Updated: 4/27/2021 09:44Rhonda Hamilton
Rhonda Hamilton has decades of extensive experience producing and hosting jazz programs and is an internationally known radio broadcaster.
Born and raised in New York, one of Ms. Hamilton’s cherished childhood memories is waking up on Saturday mornings to the sounds of Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole and other jazz greats as her father played his favorite records. By the time she was a teenager, she began amassing her own collection.
While attending Boston University’s College of Communication Ms. Hamilton began her career in jazz radio as an announcer/producer at WBUR-FM, Boston eventually becoming the station’s music director.
Returning to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, Ms. Hamilton came to WBGO-FM, Newark at its inception and played a key role in establishing WBGO. She began her association with NPR in 1980 hosting numerous nationally syndicated programs including NPR’s annual New Year’s Eve broadcast “Toast of the Nation-Coast to Coast”, “Big Apple Jazz”, “American Women in Jazz” and “The Voices of Jazz” which she also co-produced. During her years at WBGO Ms. Hamilton conducted hundreds of interviews with world class jazz artists and celebrities, produced and voiced documentaries and hosted numerous events at premier venues throughout New York and New Jersey. She also hosted and led station sponsored trips to international destinations including Brazil, Cuba, Montreal and South Africa.
In 2001 Ms. Hamilton helped to inaugurate the jazz programming on Sirius Satellite Radio as the host of a daily show. After the merger with XM Satellite Radio her affiliation continued until 2009 and began again in 2016. Between 2005 and 2010 Ms. Hamilton engaged jazz fans in Japan as the host of a program called “Nissan Murano Crossover Style” which aired on Inter-FM, Tokyo. She has also been the producer and host of inflight jazz radio programs.
Ms. Hamilton’s dedication as a jazz broadcaster has earned her many honors including the Jazz Journalists Association Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Excellence in Broadcasting Award, the Ladies in Jazz Award from the Mayor of NYC and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce, The Amazing Women in Jazz Award from International Women in Jazz and two consecutive New York Jazz Awards for Best Jazz DJ “in appreciation of a major contribution to the cultural life of our region.” Other honors include recognition from the New Jersey Jazz Society, the Spelman College Alumni Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.