Chou Wen-chung Fellow
Saxophonist and composer Hitomi Oba was raised in Berkeley, California. Hitomi completed her MA at the University of California Los Angeles in Music Composition after receiving her BA in Ethnomusicology / Jazz Studies. Projects include writing and playing in her small ensembles, sixteen-piece jazz orchestra, Jazz Nexus, electro-acoustic pop duo, Nova, collaborative jazz opera, “Strange Fellowe”, and a recent piece for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra through the American Composers Orchestra and Earshot. Her second jazz album, “Negai”, released under Japanese label M&I and distributor Pony Canyon, received a prestigious “Swing Journal 42nd Annual Jazz Disc Award”. Commissions include those for the Los Angeles Asian American Jazz Festival, Kenny Burrell’s Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited, and the Indian classical /jazz collaborative Aditya Prakash Ensemble. Hitomi is one of the co-founders of the new music collective, LA Signal Lab (LASL), comprised of fellow composer-performers with backgrounds in both jazz and classical traditions. LASL has been supported by grants from New Music USA and the HASOM UCLA Dobrow fund to feature newly commissioned works performed throughout California. Hitomi currently teaches jazz saxophone and music theory at UCLA, integrating Western classical, jazz, American popular music, and various world musical genres.