Okamura, Ayami

Percussionist, Japan


Ayami Okamura is a respected marimba performer and chamber musician. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Ayami is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. She began her musical education at the age of 5 under piano teachers Ryoko Tsutsumi and Michiko Ikeda. Ms. Okamura furthered her percussion education at age 18 while studying at Kyoto City University of the Arts in Japan. Here, she began exploring the marimba under the guidance Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Mutsumi Tsuzaki, Makoto Nakura, and Kunihiko Komori. During her bachelor’s degree, she was among the top prize winners as a marimba soloist at Great Wall International, the Fresh Artist Competition in 2011, and the Japan Classical Music Competition in 2012. In 2011, and 2012, she received national attention as principal timpanist for the Kyoto Youth Orchestra and has performed percussion in many of the major concert halls in Kyoto.

In 2013, Ms. Okamura moved to the United States to study at the Boston Conservatory with marimbist Nancy Zeltsman, and percussionists Samuel Solomon, and Doug Perkins. Here she pursued a Masters in Music with a focus on Marimba. Since moving to Boston, she won the 2014-2015 Boston Conservatory Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed Paul Creston’s Marimba Concerto under the direction of Bruce Hangen and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra in Sanders Theater at Harvard in Boston. In 2015, she recently won the Italy International Percussion Competition, Marimba B Category with a special prize by Adams Company, which provided only three winners among all percussion instruments categories.

Ayami performs with violinist Izumi Hoshino as MixUs, who was a guest at Zeltsman Marimba Festival 2015 at Rutgers University in New Jersey, also frequently performs with award-winning percussionist Daniel DeSimone as Shiki Duo. She is a member of Japanese Percussion Ensemble “Legare Incontro”, and marimba quartet “Marimba Four Hands”. Ayami performed the world premiere of “Conversation Piece” for guitar and marimba by Kurt Schwertsik with guitarist Eliot Fisk at the Boston GuitarFest to be held at New England Conservatory in Boston.

She has worked and/or performed with artists such as world famous percussionistsGordon Stout, Julie Spencer, Arnold Marinissen, Samuel Solomon, Nancy Zeltsman, Wei-Chen Lin, and composers Takuo Kochi, and David Vess. The free samples of marimba sounds by Shiki Duo are available at Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library. https://www.conversesamplelibrary.com/. Ayami is recording American composer Suzanne Sheppard’s “Suite for Solo Marimba” as a part of Suzanne’s recording project in May 2017, and the Administrative Assistant of Zeltsman Marimba Festival at Rutgers University co-sponsored by Mason Gross School of the Arts, New Brunswick, New Jersey in July 2017.

Ayami is honored to be an endorser and artist of Mike Balter Mallets and KOROGI Marimba.