Department of Music

Darryl S. Tookes
The Institute of Music Research and Music Industries Studies
Music Industry Director





Department of Music Foster-Tanner Music Building
204 Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
Office: 850 561 2798
Fax: 850 561 2176



Exceptional facility, preternatural vocal range, and expression make American singer, pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator Darryl Tookes one of the few artists of his stature in the world today.  In a career spanning more than three decades, Mr. Tookes has worked with Quincy Jones, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Nile Rogers, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Carly Simon, Laurie Anderson, Ray Charles, Todd Rundgren, Christina Aguilera, Lionel Richie, and many other music legends.

One of first African-Americans to chart in the Adult Contemporary category of Billboard magazine, Darryl Tookes experienced pop success on his own terms as a songwriter, artist and producer in his formal introduction to the music industry with the debut of his self-penned classic Lifeguard reaching #3 on the Billboard Charts.  He sees being recently named Director of the Institute for Music Research and Music Industries Studies at Florida A&M University as a continuation of this legacy.  A cretive original, Darryl Tookes' voice has often been described as angelic.  Broadway Orchestrator Joseph Joubert whose credits include The Color Purple, Motown The Musical, Billy Elliot and Carmen Jones puts it this way, among colleagues "We all see Darryl as an artist of unequaled stature."  Perhaps the words of Blue Note Records Chairman Emeritus, the legendary Bruce Lundvall say it best, "Darryl Tookes a signature artist."

A clinician, Mr. Tookes is highly sought after by conservatories including the Berklee College of Music, and has taught Voice at New York University in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and the Tisch School of the Arts where as a founding faculty member he originated the Music Theory curriculum for Music Theater in the Drama Department.  Mr. Tookes has been a Lecturer in Music at The State University of New York at Purchase College, teaching both graduate and undergraduate level courses, and on the Voice Faculty of Fairfield University.  As impresario, Mr. Tookes was founding Musical Director of Black to Broadway, presenting an array of African-American talents from legendary performers like Melba Moore, Jennifer Holiday, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, to emerging stars like Billy Porter, himself now a Tony Award winner.  Among Mr. Tookes' former students are many of today's Broadway stars.

Balancing his passion for teaching, Mr. Tookes maintains a vibrant career as a composer, producer, and concert artist.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House for sitting Presidents Clinton and Obama, in New York at The Apollo Theater, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Cafe Carlyle, The Blue Note Jazz Clubs in New York and Japan, London's Royal Albert Hall, The Oslo Concert Hall, among venues worldwide.  He has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Oprah, Late Night with Letterman, and many national television shows, and has performed for dignitaries Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Maya Angelou, and Sydney Poitier, to name a few.  Along with these career highlights, Mr. Tookes is preeminent in the music field as a member of the Board of Governors of the Recording Academy, the Board of the Society of Singers, and is recognized for his service as Chairman of the New York Singers Collective, and for his activism as a longtime member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Darryl Tookes' new epic work, his tenth solo project, "Symphony of Love" is the composer's collaboration with the world renowned orchestrator Gil Goldstein, orchestra, rhythm section, singers, dancers, and the Grammy Award-winning engineers Richard King, Roy Henderickson, and Steve Rodby.  The companion piece, "Symphony of Love - A Concert Of Music and Dance" is currently in development with the Grammy, Juno, Emmy, and Gemini Award-winning directors Pierre and Francois Lamoureux of the Montreal based film company FogoLabs. 




Contact Info

1660 Pinder Ave.
206 Foster Tanner Music Bldg.
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

P: (850)599-3024/3334
F: (850)561-2176

E: lindsey.sarjeant@famu.edu