Steve Ruchefsky and Rondi Charleston are a couple with many talents.
Together, they renovated their historic Evergreen Avenue home into one of Westport’s most stunning properties. He’s a successful businessman, who recently helped build a biotech company that transforms the way cancer is treated and cured. She was an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist with ABC News — as well as a noted jazz and opera singer/entertainer/actor.
Last year Steve and Rondi embarked on a new project. They started Resilience Music Alliance, right here in Westport.
It’s a label with a mission.
The goal is to empower artists and creators who explore, challenge and celebrate the human condition of (you guessed it) resilience.
One of their first releases was an album by Charleston, South Carolina-based Ranky Tanky. Those gifted musicians reimagine songs from Gullah culture, and infuse them with jazz.
Terry Gross featured them on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” The album zoomed to #1 on the Billboard, Amazon and iTunes jazz charts.
RMA also released “Attitude Manouche” by the Django Festival Allstars. They performed this week at Carnegie Hall, and transfixed the crowd with hot gypsy jazz.
Now Rondi herself is in the news. She’s used her journalism background to create a webcast. “The Resilience Conversations” feature conversations with thought leaders like Senators Cory Booker and Chris Murphy, author Deepak Chopra and astrophysicist Brian Greene.
Plus, she’s just released the aptly named “Resilience.”
Hot House Magazine says she’s carved out
a delightful niche at an intersection of swinging standards, sultry torch songs and R&B-inflected fare. Capable of delivering ballads with a supremely velvet-coated intimacy and lush vibrato, Rondi also possesses the ample chops and vocal technique to deliver fast vocalese lines that enliven uptempo hard bop works.
The magazine adds, “any performance by Rondi is well worth attending.”
That’s great news for Fairfield County residents.
Next Saturday (May 12, 8 p.m.), Rondi performs at Fairfield University’s Quick Center.
She’s headlined the Women In Jazz Festival at Lincoln Center, and performed at Birdland, Blue Note, Joe’s Pub and elsewhere around the country.
Now we can see our talented, resilient neighbor right here in our own back yard.
(Click here for tickets to Rondi Charleston’s Fairfield University performance. Tickets are $15, $10 for Quick Center members.)