Liturgical, avant-garde, and free jazz pioneer who also taught music and worked as a performer and composer.
While he was attending University of North Texas for his MM, he composed "Requiem for Mary Jo," dedicated to his young daughter who passed away as a baby.
He was the founder and director of the jazz program at the City College of New York for more than a decade.
He married his first wife Virginia
Summerlin worked in New York as a freelance musician in the 1960s with Don Ellis.