Tokyo, 1998: It all began with a strange dream....
Brenda K was dreaming: She was trapped in a room on a sinking aircraft carrier. The door out was built like a manhole and she managed to squeeze through it, but the heavy lid came down and trapped her violin case. She was tugging on it and crying in frustration, but couldn’t free her instrument. She told her boyfriend of the dream the next day. “It could be interpreted only one way”, Chi said, ignoring the obvious references decrying the military-industrial complex: This dream meant her music was trapped. It must be let out. “We must play together as a band”. Out of this, and real-life experience, was born The Panache Orchestra. Two different musicians from two very different countries and four cats, seeking to bridge the gap between classical and pop/rock without falling into the precipitous gorge below.
The Panache Orchestra
suggests turning off your cell phones and your useless genres. If you
must have labels, perhaps Brenda K’s classical violin and Chi Saito’s
rhythm-driven acoustic guitar and dramatic instrumental compositions are
“Rattling the Chamber-Music Cage.” Or “Anime Beatnik Combo.” Another
label might be simply “Beautiful.” Woven into TPO's DNA are strands of
The Beatles, Django & Stephane , Mahavishnu Orchestra, and
traditional music of Europe and Japan shaken up with a shot of vintage
rock ‘n roll, and as the night grows longer and the cocktails
accumulate, a dynamic, swashbuckling romanticism emerges.
The Panache Orchestra encapsulates their musical approach with the enigmatic phrase “Bringing classical sensibilities out of the ivory tower and down into the street!”, and the acoustic guitar and violin duo does indeed create that impression at first blush. Yet as with all things in their world, things are much more complex than they appear.
ReviewYou March 24, 2010
The Panache Orchestra: 10 Strings, CD Review 10 Strings of infinite Beauty Rating: ***** (Five stars out of five)
The Panache Orchestra can best be described as being a band that makes music that is hard to describe. Most music fits into a certain genre, but with The Panache Orchestra, that is not the case. They are neither classical nor pop, but more a bit of both with touches of new age and chamber music added to mix for good measure. After one listen to 10 Strings genre no longer matters. The elegant simplicity of the acoustic guitar and violin will blow you away.
"You guys were INCREDIBLE!! Your music was all people could talk about!" - Producer, International Art Affaire event at Chinatown Artwalk, Los Angeles
cannot begin to tell you how many people came up to me to express their
enjoyment and appreciation for music of such heartfelt refinement as to
be rarely heard on a concert stage, let alone as support for a
- Special Events Coordinator, Animazonia Wildlife Foundation "You guys were fabulous! Our logistics director who doesn't stop to look at anything on the stage stayed there the whole time you were playing and said, 'I really love their music!'" - Producer, Cherry Blossom Festival, Southern California
"We were all waiting for you Sunday as if you were going to save the universe! With all of the new contraptions that are out, live, acoustic, classy music is still the best!" - Booking Manager, West L.A. Farmers' Market
"The best part of our day is when the Panache Orchestra goes onstage!" - Vendor, West L.A. Farmers' Market
guys were AMAZING at the cherry blossom festival! The sound and
performance was not only moving, but also inspirational! Truly, great
"Brenda K and Chi Saito are incredible performers! Their
blended notes and creative weaving in and out of each others' music is
just something you've got to hear for yourself. It really takes your
"...when you both get into that groove, just seeing
the passion you pour into the music makes it that much more enjoyable
to see you two perform."
"Heart-stoppingly beautiful music! Wow,
if anyone wants a break in their tough day, just click on that link and
listen! You guys are incredibly refreshing!" More
Listen to tracks from TPO's EP Neo, recorded in Tokyo and released in 1999.
Listen to tracks from Disc 1, or "the Blue Side" of 10 Strings, recorded in Los Angeles, CA and released in 2008. This disc features pieces that are primarily calm, introspective and classically influenced.
Listen to tracks from Disc 2, or "the red Side" of 10 Strings,
recorded in Los Angeles, CA and released in 2008. This disc mixes it up with music of diverse styles.