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 the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Dortmund Symphony Orchestra (Germany), and the Bemus Bay Pops. In Jazz, R&B, and Latin settings, she has performed for numerous music festivals including the Queen City Jazz Festival, Lewiston Jazz Festival, M&T Plaza Music Series, and the Albright Knox Art Gallery Jazz Series.
Tomoka worked extensively with Armed Forces Entertainment, performing in over 40 countries for soldiers, ambassadors and other diplomats at U.S. embassies and military bases in Kuwait, Kosovo, Ecuador, Germany and Mozambique, to name a few. She performs regularly in Japan, including several command performances for the mayor of her hometown, Gifu.
Tomoka also has experience in musical theater, having been hired for pit orchestra and on-stage playing. Tomoka has performed frequently for the Young Audience Program and Lecture Series for students in Western New York. She is presently appearing as a teaching artist presenting workshops in elementary schools in the greater Los Angeles Area for a non-profit organization “Dream A World Education” led by Grammy Award winner Bunny Hull.
Tomoka recently performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Show with Fat Joe. Remy Ma, and Ty Dolla $ign. She is currently a member of two all female groups, namely Jazz in Pink and The Saxations, and also performs as a freelance saxophonist with leading R&B and smooth jazz groups in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Palm Springs area.
Visit www.tomokamusic.com for more information about Tomoka.
As an endorsing artist for Dakota Saxophones, Tomoka plays several models exclusively: SDA-XR-82 RAW BRONZE ALTO and SDT-XR 92 TENOR.