Bio

 

"A catchy and captivating song-crafter, a true storyteller.” – NPR.

Perched above the flood, he throws paper birds into the water, transforming heartache and singing of burning violins, dusty desert nights, sweet obsession.

Award winning Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Robin Jackson, known for his wild, theatrical contributions to bands like Vagabond Opera and the March Fourth Marching Band, has set aside the pomp and cabaret gesture in favor of straightforward intimacy…with a twist. Drawing on life experiences, vintage sounds, and a fresh and vivid imagination, Jackson keeps it personal, without over-sharing or quaint evasion, in well-crafted, Americana-inflected songs on Dust Diaries (released, 2012)

Mr Jackson and his eclectic six piece ensemble of NW musicians, The Caravan, draw upon the moody spirit of their rain-soaked, Portland, OR home to create an eclectic brew of dreamy folk-pop, blues, cabaret and dusty Americana and above all, enigmatic storytelling. 

With a degree in ethnomusicology and an unflagging musical curiosity, Jackson has lived and busked around the world, from an intentional beach community in New Zealand to the streets of Europe.  He is a master of a myriad of instruments, from saxophone to mbira and played with everyone from Gogol Bordello to Amanda Palmer to The Decembrists.   An award-winning songwriter, teacher, activist, and spirited impresario, Jackson has built on his colorful, bohemian upbringing and dedicated himself to creating and supporting music around Portland, Or where he lives on an urban farm with his cat and a circus. 

Read the full release for Dust Diaries (2012) HERE

His 2nd album, Dark Stars is slated for release in Fall, 2017.


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

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[Translated] “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.   Read full article

[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. 

"A panty-dropper par excellence." - Kit Mauldin, Portland Monthly.  Read full article 
 

"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."  Noah Mickens, OMN. Read full article