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The Panache Orchestra (Brenda K, violin & Chi Saito, guitar) performing at the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2010. Photo by Marc Amba of Mambastic Photography
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 Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli , 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, whose music and creative process is a study of polarity and extremes, came about through a totally implausible combination of events and people: a random encounter in a Tokyo sushi bar in 1998 of two semi-retired professional instrumentalists: Brenda K of San Diego, CA and Chi Saito of Tokyo, Japan, and a strange dream.