Enjoy the Delaware Art Museum’s new Jazz Series hosted by Raye Jones Avery. Playing on the Museum’s Steinway Grand Piano, performances consist of a guest artists’ favorite works and stories from their lives. Each 1.5-hour performance includes an artist chat led by Raye Jones Avery.
Jazz has famously been described as the sound of surprise, but Sumi Tonooka makes a vivid case for the way jazz careers can evolve in astonishing directions. As a veteran improviser, the Philadelphia pianist, composer, and bandleader knows all about navigating unexpected twists and turns on the bandstand. Now she’s in the midst of an unanticipated career swerve that has taken her deep into new territory as a composer.
In many ways 2023 has been a banner year for Tonooka. She was named a 2023 recipient of a prestigious Pew Fellowship. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra premiered her “Only the Midnight Sky and Silent Stars,” a work commissioned by the Emerging Black Composers Project. And after the in-person premiere of “Under the Surface” with the Alchemy Sound Project collective at The Painted Bride in Philadelphia, she toured the West Coast with the jazz chamber ensemble. The work and tour were supported by a Chamber Music America, New Jazz Works Grant and South Arts Jazz Roads grant.
This event was made possible through a grant from PNC Arts Alive and the TD Charitable Foundation, with generous support provided by Art Bridges. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.