B i o g r a p h y
Marimba / Percussion performer.
A vibraphone and percussion teacher
at Hochschule für Musik Detmold.
An endorser and artist of Balter Mallets and Adams Percussion.
Based in Detmold, Germany.
Acclaimed as a musician “of great significance and profound musical expression”*, Ayami Okamura is an internationally recognized marimba and percussion artist. Born in Kyoto, Japan and now a resident of Germany, Okamura has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Ayami formed Shiki Percussion duo with an American percussionist and composer Dan deSimone in 2015. The duo has been committed to working with living composers around the world and expanding the repertoire with new possibilities and arrangements for percussion duo, collaborating with artists in various fields such as dance, theater and visual art. In the spring of 2021, Shiki began contacting composers for the start of a new anthology project “Harmonize” aimed at a more inclusive and multicultural expression of the present classical duo repertoire. This anthology will include new publications as well as a debut of the composers' works in a tour throughout Europe.
As a soloist, Ayami actively commissions new works. She has premiered compositions including pieces by Peter Klatzow, Julie Spencer, and has worked closely with composers such as David Friedman and Gordon Stout.
She is passionate about arranging in order to expand the repertoire for marimba. Her arrangements include classical/modern repertoire, traditional music, film, jazz and most recently, publications for Georg Philipp Telemann’s “Twelve Fantasias for Viola da Gamba solo” and Ennio Morricone’s “A Tribute to Ennio Morricone” which will be published later this year.
Ayami’s current solo recital projects, combining program repertoire into one complete composition, are described as “storytelling” and “musically therapeutic.” Her programs “Poem of Color” and “The Scenes in Your Own Heart” brought her to several venues in Japan, receiving wide acclaim and audience ovation.
Okamura has appeared as a guest artist and faculty at several international events such as Southern California Marimba, Boston GuitarFest, Ivana Summer Percussion Festival and Zeltsman Marimba Festival. She also presents masterclasses in universities and colleges worldwide.
Ayami holds degrees from Kyoto City University of Arts, Boston Conservatory, the Hochschule für Musik Detmold under the guidance of many great artists including Nancy Zeltsman, Sam Solomon, Doug Perkins, Peter Prommel, Fumito Nunoya, Kostadin Delinikolov, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Mutsumi Tsuzaki, Kunihiko Komori, and Makoto Nakura.
Okamura is an endorser and artist of “Adams Percussion” and “Balter Mallets”.
She is on the faculty and teaches vibraphone and percussion at Hochschule für Musik Detmold in Germany.
Ayami currently lives in Detmold, Germany with her husband Dan deSimone, cooking and trying many new recipes together.
*Gordon Stout, Professor Emeritus at the School of Music, Ithaca College, composer, G&C Music/Full Circle Publications/StoutWorks, PAS Hall of Fame Inductee 2012