Pam Morita's Bio



Pam Morita got hit with the jazz bug as a graduate classical piano student when she heard Joe Williams sing with the Count Basie Band at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The band swung so hard that it influenced Pam to pursue a career in jazz piano and voice. At that moment she knew she had to play jazz!

A professional pianist/singer in Chicago since 1980, Pam played at the Drake Hotel, Park Hyatt Hotel, the Fairmont, the Palmer House as well as well known jazz clubs as Andy’s and the Green Mill. In 1985 she traveled to Sweden where she played/sang in clubs around the country as well as onboard the Silja Line Cruise Boat, which sailed between Helsinki and Stockholm. In 1994, she moved to Norway where she met such Swedish jazz artists as Ronnie Gardiner and Johan Setterlind who recorded her first CD, "Strings that…" with her. She also met Doris Spears, a jazz singer from New Jersey, who collaborated with Pam to record her CD, "The Duchess". They did a musical tour together traveling throughout Scandinavia.

In 2000, Pam moved to Phoenix primarily because her parents lived there. Since moving to the Valley, she has played in the C.C. Jones Orchestra and performed with such musicians as Dennis Rowlands, Sherry Roberson, Felix Sainz, Dennis Sexton, Dom Moio, Dan Tomlinson, Bob Lashier, Paul-Eirik Melhus, Richard Palalay, Andy Gross, Mary Petrich, and Adam Roberts. Pam's repertoire consists of jazz standards, pop, originals, and classical music.  

Presently, Pam teaches Jazz Piano and Jazz Chamber Ensemble at Paradise Valley Community College and was an Adjunct Professor at Mesa Community College teaching Class Piano. She is currently the new Director of City Jazz, a youth program for teens ages 12 - 19 where they learn to play jazz in a small ensemble.

Pam was a Nordstrom pianist for 5 years (as a soloist and with trios), and has played at the Top of the Rock Restaurant, Glendale Gaslight Inn, the Estate House, Cartwright’s, Chandler Jazz Festival, 98 South, the Phoenix Music Festival, the Borgata, the Phoenician, the Biltmore, West Valley Art Museum, Scottsdale Artwalk, and the Kerr Cultural Center. In 2004, she started a jazz jam session for kids where professionals and youngsters could play together. "Pam’s Jam" started at Barwinkles and ended at the Glendale Library, a span of 2 years. And presently, Pam is the pianist for the Unity Church of Sun City.

Pam Morita received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in piano performance. She has taught both jazz and classical piano for many years and works with jazz ensembles at high schools in Glendale.

Some of her favorite artists are Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Yo Yo Ma, Sting, Chick Corea, Joni Mitchell, Eric Harlan, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Eigsti, Bette Midler, Chris Potter, and Kenny Baron.

Pam’s web site is http://www.pammorita.com/


Pam Morita Page