Ep. 9 & 10 Show Notes | Musician to Conservationist with Jon Rossi

If COVID turned your life upside down like I know it has so many of us, then you’ll definitely relate to Jon’s story. Jon is a professional drummer with a very successful career touring across the US sharing his talents. But when COVID hit, all of his work – and his strongest passion – were ripped away from him. While on the road, Jon found joy visiting zoos and aquariums to escape from negative influences that were all around him. In doing so, he met lots of amazing animals and zookeepers, which became a podcast idea shortly after he was locked down at home. He found a new passion and a new title – conservation educator. 

In Part 2 of the conversation, we dive deep into how Jon made the Rossifari Podcast happen including connecting with zookeepers and conservation organizations, plus all of the hoops that are involved to make them happen. And let me tell you, there’s a lot. We also chat about some personal struggles, like battling mental health issues after losing his musical career to COVID and an even bigger life event, unexpectedly becoming a father. 

If you’ve ever thought about doing something that maybe was in a different field or outside your expertise, or you need some encouragement to finally tackle that one idea you’ve had for years, then you must listen to this show. 

If you would like me to keep this 2-part episode format, please let me know by sending a DM on Instagram or emailing me at hello@rewildology.com. I’d love to hear from you and if you’re digging the new style.

Here is my convo with Jon:

Ep. 9 | Musician to Conservationist with Jon Rossi Part 1
Ep. 9 | Musician to Conservationist with Jon Rossi Part 1

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Show Notes

Part 1 Notes

  • Where are you from? What was your childhood like? Where did you grow up? [3:19]
  • What is the path you took to become a touring drummer? [8:08]
  • (Brooke) “If you have a path it’s going to be hard, but that’s okay. Just keep going and persevere because you don’t know what that corner is going to be.” [13:23]
  • Brooke asks Jon why he decided to visit zoos and aquariums while on tour instead of other institutions. [16:21]
  • Brooke and Jon discusses how the Rossifari Podcast came to be. [26:27]
  • Brooke asks Jon what it’s been like for him entering the conservation field. [31:46]
  • Jon talks about how the podcast saved him after COVID took away his musical career. [46:10]

Part 2 Notes

  • Brooke asks Jon how he came out of his depressed state to launch the Rossifari Podcast. [1:30]
  • Brooke asks Jon what it was like for him to become a father at the end of the failing marriage. [10:30]
  • Brooke mentions to Jon about possibly marrying his two passions – the podcast and his musical talents. [18:51]
  • Brooke asks Jon to chat about the highs and the lows of the podcast so far. [23:41]
  • Jon chats about navigating zoo politics. [30:04]
  • Brooke asks Jon what his goals are from here. [39:11]
  • (Jon) “Two things that I always like to share, and this is my message, which is to find and follow your passion…And then the other best advice that I give to people, is find your niche” [44:01]
  • Parting thoughts. [47:11]


Check out other Rewildology episodes.

Ep. 8 Show Notes | East Africa’s Conservation X-Factor with Judith Wanda

Ep. 7 Show Notes | Conservation & Congress with Hailey Hawkins

Ep. 6 Show Notes | Sustain the Stoke with Arthur Lefo

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Brooke Mitchell-Norman
Brooke Mitchell-Norman

Brooke is a conservation biologist that has traveled the world studying how to balance human activity and healthy wildlife populations. She’s met several inspiring people along the way. These are their stories.

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