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My name is Jacob Bain. I’m a musician from the Pacific Northwest, and I’m honored and excited to team up with Royal Robbins to help tell some of the stories that this inspiring world has to offer. I have been playing music and writing songs since I was about 14, and my love for travel and adventure began long before that. For the past four years I’ve had the great privilege of getting to travel to Africa on many different occasions to play music and engage with the music culture in so many special ways.

Jacob Bain watching the sunrise over the Hatcliffe community in Zimbabwe. Photo: Rob Frost, 2014.

Watching the sunrise over the Hatcliffe community in Zimbabwe. Photo: Rob Frost, 2014.

I always drag my mobile version of a recording studio with me on trips, and have been able to team up with some amazing musicians in Cape Verde, Mali, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi, to record some really powerful songs.

Jacob Bain recording a song with the legendary Zimbabwean musician, Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi. Photo: Nasa Koski.

Recording a song with the legendary Zimbabwean musician, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi. Photo: Nasa Koski.

On some of those same trips, my band Publish The Quest and me had the opportunity to perform at some unbelievable festivals and engage with lots of amazing kids at a variety of clinics, homes and art centers. Publish The Quest has worked closely with a Non Profit called Learn Africa on all of these trips.      

Showing some of the children in Hatcliffe the song we recorded, and the photos that were from the previous year's get together. Photo: Nasa Koski, 2012.

Showing some of the children in Hatcliffe the song we recorded, and the photos that were from the previous year’s get together. Photo: Nasa Koski, 2012.

  

Learn Africa is a project of A World Institute for A Sustainable Humanity, an international non-profit organization registered in Washington State, U.S.A. The institute’s mission is to provide models and support for life-sustaining activities that integrate solutions to poverty and the environment while fostering self-reliance. Formed by a group of passionate musicians and educators, Learn Africa works with established programs to provide resources for Arts Education in Africa and to promote the rich musical and artistic traditions of the continent.

When traveling, I always ask the musicians and the kids that I meet what music means to them, and the response is always powerful. Music is life, community, love, and it has a way of releasing stress. It is a language of its own, and it’s extremely meaningful. Every person I meet has a story, and every musician I’ve had the privilege to record with has a gift. Abundant talent, eager minds, endless possibilities…

Recording music with a couple of the girls that live at The Emerald Hill Children's home in Zimbabwe. Photo: Nasa Koski, 2013.

Recording music with a couple of the girls that live at The Emerald Hill Children’s home in Zimbabwe. Photo: Nasa Koski, 2013.

Over the coming year I’ll be traveling to the East African island of Zanzibar to play shows and record with some of the Taarab musicians that are very special to the place. The Taarab music is mystical and has a sound and feeling all its own. I’ll be heading to Portugal and Spain, to play some shows and engage in a ‘world music’ conference that’s happening in Santiago de Compostela. In December, I’ll join forces with Learn Africa again in the Gambia, which a small country in West Africa that has amazing music, art, and history. While there I’ll record with some amazing Kora players and take some guitars to an art center run by one of the only women Kora players in the whole of the country. I can’t wait to see what kind of musical madness I can get in to!

Please follow along with me on my travels, which I’ll continue to update here on the Royal Robbions Go Everywhere blog.