Women of the Adelaide Fringe: Charmaine Jones

 In Business Women

The Adelaide Fringe is now in full swing and we want to showcase another extraordinary woman behind one of this year’s best shows at the Fringe. Charmaine Jones is the incredible and passionate woman behind Gospo Collective and our personal favourite show at this year’s Adelaide Fringe: Jackson Vs Jackson.

Charmaine Jones: Jackson Vs Jackson

Tell us a bit about yourself and your fringe show

I moved to Adelaide in 1988 from Sri Lanka with my parents, sister Joanna and my Father’s parents due to the effects of civil war. Now a Mum of two beautiful, healthy girls after losing my first son to stillbirth, we still live in the area I grew up in which I love! I am a lecturer and educator in music and performance. I also produce/arrange shows whilst doing solo gigs as well.

Jackson Vs Jackson is a one-hour musical celebration of Michael and Janet Jackson’s greatest hits, reconstructed in our signature style. including songs like Miss You Much, All For You, Black or White, Billie Jean, Thriller, Man In The Mirror, The Way You Make Me Feel and Runaway. 

We are so fortunate to be joined by more than 100 people in our backing choir (The Jones Commentary) over our season, including the Jones Juniors and our 16-person front line, The Gospo Collective for a performance unlike any other.

How did you get into Gospel singing and why did you decide to create Gospo Collective?

I wouldn’t class myself as a Gospel singer. I’m a vocalist who enjoys all sorts of music and for me, Gospel is as the word means – truth – so I just sing my truth. That’s how the Gospo Collective was formed. I had to live my truths and what I believe my truth is, is to build people and build confidence and skills through music, allowing music to be the tool of communication. Music goes beyond words – it unites people of all different backgrounds and beliefs.

What does a typical day during the Adelaide Fringe look like for you?

*Laughs deliriously* A typical day starts with school lunches and the school drop off, followed by a coffee and off to teach at Pembroke School where I am Vocal/Choral Director.

Lunch is usually light – a green juice and sushi roll as I don’t function well on a full stomach!

Then I am either back home for after school shenanigans with the girls, maybe sneaking in a half hour jog or bike ride, before heading to Colour Cosmetica Studio & Academy for hair and make-up. Making it back to Gluttony just in time to be on stage for Jackson Vs Jackson!

How would you describe your show in three words?

Harmonic, Uplifting, Thought-Provoking.

How do you wind down after a show? 

After our show, Jackson Vs Jackson, I usually like to finish up with a huge late-night dinner at the Fringe Garden with members from the Gospo Collective (I’m ravenous by this time!!). Followed by a vocal fold steam over a hot pan back at my house. I have a few sleep routines to wind down too; a lavender pillow spray and foot cream from L’Occitane as well as smelling salts from Temple and some scripture mantras. Works a treat!

What do you do in non-fringe times?

I’m a lecturer and educator with Pembroke School and Monash University in Melbourne. I also run Gospo Enterprises with my best friend and business partner Ben Gillard; The Jones Commentary and Jones Juniors, educating people from the age of 6 right through to 70 plus.

What’s your favourite thing / the most rewarding thing about your job?

The energy that I get in return from collaborating with people through music. The goodness, the hope, the joy. Even the hard lessons that music allows you to be open to learn. It’s the greatest and most patient teacher.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

There was an interview I listened to by James Morrison once where he was saying someone asked him how he came to where he was in life and his achievements. He responded: “I just said yes to everything”. It resonated with me deeply. Putting up your hand is the first step then it’s about making it work.

What’s your favourite song?

I don’t have a favourite song per se, but I would have to say it probably would be a piece of music by Ravel, Chopin, Debussy or Jobim.

Where can we find you at the Adelaide Fringe?

You can find me and the team headlining The Flamingo in Gluttony at 8.00pm through to March 17. Tickets are still available through adelaidefringe.com.au

Through her words, you can hear Charmaine’s passion, but you really need to see her on stage to watch her come alive to truly feel it. If you only see one show at this year’s Adelaide Fringe, make sure it’s Jackson Vs Jackson.

Do you have a show at the Adelaide Fringe that is sitting on your wish list? Let us know in the comments below or share with The Jane Community over on the Ask My Friend Jane Facebook Group.

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