My love affair with musicstarted with a 25-key, sea green Muppet Babies keyboard. Before I knew it, I was tapping out melodies from songs on the radio. I was 5 years old then. But the love affair remains still.
Growing up, I was
immersed in music- from jazz to classical to go-go and hip-hop – and loved it all. The tapping of melodies on the little green keyboard matured into private piano lessons, evolving further still into playing local venues and touring with the Children’s Gospel Choir of America. I explored other
creative outletssuch as acting and dancing and joined the DC Youth Ensemble. By the time I was 13, I had traveled to 5 countries and performed in countless cities throughout the US. In high school, I had the opportunity to work in the world of broadcasting. I hosted a show called ‘Street Rap’ where youth from all over the city could express themselves on the issues of the day. I also auditioned for a radio soap opera on WKYS 93.9 FM called ‘What’s the Deal Yo!’ where I became the announcer and voice of “Janne”.
In 2005, I graduated from Howard University with a degree in Fine Arts after majoring in Music History and Classical Piano. It was at HU that I got the chance to study with musical giants like Charles Covington, Grady Tate, Charles Timbrell, and Connaitre Miller. It was also during my time there, that I discovered a city gem – WPFW 89.3 FM – the only radio station in DC dedicated to the
preservation of jazzand committed to community awareness and social justice. I stumbled into the office looking for an internship and ended up as host of the Tuesday edition of Midday Jazz… working with some of the coolest, most knowledgeable musicologists in the game. Ten years later, I am honored to still grace WPFW's airwaves as the host of the Tuesday edition of
Evening Jazz… and
it still feels so new, so fresh, so awesome to sit in that chair and share some of the greatest music ever created. In December of 2010, I created the persona
DJ Charlie Fontaine, and so began
JazzyGirlRockin Entertainment... bringing a mix of Jazz and Soul to your next special event! I don’t think of Charlie as an alter-ego, but more like my other half; my playful side; the side of me that likes to explore. My goal is to make JazzyGirlRockin Entertainment a hub of fly – a musical place where the discerning listener might come hang out and enjoy the sounds of Carolyn Malachi or Curtis Mayfield; where
Eddie Kendricksmay have fallen through and had an unlikely mash with
Esperanza Spalding. Stay tuned for updates on my musical journey....
It’s been an amazing journey so far… But there are many more miles to travel. I remain open to new possibilities and committed to creating spaces where courageous art can thrive. Hopefully, you’ll come along for the ride!