Sunny Wilkinson has taken her place in that elite group of jazz vocalists who have stretched the boundaries and found themselves “one of a kind.”
Sunny has sung with music icons such as The Count Basie Orchestra, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Milt Hinton, Curtis Fuller and many more. She has recorded four CDs as leader and numerous guest appearances. “Into the Light,” her newest CD, is all about family—not just Wilkinson’s immediate family, but her extended musical family as well. Featuring her Michigan band, Ron Newman on piano, Ed Fedewa on Bass, and Larry Ochiltree on Drums, it comprises a stylistic mix of tunes that resonate with Wilkinson because of the stories they tell. The CD features her crystalline voice and impressive ability to convey the heart of a lyric with unadorned honesty. Look for it at CD baby, Amazon.com.
Sunny has also made significant contributions in jazz education. She was the head of the vocal jazz program at Michigan State University for eighteen years. Presently she is adjunct faculty at Western Michigan University and an artist in residence at the University of Michigan. She developed a mentoring program for young women jazz musicians called “Sisters in Jazz” that was taken to an international level through IAJE. Sunny is very proud of her former students, many of whom are now the heads of vocal jazz programs at universities around the country and have successful careers as jazz performers and recording artists.
An inspirational voice in jazz, Sunny has a rich stage history, having performed at jazz festivals, with symphony orchestras, and at clubs and music programs across the country.
Looking ahead, Ms. Wilkinson is excited and passionate about continuing to share her unique sound with audiences and students everywhere.