Deep Roots Bold Future Conversations: Sumi Tonooka & Arnetta Johnson

Event Schedule

Jul 9, 2020
6:00 PM—7:00 PM

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Sumi Tonooka & Arnetta Johnson

Get into the conversation! As we navigate this important current moment we bring together artists, audiences and communities for a series of intergenerational conversations via Zoom.  In connection to the Painted Bride’s Deep Roots Bold Future legacy, we invite you to join artists with deep Bride connections to discuss what THIS MOMENT/THIS MOVEMENT is like from their perspective.  Artists are our truth-sayers. Listen in as they share their thoughts and ask live questions. Let’s come together to create further momentum for the movement!

July 9 | 6pm
Sumi Tonooka & Arnetta Johnson

Sumi Tonooka (pronounced To-NO-ka) has been called a “fierce and fascinating composer and pianist” (Jazz Times), “provocative and compelling” (New York Times), and “continually inventive, original, surprising, and a total delight,” (Cuadranos de Jazz, Madrid).

During a career spanning more than 30 years that has taken her from home bases in Philadelphia &Boston, to New York & Seattle, Tonooka has been developing a body of work that surprises and delights audiences worldwide- quietly piling up accolades from jazz writers and fellow musicians.

Currently, Tonooka is the grateful recipient composer of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant in 2019.

In 2013, the American Composers Orchestra and The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, in cooperation with EarShot, the National Orchestra Composition Discover Network, presented Tonooka’s first work for symphony orchestra, Full Circle, as part of the second Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) Readings. Subsequently she has gone on to perform and compose orchestral works nationally, including serving as a composer in residence with the South Dakota Symphony as a recipient of Music Alive, New Music USA composers residency and with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to her symphonic and chamber works, jazz recordings and performances, Tonooka has composed over twenty film scores, including the Academy Award-nominated Family Gathering by Lise Yasui and Daring To Resist by Martha Lubell, aired on PBS American Experience series.

Recent recordings include a third release in 2020 with Alchemy Sound Project, a composer-led ensemble, founded by Tonooka, that brings together five combustible sound chemists with powerful voices in jazz and orchestral work. In the Alchemy Project, the composers, all colleagues from the JCOI created original works that weave the intricate expansiveness of orchestral writing into an improvisational sextet.

In her previous solo recording, NOW, “Tonooka covers a lot of stylistic territory in a perfectly sequenced show, and plays with a rare spirituality and musical sagacity. A superb solo piano outing” (All About Jazz).


Arnetta Johnson and the trumpet began their relationship at age 13; They dubbed her “That Trumpet Chic!” Arnetta’s goal is simple, besides world peace and understanding it’s to stand Jazz on its head! Nasir Dickerson, Jamal Dickerson and Hassan Sabree, were the initial catalysts’ that birthed Arnetta’s passion for the trumpet. They introduced Arnetta to a new realm of musical discovery…the art of improvisation. From this estuary Arnetta headed to study at Berklee with destinations yet to be determined including; Super Bowl LVIIII (49) performance featuring Beyonce’, as a feature trumpeter on the the 2018 “On The Run II Tour”, or playing on The Carters “Everything Is Love” 2018 Grammy Award winning album. The future for Arnetta is immeasurable which includes expanding her “Disruptive Jazz” style and her “Netta Bop” sound. Leading her band Arnetta Johnson & SUNNY..{SUNNY=Sounds Uplifting Nobility through Notes and Youth} Arnetta’s goal is to stand jazz on it’s head, to disrupt, uplift, inspire.Look for her debut album “If You Hear A Trumpet It’s Me” out now!