Makoto Ozone majored in Jazz Composition and Arrangement at Berklee College of Music, graduating summa cum laude in 1983. In the same year, he became the first Japanese musician to be exclusively signed to CBS, with the worldwide release of his first album “OZONE.” His stellar career has brought him a Grammy nomination in 2003, and he has been steadily at the forefront of the international jazz scene ever since, giving solo concerts, performing with esteemed musicians such as Gary Burton, Branford Marsalis, and Paquito D'Rivera, and touring with his own big band "No Name Horses." Since 2011 Ozone has fostered the next generation of jazz musicians as a professor of Jazz Music in the Department of Performance & Composition at the Kunitachi College of Music, and at present through his creation of the "From Ozone till Dawn" project.
In recent years, Ozone has also been focusing on works from the classical repertoire, playing concertos by Bernstein, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev, with major orchestras around the world. Such performances have been highly acclaimed by the press; about one such performance, the North Germany Hannover Newspaper noted that "the audience was fascinated and struck with awe at Ozone’s unparalleled performance." In 2010, he released “Road to Chopin,” an album in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, and his all-Japan tour in support of this album earned him a "Chopin Passport" from the government of Poland. In 2014, he was invited to perform as soloist with the New York Philharmonic on their tours in Korea, Japan, and New York. Since then, he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival (with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and more, maintaining a strong showing throughout the US as well.
In 2016, Ozone gave his first all-Japan duo tour with Chick Corea, and in 2017 he toured Japan again in commemoration of Gary Burton’s retirement. In Autumn of the same year, “Makoto Ozone THE TRIO” released “Dimensions,” their first album in 10 years. Then in November, Ozone was invited back to perform with the New York Philharmonic as part of their Bernstein Centennial Celebration. He performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 “Age of Anxiety” on three consecutive days under the baton of Alan Gilbert, receiving thunderous applause from full houses at the Lincoln Center. A live recording from these performances was released on CD by Universal Music in March 2018 as Ozone’s first classical music album, titled “Beyond Borders.” In 2019, Ozone released "Until We Vanish," the 15th anniversary album of “No Name Horses,” featuring performances of new works incorporating rock elements. "Welcome to Our Livingroom," his 53-day livestream project from his home during the 2020 Covid-19 State of Emergency, garnered attention worldwide. After turning 60 in 2021, he developed the “OZONE 60” project, still ongoing throughout Japan. Ozone is also an ambitious composer, bringing his versatile talents to a wide range of genres, even composing music for film. He was invited to perform on the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra's 2021/22 New Year concerts, garnering wide attention both from live audiences and online viewers worldwide. In 2018, he received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon.
This is Ozone’s second appearance at PMF since he performed Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” with the PMF Orchestra and members of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tadaaki Otaka to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth in 2008.