Film, Radio and Television Artist; Musician; Poet; Teaching Artist; Visual Artist: Photography; Writer; term
Vince Robinson is a multi-discipline artist, having given time to evolving in music, the visual imagery of photography and the magic of words in poem and song. He began playing piano at the tender age of 7 in Savannah, Georgia. Initially studying with Dr. Peter Smalls, he navigated through various sports and other diversions as a military dependent before eventually attending Kent State University. It was there that he did his first musical performances as a pianist, but eventually, he would end up in Cleveland, forming his group Vince Robinson & The Jazz Poets in 1997. The group has performed on various stages, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Nighttown and WVIZ-TV25’s television show Applause.
He also serves as the Musical Director for Mwatabu Okantah’s Muntu Kuntu Energy and is a member of the Latin-fusion group Timbara. From jazz, to tribal, Latin to reggae., hip hop to R&B. for him it’s just about playing the music.
It was also at Kent State University that his talent for photography developed. He took an interest in shooting jazz concerts, beginning with an appearance at KSU by jazz legend Sonny Stitt.. Under the tutelage of E. Timothy Moore in the Department of Pan-African Studies, he learned darkroom techniques and the basics of the craft.
Over a period of 40 years, his photographs have appeared in publications from the Akron Reporter to the Cleveland Call & Post, as well as entertainment magazines Eschelon, and Crusader Arts and Entertainment. Kent State has presented solo exhibitions of his images from a student study abroad program in Ghana, West Africa. The images, both still and video, have been made into films. “The Real Africa Movie” can be viewed on YouTube. Although his specialty is entertainment photography, he enjoys shooting portraiture, landscapes, architecture, still life and other imagery. His work has been shown in libraries and galleries. In 2017, he was commissioned by Catholic Charities to provide a permanent collection of images of international musicians.
Robinson is the owner of Larchmere Arts, a photography studio, art gallery and performance venue. His introduction to poetry began in high school. As a student at KSU, he met Mwatabu Okantah. Okantah’s class, the Black Writer’s Workshop, was the genesis of his immersion in poetry. After years of writing, he ventured into the Cleveland poetry scene. As a member of the Cleveland Poetry Slam teams (2003, 2004) he competed in national bouts.
His first book of poetry, Got Words?, was published in 2015. His poetry has appeared in the Kent Quarterly and other publications. He is the host of NeoSoulPoetry at Larchmere Arts and the former host of the Nia Coffeehouse,, a featured poetry event that began in 2000 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. His inspiration is Gordon Parks.