some of the great salsa artists of the 1970s and 1980s, including Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, and Daniel Ponce (featuring Tito Puente); appeared in Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo opening for the legendary João Gilberto; toured with David Byrne; and has conducted and arranged for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. The Omomuki grant funds an October 2018 public concert in New York City of his original classical world music, in collaboration with jazz violinist Zach Brock.

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Zach Brock

Described by Lincoln Center Presents as “One of the most virtuosic and emotive voices of contemporary jazz violin” and by Phil Markowitz as “smashing all the previous conceptions of jazz violin,” Zach Brock received a Grammy Award in 2017 for his work on Snarky Puppy’s album Culcha Vulcha, and was named the “Rising Star Violinist” of 2013 by Downbeat Magazine. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and at the Tudo é Jazz Festival in Brazil. He has been a featured soloist for two Sundance Festival feature film scores, and is currently an Artist In Residence at Temple University in Philadelphia.

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Junko Ichikawa

Pianist Junko Ichikawa has given recitals as a soloist and chamber musician and performed with orchestras throughout the U.S., Europe, and her native Japan, including as a soloist with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and solo recitals at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City’s Symphony Space, and by special invitational aboard CUNARD’s Queen Mary 2. She is a graduate of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, New York University, and Mannes College of Music; earned her Doctor of Musical Arts at Rutgers University; and has studied for the past fifteen years with the legendary pianist and pedagogue Seymour Bernstein. The Omomuki grant funds a public solo performance in August 2018 at the Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon.

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Princess Lockerooo

Pricess Lockerooo is a dancer, choreographer, and educator. Her performances and dance workshops throughout the world promote the joyous dance form “waacking,” which originated in the LGBT clubs of Los Angeles during the 1970s disco era. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Apollo Theater, and has appeared on numerous television shows. Her work as a teacher, performer, and judge has brought her to over 27 countries throughout Asia & Europe, most recently performing at Supernova in Taichung, Taiwan, and at Old School Night in Osaka, Japan. The Omomuki grant funds in part her Waack To the Future dance competition at the New York City LGBT Center, a portion of the proceeds from which were donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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Joe Powers & Yosuke Onuma

Yosuke Onuma is one of Japan’s foremost jazz guitarists. His unique style is characterized by the exclusive use of finger-picking. Joe Powers is a harmonica virtuoso known throughout the world as a premier Tango artist, yet his musical interests also include Jazz-Fusion, Classical, Blues, Pop-Rock, Brazilian, Hip-Hop, and Latin.

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The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance, and drama.

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Xu Cheng

Mr. Cheng attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and made his orchestral debut with the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra in Perugia, Italy. He is currently a fourth-year student at The Juilliard School in New York City, and has been accepted into their Accelerated Bachelor of Music / Master of Music degree program. He is a participant in Juilliard’s Gluck Community Service Fellowship and Omomuki’s GMHC music program. The Omomuki grant funded a March 2018 public salon concert of the works of Ravel, Brahms, and Chopin.

2017 Programs and Recipients

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Dr. Ray Iwazumi & Toshiki Usui

Dr. Ray Iwazumi is a Japanese-American violinist, composer, writer, and teacher. He completed his B.M., M.M., and D.M.A., degrees, and was awarded the Richard French Prize, at The Juilliard School; and completed two Masters degrees in violin and chamber music at the Brussels Royal Conservatory. His research on Eugène Ysaÿe’s Six Sonates pour violon seul, Op. 27 is highly regarded, and his performances of the same critically acclaimed. He is currently on the faculty at The Juilliard School.

Toshiki Usui is a Japanese pianist who studied at Tokyo University for Fine Arts and Salzburg Mozarteum. He made his international debut after winning the Cantu International Competition in Italy. He tours extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., Central America, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as for charity concerts under the aegis of the U.N.

The Omomuki grant funded a public salon concert with Mssrs. Iwazumi and Usui in New York City in November of 2017.

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Seymour Bernstein

Seymour Bernstein is an American pianist, composer, teacher, and army veteran. He has performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the Americas, and is the recipient of numerous awards including First Prize and Prix Jacques Durand at Fontainebleau, two Martha Baird Rockefeller grants, and four State Department grants. He is the author of four books, including With Your Own Two Hands, and the subject of the 2015 documentary film Seymour: An Introduction. Mr. Bernstein is one of the most sought-after clinicians in this country, and maintains a private studio in New York City. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Music and Music Education at New York University. The Omomuki grant funded a public recital and reception of one of Mr. Bernstein’s students, the British pianist Clair Hiles.

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Lisa Downing

Lisa Downing is a three-time Emmy Award-nominated composer, pianist, and recording artist. She has released five albums of original piano composition, and has performed for audiences in the U.S., Spain, Argentina, and Germany. Her most recent release is Wisdom of My Shadow, which contains the track “Torii Gates,” in tribute to the people Hachinohe whose sacred Shinto shrine gates were lost in the 2011 tsunami, recovered two years later on the Oregon coast, and returned to Japan and re-erected in their original place in Okuki Bay in 2016. The Omomuki grant funded a performance of “Torii Gates” at the Portland, Oregon Japanese Garden for a visiting delegation of public officials and schoolchildren from Hachinohe.

2016 Programs and Recipients

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Liz Story

Liz Story is an American pianist and composer. In the 1980s, Story emerged as a prominent figure in new age music while frequently touring the United States, and as a recording artist at Windham Hill Records and RCA Novus Records. She is one of the foremost pioneers of contemporary solo piano. Her music style defies traditional description, and her works cross many musical genres. She has published twelve albums of solo piano work for Windham Hill, RCA and DMI, and has received three Grammy nominations. The Omomuki grant funded a free performance by Ms. Story for clients of GMHC, a leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy in New York City.

2015 Programs and Recipients

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Nao Nishihara

Mr. Nishihara is a sound designer, sculptor, and performer whose artwork and sound performances have been presented in Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Mr. Nishihara finished his undergraduate studies as a sound engineer. When he entered the M.F.A. program at Tokyo University of the Arts, he met Phil Niblock, a minimalist composer and multimedia musician, and the director of the avant-garde foundation Experimental Intermedia based in New York City. Since then, Mr. Nishihara has been integrating sound and sculptural objects. The Omomuki grant, administered through the Asian Cultural Council, will enable Mr. Nishihara to work with the 82-year-old Niblock to further explore sound and interdisciplinary media.