Darryl Tookes (far right) at work in the studio.
By L.A. Carroll
Tallahassee, FL. – As the nation recognizes the 20th anniversary of 9/11, among the countless voices in New York on Saturday will be one local voice from Florida A&M University: Darryl Tookes, director of Music Industry Studies. Tookes, who grew up in Tallahassee, has already been a musical talent on the international scene for decades, with more than six albums in his discography.
Tookes was invited to bring his smooth sounds to what is planned to be a massive National Day of Service and Remembrance. Listen for his song, “The Rising” during the event, which will be broadcast globally on CNN, as a part of 9/11 Day. The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that created and organizes the Day annually; it is now a permanent tribute to those killed and injured on 9/11, and to the many brave individuals who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“The families of the victims are imploring Americans to stand together again, as we did on that terrible day and in the months that followed,” Tookes said. “This is their project.
“The 9/11 Day Organization asked me to participate in their 20th Anniversary Commemoration. What I find most humbling is that they expressed their need for me to participate – organizing the singers and leading the vocal recordings and altered their schedule to accommodate my schedule of responsibilities here at FAMU. There’s more to the story, but high points are that the song was contributed by Bruce Springsteen, the video will be played at the US Open, Today Show and CNN 9/11Day Concert.”
“I am extremely excited to be a part of this event. The majority of the freshman class at FAMU was born after 9/11. They did not experience it as we did … Through remembrances like this, we look at how we’re living today, a time when verbose evils are being spewed. Then, you look at the families who say, ‘if we can try to move on with our lives, then shame on the rest of you, if you can’t try.”
An organization press release said: “Our ongoing mission is to transform the annual remembrance of 9/11 into a worldwide day of unity and doing good, and to encourage millions of people to remember and pay tribute each 9/11 through good deeds that help others and rekindle the extraordinary spirit of togetherness and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy.”
Contributions to 9/11 Day help support programs that promote kindness, unity, and service on the annual observance of 9/11 each year/ Funding also helps us provide free lesson plans to teachers and parents, deliver freshly prepared meals on 9/11, in partnership with World Central Kitchen, to thousands of first responders, and organize large hunger relief volunteer service projects in cities throughout the United States, in partnership with AmeriCorps.
Tookes, who lives part of the year in Connecticut, now teaches three courses at FAMU, his alma mater. He is a graduate of the Florida State University Schools (formerly Florida High).
Tookes said he was also asked to work with a separate organization on a live New York event.
“I also did the preliminary recordings of “Never Alone,” a song by Chris Jackson for him to sing on the concert. And, yes, the producers of the music also accommodated my schedule.”
Tookes will be recording a song with Jackson, from the acclaimed Broadway musical, ‘Hamilton.’ In 2015, Jackson originated the role of President George Washington in the musical Hamilton on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony Award and concluded his run on November 13, 2016. Beginning with the 2016–2017 season, he played Chunk Palmer in the CBS courtroom drama, “Bull.”
To watch the tribute visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFIFhp2wzfs