It is relatively easy to show that $$ \sum_{a_1 + \cdots + a_k=\ell} \binom{\ell}{a_1,\ldots,a_k} = k^\ell $$ where $\binom{\ell}{a_1, \ldots, a_k} = \frac{\ell!}{a_1!\cdots a_k!}$. What can be said if we want to compute the restricted sum $$ s(\ell,k) = \sum_{a_1 + \cdots + a_k=\ell} \binom{\ell}{a_1,\ldots,a_k} $$ where we now restrict the summation to those $a_k$ which are odd? At the least, of course, we need that $\ell \geq k$ and that $\ell \equiv k \pmod 2$. Is this sum known in the literature?

The simplest case of $s(2k,2) = 2^{2k-1}$ can be easily verified, but I believe that this is an anomoly based on the fact that these are (secretly) binomial coefficients.

This arises in computing the coefficients of the power series of $\big(\sin(x)\big)^k$.