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Robin Kessinger

Robin Kessinger is one of the country's leading flatpick guitarists. Since first gaining national attention by winning the 1985 National Flatpicking Championship in Winfield Kansas, He has become internationally known through his performances, recordings, and teaching workshops.

Robin comes from a family of famous musicians. Perhaps the most famous was his uncle, the legendary Clark Kessinger. In August 1992, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine wrote, "When Robin Kessinger performs, you can hear the ghosts of generations past joining in to help blend the notes from his guitar into the familiar strains of old-time tunes."

In his own right Robin is known for his outstanding and varied repertoire. In the January/February 1997 edition of Flatpick Guitar magazine, editor Dan Miller noted, "This is a man who is incredibly versatile. He enjoys flatpicking a wide variety of musical styles and does all of it very well."

Robin appears on national and public radio and television and the BBC aired a documentary on Robin and his musical heritage. In 1995 the West Virginia Humanities Council began nationally airing "West Virginia Film History" with music performed by Robin and several prominent musicians of the State. Robin has twice toured Ireland (1994 and 2000) and was a guest performer at Japan's International Bluegrass Music Association Festival. He has performed on more than thirty recordings.

Robin Kessinger is a rare musician in that he is as renowned for his teaching skills as he is for his accomplishments as a performer. Robin teaches both in private and workshop settings. He has the patience, communication skills and enthusiasm necessary to inspire the interest and attention of a novice and the repertoire and technique to challenge an accomplished musician. Steve Kaufman wrote on the liner notes for Robin's CD Raw Guitar, "Robin can come up with more obscure, incredible tunes than any other flatpicker I know. I always learn new tunes from Robin whether I am sitting there picking with him or picking it off his recording."

Since 1983, Robin has been an instructor at the Augusta Heritage workshops in Elkins, West Virginia, and now also serves as coordinator of Guitar Week. In 1997 he began teaching at the Allegheny Echoes Workshop near Marlinton, West Virginia. In 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2003 Robin joined other renowned master flatpickers such as Russ Barenberg, Curtis Burch, Dan Crary, Pat Flynn, Beppe Gambetta, Steve Kaufman, and Tim Stafford as an instructor at Steve Kaufman's Flatpicking Camp in Maryville, Tennessee.

As a private instructor Robin was immensely proud when his student, Matt Lindsey, won 2nd place at the 1992 National Flatpicking Championship. Some of his former students are now teachers, performers, and recorded artists in their own right.

 

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