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 Ethnomusicology/Jazz Studies. Projects include her small ensembles, sixteen-piece jazz orchestra, Jazz Nexus, electro-acoustic pop duo, Nova, jazz opera, “STRANGE FELLOWE.” 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, the Jon Jangtet, and the Indian classical/jazz collaborative Aditya Prakash Ensemble. Hitomi is one of the co-founders of the new music collective, LA Signal Lab, premiering and recording stylistically diverse new music with a focus on integrating improvised and pre-composed music. Hitomi currently teaches jazz saxophone and music theory at UCLA, incorporating Western classical, jazz, American popular music, and various world musical genres.
September Coming explores ways in which to express the momentum and gestures of improvisational language through the orchestra, with particular focus on preserving phrase arcs, eliciting nuances, and using orchestration to further enhance the spirit of improvised material. The concepts and compositional procedures are inspired by the workshops, discussions, and music from the 2015 ACO Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Intensive. The first version of “September Coming” was read at the 2016 Buffalo Philharmonic Readings, conducted by Stefan Sanders, made possible by ACO and Earshot.
listen to HItomi’s Beyond Ceanothus: