Sunny Sumter

Executive Director,
DC Jazz Festival

Founding Board Member,
HBCU Jazz Education Initiative

Sunny Sumter is President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) and oversees signature programs, the annual DC JazzFest, the year-round DCJF Education Program, and the Charles Fishman Embassy Series. DCJF is the recipient of the DC Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. Prior to her tenure at the DC Jazz Festival, Sumter held management/director positions with the Aspen Institute, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Sumter earned her bachelor’s degree in music business from Howard University where she minored in jazz voice. She is a recipient of a Howard University Benny Golson Award, the Sitar Arts Center Visionary Award, a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award. As a professional vocalist, Sumter has performed at festivals, and clubs internationally. In 2019, she was selected for the DeVos Institute of Arts Management’s three-year fellowship at the University of Maryland Business School; and is one of the “exceptional leaders” selected for National Arts Strategies’ celebrated Chief Executive Program.

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