Read about Jennifer Charles net worth, age, husband, children, height, family, parents, salary and music career as well as other information you need to know.
Jennifer Charles is an American singer, songwriter, poet, writer, and actress. Along with Oren Bloedow, she co-founded the New York band Elysian Fields. Her work is known for its emotional intensity, with her writing exploring nature, love, loss, death, myth, and identity, often with philosophical and literary influences. She has a contralto voice.
|Net Worth||$5 million|
|Occupation||Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Writer, Actress|
Jennifer Charles whose birth name is Jennifer Asher Zipken was born on November 15, 1968 (age 54 years) in Washington, D.C., United States. She was the firstborn child of Peter Charles (né Zipken) and Jeri Charles (née Valentine). She has a younger brother, Joshua. When Jennifer was an infant, her father had her birth name (and that of the whole family) changed from Zipken to Charles, which had been his professional name for years on the radio as a disc jockey, and which he had decided to change legally once his own father died.
Charles is of Russian Jewish and Irish descent and grew up in a mostly secular Jewish household. Her parents separated when she was four, and Jennifer and her brother were raised by their mother, seeing her father every two weeks. She grew up in houses filled with music because her mother had been a classical music programmer at WMAL-FM, and because her father had been a late-night jazz DJ at WAVZ out of New Haven, CT.
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Her mother also used to be a torch singer in Washington clubs, so Jennifer also learned early on the songs of Édith Piaf, Ruth Etting, Marlene Dietrich, Billie Holiday, and Judy Garland. And from her grandmother, she absorbed most of the Tin Pan Alley and blues songs of the 1920s and 1930s. The music of popular AM radio at the time of her childhood was multiform, and Jennifer fell asleep with a transistor radio most nights.
The homes Jennifer grew up in with her mother in Washington, D.C. were unconventional, and she was exposed to many cultures as her mother and her mother’s good friend (another single mother) formed something of a group house, taking in writers and filmmakers (Stephen Jimenez and Henry Jaglom among them), and a French chef as boarders.
As young children, she and her brothers would travel door to door, performing a kind of children’s vaudeville act, singing Tin Pan Alley songs and tap dancing. Jennifer was a shy girl, so when she started doing children’s theater at age 10, her stage debut at Trinity Theater was that of a cat who had no speaking lines but was a mime and dancer who was onstage the length of the play. It was an original role that the director let Jennifer create as she felt she did not fit into any of the written parts.
She was also writing herself, and published her first poem, called “Riddle-Song Of The Sun,” that same year. At age 11, she started a newspaper with her best friend called The Pre-Teen Times where they sold subscriptions that came out quarterly. At age 12, she became passionate about the music of South Asia after her mother returned from a journey across India and Nepal with a bag full of cassettes for her, with Jagjit and Chitra Singh’s The Gold Disc being her favorite.
She took flamenco lessons as a young teen and continued to do children’s theater and community theater. She studied acting for a summer at Catholic University and had principal roles in productions at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, Olney Theatre Center, and Folger Shakespeare Theatre. She attended the Washington International School, where she studied Spanish and Latin, then the Edmund Burke School, a college prep school she left after she had begun working in professional theatre at Studio Theatre and Source Theatre, and the school could not accommodate her rehearsal schedule.
For her last two years of high school, Jennifer attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where she was a theater major. An advanced academic program also landed her part-time at George Washington University, where she studied writing and anthropology. Jennifer’s youth in the melting pot of Washington, D.C. was instrumental in her musical influence and taste.
Her mother had season tickets to the National Symphony Orchestra, which they attended on Friday nights, and her father would take her to hear live jazz at places like Blues Alley, One Step Down, and Charlie’s Georgetown, where she saw the likes of Anita O’Day, Mel Tormé, Dizzy Gillespie, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, and Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander.
In her teens, Jennifer would often travel to New York and London, both with friends and on her own. She was turned on to the different sounds in each city – The Lounge Lizards, Diamanda Galas, Lydia Lunch, Blondie, and The Velvet Underground in New York; and The Specials, Gang of Four, Siouxsie, The Slits, The Buzzcocks, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, and The Fall in the UK. But she was also steeped in the contemporary scenes of her own hometown, dancing at Tracks, Poseurs, and Badlands, and frequenting live music venues like D.C. Space, 9:30 Club, Fort Reno Park, and Cafe Lautrec to see punk bands like Bad Brains, Beefeater, and Rites of Spring.
She also grew up going to go-go concerts, seeing Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk, Junk Yard Band, E.U., and Rare Essence, and went to hear Ethiopian music in the clubs and restaurants of DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. As a junior in high school, Jennifer moved out on her own and supported herself with theater work and various odd jobs, including as an artist model at the Corcoran School of the Arts and as a singing waitress in a piano bar called The Top Hat Club.
Jennifer Charles moved to New York in 1987 to continue her theatre and academic studies, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU’s Tisch School in just three years. Upon graduating she appeared in various off-broadway theater productions, had a stint singing in a dive piano bar and curated a performance/poetry series at the original Knitting Factory. Elysian Fields was founded in 1995 and has released eleven full-length records (including one produced by Steve Albini that was shelved).
Charles and the Band have also contributed to many compilation albums, including the first song on John Zorn’s Serge Gainsbourg tribute album. This song, their rendition of “Les Amours Perdues”, also appeared in Lea Pool’s film Emporte Moi. Besides Elysian Fields, Charles has other projects. She and Bloedow recorded La Mar Enfortuna for Zorn’s Tzadik label, featuring renditions of Sephardic and Ladino songs. She has studied classical Indian singing with teacher Gulamji.
In late 2007, she and Bloedow put out a second Tzadik full-length, under the band name La Mar Enfortuna, called “Conviviencia”. Charles sings in five languages on the record, including Ladino, Spanish, Aramaic, Arabic, and Greek. Charles also makes up a quarter of the band Lovage, along with Dan the Automator, Mike Patton and Kid Koala. The band recorded its debut album titled Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By in 2001.
Charles co-wrote and sang most of the material on the album. She has also worked with bands like Firewater, turning in performances on “The Circus” and “Mr. Cardiac” from 1996’s Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood for the Fire, as well as Xian Hawkin’s “Sybarite”, the Foetus record, Love, as well as working with Matt Johnson of The The, and on several of John Zorn’s records.
Jennifer Charles recorded in French with the French composer Jean-Louis Murat for the album A bird on a poire in 2004, which was nominated for a Victoires de la Musique award in the category Best Pop or Rock Album. She had a guest spot on ex-Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna’s solo project Tweaker.
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She sang and co-composed the track “Crude Sunlight”, which appeared on the 2004 album 2 A.m. Wakeup Call. Charles co-composed music with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil (Run Lola Run) for the film Tangled. Elysian Fields’ version of Bob Dylan’s “Tangled up in Blue” can be heard in the film’s credits. She produced the latest Oren Bloedow solo record She Goes With me to a Blossom World, which came out in 2008.
Jennifer Charles was back on stage in 2008 in the Off-Broadway production “Lightning at Our Feet”, inspired by poet Emily Dickinson, under the direction of Obie winner Bob McGrath, with filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer Michael Gordon, which was part of the Next Wave festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music in December 2008, where she sang and acted, channeling the iconic 19th-century poet.
Is Jennifer Charles married? Jennifer Charles husband or children are unclear to the public. The singer rarely talks about her personal life. She is one of the richest and most influential singers in the United States. She stands at an appealing height of 1.68m and has a good body weight which suits her personality.
Jennifer Charles net worth
How much is Jennifer Charles worth? Jennifer Charles net worth is estimated at around $5 million. Her main source of income is from her primary work as a singer, songwriter, poet, writer, and actor. Jennifer Charles’s salary per month and other career earnings are over $400,000 dollars annually. Her remarkable achievements have earned her some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips.