Sumi Tonooka and Marian McPartland

Jun 20, 2018

Composer and pianist Sumi Tonooka caught the jazz bug at a young age as she listened to her mother’s classic records at home. Early on in her dynamic career, Tonooka studied with giant Mary Lou Williams and she credits much of her style and technique to the prolific composer. In 1985 Tonooka was commissioned by the Japanese American Cultural Association to compose a piece about her mother’s experiences in one of the World War II internment camps, Manzanar. In this 1992 Piano Jazz, she discusses the work she did for the project, plays her original composition “Phantom Carousel,” and demonstrates a piece by her mentor.

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