Noriyuki "Ken" Okada
Photo by Joey Brite
Bassist Noriyuki "Ken" Okada was born in New York and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and Yokohama, Japan. Reflecting the fact that he grew up in multiple different cultures, Ken enjoys playing in various styles, from jazz to samba to fusion. He learned jazz when he played in the big band at Keio University as a visiting member from University of Tokyo, where he won Yamano Big Bang Contest, the largest national college jazz competition in Japan. He started playing professionally in Tokyo until he moved to the Bay Area in 2002. Since then he has been performing in jazz combos and big bands with fine local jazz artists such as John Worley, Leon Joyce, Yancie Taylor, Destiny Muhammad, Eric Bolvin and Rick Vandivier in jazz clubs and festivals.