percussionist, marimbist, composer, educator
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.
Robin has been chasing rhythm around the globe since 2006 when he visited Cuba and studied with the Folkloric group Cutumba in Santiago de Cuba. His studies have led him to Guinea where he worked with Famoudou Konate, Mali where he studied with various teachers, and to Mexico City and Chiapas to study the marimba folklore of that region with Javier Nandayapa. 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 his group Robin Layne & the Rhythm Makers and with Locarno, Mazacote, Tambura Rasa, and many more. 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.