Izu has composed scores for film, live music concerts and theater. In 2009 Izu won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music for his score in Bolinao 52. His film scores include Steven Okazaki’s Academy Award-winning Days of Waiting, Emmy-winning documentary Return to the Valley, and a new score for the DVD release of Sessue Hayakawa’s 1909 masterpiece, The Dragon Painter. His theater scores have been performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and Sundance Festival and he was awarded a Drama-logue Award for Best Original Music and two Indie Awards for best CD.
Composer, producer and bandleader Mark Izu has fused the traditional music of Asia with African- American improvisation. Izu plays acoustic bass as well as several traditional Asian instruments such as the sheng (Chinese multi-reed instrument) and sho (Japanese multi-reed instrument).
As the Artistic Director of the Asian American Jazz Festival, Izu has gained national and international attention for developing a new musical genre, Asian American Jazz, and has been inducted into the Grove Dictionary of Music.