“A catchy and captivating
song-crafter, a true storyteller”

– NPR

Music Bio

ABOUT ROBIN JACKSON

“A captivating song-crafter, a true storyteller.” – WEBZ, CHICAGO NPR.

An award-winning songwriter, teacher, activist, and spirited impresario, Robin Jackson has built on his colorful bohemian upbringing and dedicated himself to creating connection through art and music. For more than a decade with Vagabond Opera and MarchFourth!, he performed everywhere from Red Rocks to the World Cup, with everyone from Gogol Bordello and Amanda Palmer to The Polish Ambassador. More recently, Robin founded the Songwriter Soiree, a nationally recognized organization dedicated to nurturing songwriting prowess and creative interdependence. He currently leads his band, the Caravan, playing an eclectic brew of whimsical cathartic folk-pop, dusty Americana, and acoustic storytelling.

He has had critical acclaim in the US and in China where his music hit top of the charts with his hit song Roses and Gold garnering over 300 million steams on the popular sites Netease, QQ, and Xiami and continues to grow.

He has released two albums as a solo artist, Dust Diaries (2010), Dark Stars (2017), and his third, Silver Linings is slated for 2024.


Notable Sync Placements for ads, film, TV

“Space Hole” featured in Honda’s “Ask Anyone” ad campaign for Web and TV (2023)

“Paper Bird” featured in AstraZeneca ad campaign (2024-2025)

“Hanumansoon” featured in CBS various programs and boards (2021-2024)

“Roses and Gold” featured in Australian Breastfeeding campaign (2016)

“Roses and Gold” featured in QQ Music awards ad campaign, China (2017)



Robin has had the honor of recording, performing or touring with:

  • The Polish Ambassador 
  • Emancipator
  • Amanda Palmer
  • Fat Freddy’s Drop
  • The Decembrists
  • Gregory Alan Isakov 
  • The Everyone Orchestra
  • The Human Experience 
  • Saqi 
  • Reggie Watts 
  • The California Honey Drops
  • Rebirth Brass Band
  • Devotchka
  • Marchfourth!
  • Vagabond Opera

Qualifications

Robin holds a B.A in music performance, ethnomusicology and education, as well as a certificate in Jazz Studies. He also received a certification through the PYE-Global Partnership for Youth Empowerment’s Heart of Facilitation Leadership program. Robin has had the joy of studying with some of the world’s top music and vocal teachers including Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon, Joe Henderson, Chris Berry and many more.

Organizational Arts Programming Experience and Mission

WHAT I BELIEVE
My mission in this life has always been twofold; To create and offer music to the world, and also to help people connect through art.

My work is rooted in the idea that everyone is creative. And that most of us simply need the space to be seen, heard, and supported for positive transformation to take place.  My approach stems from values of:

• Self awareness
• Radical self expression
• Community
• Positive social change

I love working with people, and my spirit comes alive in leading groups. For 20+ years I have designed and produced large scale programs and organizations in the creative sector and facilitated and taught in creative arts camps, retreats, and as a professional musician and facilitator. In this work, I have seen the power that art has to help people connect to their own inner power. I have seen the creative risk taking process transform a person or a whole community in truly positive ways. 

As a musician, I also understand what it means to take creative risks. I have toured the world professionally since I was a teenager, from busking on the streets of Europe to headlining at the World Cup and Red Rocks.  Music has always been pivotal in my life for connecting to my own personal power and expression. And this has fueled my passion to support others to unlock and unleash their own creative potential.

ORGANIZATIONAL ARTS EXPERIENCE
My mission began to take shape at age five on violin when I played in groups and was nurtured through my alternative, out-of the-box education. 

First I went to Waldorf School where the individual spirit was celebrated.  Then I lived in New Zealand for many years on a community and studied at the NZ Jazz conservatory. I studied at The University of Oregon and graduated from The Evergreen State College where I devised my own programs and produced arts festivals. There, I saw how much people benefited from a space being created in which to belong and express themselves and to be seen and heard.

In my 20s I trained and helped launch creative arts empowerment programs for youth, based on the PYE model and Power of Hope programs. Doing this work helped solidify my belief that real change comes from connection and giving ourselves permission to be creative. 

In 2013 I co-founded a non-profit youth program called Joy Now, Inc inspired by the community-minded creative energy of MarchFourth! Joy Now made a huge difference in so many lives as it wasn’t just about the music; it was about the transformation that can happen when people feel safe to express themselves. 

I took this concept to a new level when I founded the Songwriter Soiree.  This inspiring and supportive community is built upon the idea that connection is essential for our survival and magic happens when a safe enough space is created to share and be seen. The soiree was launched in my living room and now serves internationally with events and retreats that have hosted over 8000 musicians since 2010.

Awards

2007 winner of the International Songwriting Competition

Press and Interviews

“A catchy and captivating song-crafter, a true storyteller.” WBEZ, Chicago

“A multi-instrumentalist behind several collaborations (from Gogol Bordello to the Decembrists), Robin Jackson is one of the hidden gems of the inexhaustible mine of Portland indie-folk.” Raffaello Russo, Rockerilla.

Listen to this 8 minute feature Preview interview on 2017 release of Dark Stars on NPR!

[BEYOND THE QUIRK] “Fans of Robin Jackson’s flashy bands Vagabond Opera and March Fourth Marching Band might be surprised at the straightforward intimacy of his folky debut solo album, Dust Diaries—but it’s definitely a pleasant surprise. His distinctive vocal style, somewhere between Phil Ochs and Rufus Wainwright, manages to be both warm and breezy. Hooky, evocative tracks like “Paper Bird” and “October Rain” reveal a solid singer songwriter with broad appeal.”Brett Campbell, WWeek

The term singer-songwriter is rather simplistic when the artist at hand has mastered six instruments and can play many others. But that is the best way to describe Robin Jackson’s work on his first solo album, even if iTunes calls it “pop.” Serena Markstrom, Register Guard. Read full article

“Dust Diaries is a lovely piece of work, graced with Jackson’s characteristic lyric clarity and architecture of melody. Shifted to the background are the extravagant klezmer and music hall tropes familiar to fans of his Vagabond Opera songs, leaving space for the listener beside spare and sad arrangements produced in collaboration with Chet Lyster of EELS….A renowned creator with a highly distinctive and involved mode of expression lays down his masks and shares with his fans a genuine sigh of release.” – Oregon Music News. Read full article

Read this in-depth and raw interview with nationally acclaimed Eleven Magazine. “Like his first album, Jackson is a storyteller. Dark Stars is full of layered instrumentation to accompany lyrical imagery…” Read article here.