Makana Jimbu started learning piano and electone (electronic organ) when she was a 4-year-old at the Yamaha Music School program in Japan. She also studied composition under the tutelage of Mrs. Yoko Takano when she was seven years old. She was a member of an electone ensemble group and competed in many competitions while she was studying at the school. At the age of thirteen, she started learning percussion instruments while in the competitive band at Tamagawa Academy Junior High School. She was a percussionist in the Tamagawa Academy Wind Symphony and won two medals, a gold and a silver at the All Japan Band Association with the Symphony. Moreover, when she was 15 years old, the band was invited to Australia to participate and perform at the Pacific Basin Consortium (PBC) Conference. In addition to the Conference, the band was invited to many schools and concerts in many cities in Australia. She was inspired to start learning percussion instruments seriously when she saw the standing ovation she got from audiences at all the venues. She felt that music is a special tool to communicate with people from all over the world while surpassing language barriers.

She went to Senzoku Gakuen High School of Music as a Percussion major and studied with Prof. Kikuko Ishii for three years. She got 2nd prize at the Japan Classical Music Competition in 2007. When she graduated from the high school, she was invited to Hayama New Face Concert (葉山町新人演奏会, loosely translated to Rookie Concert which is a concert for students fresh out of high school) as an outstanding student of the school. She graduated from Senzoku Gakuen College of Music as an outstanding student in 2013. She was also awarded the Maeda memorial scholarship while she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree. She won the first prize at the Japan Percussion Association Competition in 2013. She has also won awards at other competitions such as 3rd prize at KOBE international marimba competition in 2009 and 3rd prize at Cho-ko cup music competition. She studied with Prof. Kikuko Ishii and Prof. Momoko Kamiya for Marimba and Percussion and Christopher Hardy for Hand Drumming at college. She moved to the United States in 2013 and started the 2 year-long Graduate Artist Certificate program under the tutelage of Prof. Mark Ford and Prof. Christopher Deane at University of North Texas. She also studied jazz vibraphone with Mr. Ed Smith.

She has participated in competitions in the United States, Europe, and Taiwan. She got 2nd prize at the Poland International Marimba Competition in 2014. She was a semi-finalist of the Great Plain Marimba Competition in 2016 and semi-finalist at Taiwan International Percussion Competition in 2017. She is currently pursuing a Master's of Music for Percussion Performance at the University of North Texas. Moreover, she is a very motivated musician and proactive educator who teaches everyone from elementary school students to college students in the Dallas Fort Worth area.


Makana Jimbu

神部 真愛

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