Q+A with President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival Sunny Sumter

Q+A with President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival Sunny Sumter

Sunny Sumter is President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival, a nonprofit service organization established in 2004 to present jazz-related cultural and educational programs in the nation’s capital. Its’ signature programs are the annual DC JazzFest, DC Jazz Festival Education, and the CharlesFishman Embassy Series. DC Jazz Festival is the recipient of the DC Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. Sumter has been a thought leader on jazz with the U.S. Department of State, DC Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development, Jazz Philadelphia Summit, and Jazz Congress, among others. Prior to her tenure at DC Jazz Festival, Sumter held management/director positions with the Aspen Institute, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Smithsonian Institution, and Rhythm and Blues Foundation. She was awarded the Aspen Institute’s Staff Achievement Award for Excellence. Sumter earned her bachelor’s degree in music business from Howard University where she minored in jazz studies/voice. She is a recipient of a Howard University Benny Golson Award, the Sitar Arts Center Visionary Award, the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Heroes Award, a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award. She was host of Jazz Central on the BET network. As a professional vocalist, Sumter has performed at some of the finest festivals, concert venues, and clubs in the U.S. and internationally. She currently serves on the boards of the HBCU-Jazz Education Initiative, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, and the North American Performing Art Managers and Agents. She is a member of Americans for the Arts, National Academy for Recording Arts and Sciences; and served as a program director member of the National Collaboration for Youth. Sumter is a Fellow graduate of the prestigious DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland Business School; and is one of the “exceptional leaders” selected for National Arts Strategies’ celebrated Chief Executive Program.

International Jazz Day is an International Day declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011 "to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe." It is celebrated annually on April 30

This episode of The Truth In This Art is part of National Jazz Appreciation Month, a celebration that takes place every April. Jazz music is a captivating fusion of multiple cultures, incorporating the classical styles of both America and Europe with the influence of West African culture and folk songs. Jazz music boasts a little bit of everything - an unforgettable melody, rich harmony, a rhythm that resonates within you, and outstanding improvisations that make the genre truly unique.

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This episode was recorded at Eaton Radio - Eaton Radio empowers grassroots storytelling and supports emerging, contemporary, and historic underground music. We've produced over 2000+ shows of talk radio and music through a rich and varied rotation of DJ mixes, interviews, and regular shows.
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Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.