Robin Layne released full-length percussion album Memories on May 10, 2018. The music is inspired by his travels and features the marimba in an Afro-Jazz, World Beat context, with a theme of "unity and culture and exploration - keeping an open heart and mind and learning from each other."
Layne gave us some insight into the song "Memories of Mali" off the album that speaks closely to the overall theme:
"Memories of Mali is inspired by my trip to Mali and especially by my time in Dogon Country and at the Festival sur le Niger in Segou. Trekking through desert villages, cliffs, and dancing to the drums. It is an homage to the music of the desert blues from the Tuareg people such as Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen, etc. I have been in love with music from Mali since my early twenties. Salif Keita, Habib Koite, Toumani Dioubate, the list goes on. The music made such an impression on me and is the main draw to why I wanted to visit Mali."
"I remember when I arrived in Bamako after my time in Guinea I was struck by the joy of live that everyone seemed to have. I was saddened to learn that a year later the country broke out into a brutal civil war. I have so many fond memories of my time there and this is a song that is about remembering the good and peaceful moments in life, but also reflecting on those around the world that may be going through difficult times."
Robin grew up in Victoria and had the good fortune of being mentored by renowned percussionist and educator Sal Ferreras at UVic as a teenager, studying classical percussion with a major focus on marimba. Robin soon fell in love with the rhythms of salsa and Latin percussion and followed this passion to the LA Music Academy where he studied jazz, latin and pop percussion with Billy Hulting (Zappa plays Zappa), Jerry Steinholtz (Diana Ross), Michael Shapiro (Sergio Mendes) among others before moving to Vancouver.
Since 2008 Robin has become a regular fixture on the B.C. festival circuit, collaborating with a wide spectrum of folk and world artists. His recent touring engagements have led him to Europe, Mexico, China, the U.S. and Canada. He has followed his love of world music to Cuba, Guinea, Mali, and Mexico studying under master drummers and marimbists of those respective traditions. He currently performs with world music groups Locarno, Mazacote, Tambura Rasa, and The Robin Layne Band. He is in demand as a freelance percussionist for recordings, performances and tours. Recent highlights include working with Juno Award winning artists Quique Escamilla, The Paperboys, Donne Roberts (African Guitar Summit), Alpha Yaya Diallo, Celso Machado and Silk Road Music.
Equally at home on a festival stage or in a classroom, Robin strongly believes that the gift of music should be accessible to everyone. He is the senior percussion instructor at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and the Artistic Director of the World Rhythms for Youth Society. In his spare time, Robin is working on his debut album set for release later this year.
Creative BC is proud to support Robin Layne as part of the Sound Recording Program.