May Okita - Biography

photo by Mikel Healey

photo by Mikel Healey

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 her 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.

精神科医・医学博士 、ジャズシンガー。浜松医科大学医学部、千葉大学大学院卒業。米国UCLA(カリフォルニア州立大学ロサンゼルス校)に留学(2013-2017)。医師として臨床に携わる一方でシンガーとしても活動。

2019年米国シアトルのオリジンレコードと契約し、ファーストアルバム「Art of Life」をリリース。同年、日米両国でアルバム発売記念コンサートを開催。

2019年4月よりラジオ番組K-mix「メイ・オキタのArt of Life」(毎週土曜 5:00-5:30)パーソナリティ。ジャズとメンタルヘルスの情報を紹介している。この他うつの予防、ストレスケアや子育ての学校講演・企業講演も行う。


photo by Mikel Healey

photo by Mikel Healey