Sunny Sumter

Sunny Sumter is Executive Director 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 held each June, the year-round DC Jazz Festival Education Program; and the Charles Fishman Embassy Series. DC Jazz Festival is the recipient of the 2018 DC Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. Sumter has raised over $14 million dollars for the DC Jazz Festival and has participated as a panelist in discussions on jazz funding at the WeDC JazzFest, Jazz Philadelphia Summit, and the U.S. Department of State.  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 2018 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 some of the finest festivals, performance venues, and clubs in the U.S. and internationally. Sumter was awarded the Aspen Institute’s Staff Achievement Award for Excellence.  She was host of Jazz Central on the BETJ network. She is a member of Americans for the Arts, National Academy for the Recording Arts and Sciences, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative; and served as a program director member of the National Collaboration for Youth.


Email address:
(202) 800-8230
Sunny Sumter