Mark Izu is an Americanjazzdouble bass player and composer. He is of Japanese ancestry and frequently combines jazz with Asian traditional musics (particularly the ancient Japanese court music known as gagaku) in his compositions. He has performed with Anthony Brown and Jon Jang. Izu is a seminal leader in the Asian American Jazz movement. His compositions include symphony, film, theater, dance and jazz. The principal curator of the original Asian American Jazz Festival held at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for nearly two decades, he helped establish the genre. In addition to the double bass, he also plays the Japanese shō and Chinese sheng (both mouth organs).
He lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife, playwright and performer Brenda Wong Aoki, and son.
Mark Izu received a Northern California Regional Emmy Award for outstanding Musical Composition/Arrangement for his score for Bolinao 52, a film about the Vietnamese boat people, which also received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary.