J. Oconer Navarro is an award-winning writer, musical director, arranger, pianist, and vocal coach based in NYC.
Awards and recognition for his works: 2014 commission from The Music Theatre Company (Chicago), 2011 National Asian Artists Project “Discover: New Musicals” Series Selection, 2009 Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College New Works Festival Winner, 2008 NYU-Tisch Alumni Grant made possible by the Frederick Loewe Foundation, 2007 American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant, 2006 Margo Lion Award, & 2005 Paulette Goddard Award.
J. was Music Director on the acclaimed Adding Machine (dir. David Cromer), which garnered Lortel, Obie, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and whose Cast Album is available from PS Classics. He collaborated with composer Josh Schmidt again on Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle at Premieres/Primary Stages (dir. Jonathan Butterell). He was MD and Arranger for three National Tours for Theatreworks USA, including the Lortel-nominated We the People (dir. Gordon Greenberg); for his work on This One Girl’s Story (NYMF 2011), J. received an Honorable Mention for his orchestrations. J. specializes in new work, and has headed numerous concerts, readings, and workshops at venues all over NYC, including CAP21, various festivals, and the prestigious Lincoln Center Theater.
Regionally, he was MD and Arranger for Quiara Alegría Hudes’ and Bill Sherman’s Barrio Grrrl! at The Kennedy Center (Helen Hayes Nomination), and has worked at esteemed houses including Barrington Stage Company, Hangar Theatre, Theatreworks – Palo Alto, Two River Theater Company, & Westport Country Playhouse.
J. also has worked extensively in the Music Department of about a dozen Broadway/Off-Broadway shows; some favorites include Avenue Q, Next to Normal, The 25th … Spelling Bee, assisting the legendary John Kander for Curtains (starring David Hyde Pierce), and piano coaching Hollywood superstar Ben Stiller in the recent revival of The House of Blue Leaves.
J. is on faculty at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts – Department of Undergraduate Drama, New Studio on Broadway under the Direction of Kent Gash. He is a proud member of ASCAP, Local 802 AFM, and The Dramatists Guild of America. J. has also been a Guest Artist at CAP21, Columbia University, the Juilliard School, Pace University, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He hails from the suburbs of Detroit, MI, where he trained in classical piano at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor before attending Vanderbilt University (BS in Human and Organizational Development w/ a conc. in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, BS in Music w/ a conc. in Piano Performance) and earning his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU.