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Jazz Bridge Presents Sumi Tonooka at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Media (PA) on March 16

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For the last piano concert of this season, Jazz Bridge presents award-winning jazz artist Sumi Tonooka in a rare piano concert in the Philadelphia area at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 145 W. Rose Tree Road in Media, PA, on March 16, 2011. With her will be bassist Mike Boone and drummer Alan Nelson.

Initiation, her most recent recording on the ARC label, earned a “Best of 2010" mention in the Village Voice and her trio's CD Long Ago Today was Jazz Improv NY magazine's 2008 “Best of Jazz" pick. Peter Watrous of Musician Magazine writes: “Revelatory . . . reminds you that originality is possible. She's made her phrasing and touch personal; her lines breathe. . . . Her compositions . . . are rock solid without a moment of indecision or mistake. Technique is mastered by imagination, inspiration by intellect. She comes to her own conclusions, which is what jazz is all about." This concert will be dedicated to the people who were the greatest influence on her: Mary Lou Williams, Bernard Peiffer, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Abdullah Ibrahim and Thelonius Monk, and those great Philadelphia musicians we have recently lost, including Sid Simmons, Trudy Pitts, Charles Fambrough, and Emmanuel Thompson.

Tonooka is also one of the subjects of a documentary film “A Note of Hope" which follows the journey of five American jazz musicians who are musical ambassadors for the cause of children left parentless by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Her most recent compositions are inspired by this emotionally-charged concert tour to Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia and Ghana and the people they met while there.

Tonooka's prolific career has been chronicled in several highly regarded jazz books, including Living The Jazz Life by Royal Stokes, In The Moment by Francis Davis, and Madame Jazz by Leslie Gourse (all on Oxford University Press). To date she has released seven recordings as a leader, and many more as a collaborator, most notably with the celebrated bassist Rufus Reid and violinist John Blake, Jr.

One Show: 7:30-9 p.m. $10/$5 students. No advance sales. For info: 610-745-3011 Free refreshments.

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