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Miles Okazaki

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Miles Okazaki was born in 1974 in Pullman, Washington. As the son of a painter and photographer, his first exposure to art was visual. He began teaching himself classical guitar and learning popular songs at the age of six, developing his technique and musical ear at an early age. At this same period of time, he moved to the Pacific Northwest, to the small waterfront town of Port Townsend. The natural beauty of this environment is still his primary inspiration.

As a teenager, his musical studies led to a fascination with numbers, and he entered Harvard University in 1993 to study Mathematics. By this time, he had already won many awards and notoriety as a local jazz guitar artist in the Northwest. He began writing music at this time, and moved to Boston the next fall.

During college years, Okazaki began developing the ideas of combining and blending a variety of disciplines which is the foundation of his musical and compositional style. He studied Mathematics, Literature and became drawn back to the Visual Arts, spending most of his last year in the photography and drawing studios at Harvard’s Carpenter Center. At the same time, Okazaki was spending summers in New Orleans, working on guitar technique and repertoire.

Moving to New York after college, he entered the graduate program at Manhattan School of Music. He began to gain local attention, playing in New York and taking first place at the Fish-Middleton Jazz Competition in Washington, D.C. During this time, he studied with Garry Dial, Manny Albam, and guitarist Rodney Jones.

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