Tomoka is one busy sax player and has been busy all over the world!
Originally from Gifu, Japan, Tomoka earned a Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) from Buffalo State College and a Masters in Music from the State University of New York at Buffalo in saxophone performance. While maintaining a private teaching studio for small children to adults, Tomoka performed with or was a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Dortmund Symphony Orchestra (Germany), and Bemus Bay Pops. In Jazz, R&B, and Latin settings, she performed for numerous music festivals such as the Queen City Jazz Festival, Lewiston Jazz Festival, M&T Plaza Concert Series.
For more than a decade, Tomoka worked with Armed Forces Entertainment, performing in over 40 countries for soldiers, ambassadors and other diplomats at U.S. embassies and military bases. Among the countries visited were Kuwait, Kosovo, Ecuador, Germany and Mozambique, just to name a few. Tomoka has performed extensively for the Young Audience Program and Lecture Series for students in Western New York. Now she is working as a teaching artist giving workshops in elementary schools in Los Angeles Area for Dream A World Education led by Grammy Award winner Bunny Hull. Tomoka also has experience in musical theater, having been hired for pit orchestra and on-stage playing. You can also see Tomoka playing with Jazz In Pink at various Jazz Festivals!