Frank Sumares

Frank Sumares

Professor Frank Sumares served as a piano instructor in the Jazz Studies Program, teaching jazz theory and improvisation, as well as Director of the Sumares Jazz Combo. He was Professor Emeritus at Chabot College in Hayward, California, where he was Director of Jazz Studies and Instrumental Music for over 25 years. He was the director of the award-winning jazz band at Chabot College for over eighteen years. He annually taught at the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop. Professionally, he performed on clarinet, saxophone, and piano.

He also taught at the Jamie Aebersold Jazz Camps in the US and Australia, was the Director of the Cazasero Jazz Camp in 1981 and 1982, instituted the first Jazz Festival at California State University in Hayward, and was one of the original teachers at the Stanford Jazz Camp. He served as CMEA Bay section Jazz Representative and adjudicated at all the major festivals in California. Professor Sumares wrote three books on jazz improvisation, which he edited into one book to cover beginners through accomplished players. In addition to arranging and composing for a variety of bands, he worked with Bill Watrous, Ben Webster, Mel Torme, Patti Page, Sarah Vaughn, Della Reese, Shirley Jones, and Steve Allen.

Professor Sumares was a graduate of San José State University and earned a Master's Degree in Music Education from California State University, Hayward. He received the "1997 Volunteer of the Year Award" from the City of Hayward and a number of other awards from the Lions Club for his volunteerism. He received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the San José Jazz Society. In December 2007, Professor Sumares directed the Count Basie Band for Verve recording artist Ledisi at Yoshi's in San Francisco. In October 2008, he again played with and conducted the Basie Band for Ledisi at the Blue Note in New York.

Professor Sumares passed away in March of 2013. He is remembered fondly by students and colleagues.