Until recently, I was a very unlikely candidate for conversion. Even though I am Japanese, I was raised in a believing Protestant household, and subsequently became a Born-Again Christian at the age of ten at a Christian camp in Japan. At 18, I moved to the U.S. to attend The Juilliard School. I used to be a Christian violinist, giving church concerts, appearing at evangelical events and on Christian TV programs. And I led prayer groups at a church in New York City. Yes, I was that crazy Shiksa. It was about ten years ago, that I started touring with “ Pharaoh’s Daughter ”, a Jewish Middle-Eastern band consisting of mostly Israelis and few Gentiles. It’s headed by an American Jew, Basya Schechter , an ex-ultra-Orthodox woman from Borough Park. We have performed at many Jewish festivals and all imaginable venues; Carnegie Hall, JCC’s, synagogues, colleges and even prisons. We traveled, ate, laughed, and occasionally, we cried together. For the past ten years, I got to pa
Jazz composer and violinist Meg Okura her thoughts on religion, culture, race, motherhood and all that jazz from her immigrant, Jewish, woman, Japanese, ex-Evangelical, and black family perspectives.