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Motema Music And Rondi Charleston Celebrate The Season Of Giving To Support The Jazz Drama Program

SOURCE: Published: 2013-12-14
Rondi Charleston Clicks on YouTube to View New Video from 2013 Yoshi’s Performance Will Result in Contributions to Jazz Drama Program

In August of 2013, vocalist Rondi Charleston, who was recently lauded as one of Entertainment Tonight’s “Artists to Watch” on ET.com, performed with her All Star Band at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. The performances have been captured in a series of three videos that will debut on YouTube on December 13, and that will launch a special holiday promotion to benefit the JDP.

For each YouTube view of the video for “DNA” between December 13 and December 31, Charleston and Motéma Music, the award-winning label for which she’s been recording since 2011, will make a donation of $1 to the JDP, up to a total of $10,000.

The Jazz Drama Program inspires students, teachers and their communities by providing interactive experiences in the jazz arts - storytelling, music, dance, theater and the visual arts. Through its various activities, the JDP illuminates the value of jazz and jazz musicians as a continuous source of inspiration in our society.

Charleston, an alumni of Juilliard and the NYU Graduate School of Journalism, knows first-hand the value of incorporating the arts into education. Her later work as an investigative reporter at ABC alongside Diane Sawyer at Prime Time Live, reinforced her belief in the power of storytelling, a talent that has attracted critical acclaim to her work both as a songwriter and performer.

“We are thrilled to be able to support such a vital organization which brings jazz to a new generation of young people eager to embrace this dynamic and essential art form,” says Charleston. “The band and I had such a great time performing at the legendary Yoshi’s, and we’re excited to share some of our songs from these performances while supporting such an outstanding cause.”

Jana Herzen, President of Motéma Music, added, “Eli's work with children creates an indelible impression that I'm sure stays with them for life and has a positive influence in many ways. His joy is infectious and his swing impeccable. I've been aware of his work for many years now and I've always enjoyed and admired him."

Though officially incorporated in December of 2003, JDP began as an idea through a 1998 Meet the Composer-New Music for Schools Grant awarded to jazz composer Eli Yamin and monies from The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. That year saw a workshop production of a jazz musical composed by Yamin and writer Clifford Carlson. The resulting effort, When Malindy Swings, based on a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, was a smash success; the JDP has since gone on to work with students around the globe, from NYC to Topeka, Kansas, to Bialystok, Poland.

Says Yamin, “Rondi Charleston brings her life experience to her songs, embracing the language of jazz as a living, breathing, and immediately relevant art form. That's what The Jazz Drama Program does for children, telling stories that are relevant to children's lives and giving young people access and opportunity to make jazz their own. We are grateful for Rondi's support and the support of Motéma Music, a company that believes in the power of song to unite, uplift and inspire the world.”


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