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Sunny Sumter

President and CEO, DC Jazz Festival

Sunny Sumter is President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival (DCJF). DCJF's signature programs include 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 Art 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. Sumter was awarded the Aspen Institute’s Staff Achievement Award for Excellence. She was host of Jazz Central on the BETJ network. In 2019, she was selected to the prestigious DeVos Institute of Arts Management for a 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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