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.
Neither Brenda nor Chi had any idea how they thought they could make The Panache Orchestra work as a viable ensemble while they worked through the inherent incompatibility of classical and rock, and it took awhile for the two to realize that their radical differences might make for a marketable, if volatile chemistry. TPO’s brand of Insurgent Melody is perhaps reflected in one characteristic that Brenda K and Chi do share: a rebel, anti-authority streak, along with irrepressible originality and a lack of interest in creating music that mimics established styles and conventions.
However unusual their music is, it is far from inaccessible, as witnessed by the following quotes:
"Brenda & Chi are incredible musical performers. Their blended notes and creative weaving in & out of each others’ music is just something you've got to hear for yourself. It really takes your breath away...."
"You guys were INCREDIBLE!! Your music was all people could talk about!"
Their double album “10 Strings” released in late 2008 was lauded as follows:
“10 Strings is an eye-opening album for music lovers that don’t believe classical and pop
music can be as one. The way the music of the guitar and violin blend is stunning, and the two
instruments share the stage with grace.“
Since their U.S. launch in 2008, The Panache Orchestra’s resume has been graced with performances such as the following: Several ArtWalks and artist receptions, including LACMA/Miracle Mile, Downtown L.A. and Chinatown; a couple celebrity galas at Skirball Cultural Center, and appearances at major regional festivals in San Diego and L.A. They currently have a few collaborative projects with other artists in the works, and plan on increasing their regional footprint as they prepare to record their third album.
For additional information and current performance schedule, visit TPO at http://www.panacheorchestra.com/