Sunny Wilkinson

Jazz Voice



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.” In addition to over four decades of professional accomplishments and performances, Sunny has sung with music icons such as The Count Basie Orchestra, Rob McConell and the Boss Brass, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Milt Hinton, Curtis Fuller and many more. With four CDs as leader and numerous guest appearances, her last CD is a duo project with pianist Tom Garvin entitled A Gentle Time – When Sunny Meets Tom. “The musical empathy that is shared by these two artists is truly extraordinary…Sunny Wilkinson is at the top of her game here. She has spent a lot of time refining her craft in the trenches and now emerges as a master songstress able to get inside of a song and find its essential emotional core.” ~ Don Mizell, co-producer of “Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company.” Sunny has just finished recording a new CD and is looking forward to it being released in the fall of 2017. Sunny has also made significant contributions in jazz education.

She rejoined the faculty at Western Michigan in 2016 and is thrilled to be working with the talented students there. She has been on the jazz faculty at Michigan State University, Cal State Northridge, Fullerton College, and the Dick Grove School of Music, as well as teaching numerous private voice students. Presently she is the artist in residence at the University of Michigan.

Sunny served as a President of the Michigan chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators and the past chairperson for IAJE’s Women’s Caucus. She also developed a mentoring program for young women jazz musicians called “Sisters in Jazz” that was taken to an international level through IAJE. 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 music with audiences and students everywhere.