Journalist-Turned-Jazz Singer Finds New Way to Tell Stories

By: Kristina Ackermann

Journalist-Turned-Jazz Singer Finds New Way to Tell Stories

It’s likely not many musicians name Diane Sawyer as the inspiration that jump-started their careers, but Rondi Charleston isn’t your average musician.

As a former reporter on ABC News’ PrimeTime Live, Charleston credits her former boss’ advice to “just tell the story” as her motivation to start a new career as a jazz singer. In fact, it’s the story-telling ability she relied on as a journalist that sets her apart in the world of jazz performers.

Charleston, a Julliard-trained performer, got her master’s degree from NYU’s School of Journalism and won an Emmy and a Peabody award for her work on PrimeTime Live. She recently released her fourth album, “Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” on the jazz label Motéma.

On her website Charleston — a self-described “language junkie” — says, “Whether it’s journalism, or lyric poetry, the world of words is so full of possibility — the possibility of creating some fresh, new evocative meaning or metaphor — that is what interests and excites me when I’m writing a new song.”

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