Rob Jamner
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Rob Jamner

Berkeley, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Berkeley, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Solo Alternative Singer/Songwriter




"Three Songwriters to Showcase Fresh Talent"

Oberlin’s songwriting scene will take center stage Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. during Three Songwriters, when College sophomores Rob Jamner, Kristin McFadden and College first-year Ethan Aronson perform an intimate concert at Slow Train Cafe. All three musical artists are involved in Oberlin Songwriters, a club that Jamner and McFadden started last semester. The duo hopes both to get their group chartered and to teach a songwriting ExCo next semester.

“There’s a lot of great people here,” Jamner said of the songwriting scene at Oberlin. “I think for non-Conservatory people, there aren’t always as many opportunities. You sort of have to make those for yourself, and that’s part of why I’m starting to set up performances like these and why I have been working to create this chartered organization.”

Jamner said he wanted to do a show of this sort for a while. “I finally found the time and just decided to set it up and pick two people that I’ve had experience playing with. I really like their music, and they’re fun to play with.” McFadden first performed with Jamner, whom he met in a first-year seminar, at an open mic early last year. Since then, they have been recruiting songwriters. “We know that there’s a bunch of songwriters at Oberlin just writing songs by themselves in their rooms because they love to do it, and then they perform them usually at open mics. … What I thought would be awesome [would] be talking about these songs. We should be collaborating, not just being alone in our room[s],” said McFadden.


Jamner will perform three original songs, “Keeping to Myself,” “Tapestry” and “Serenade.” “I write about all sorts of things,” Jamner said. “Even if it’s a narrative about someone else, it’s got to resonate with me somehow. I like telling stories in my songs.” McFadden looks forward to showcasing her songs with a fresh perspective. “[My ex-boyfriend] wrote a poem, and I turned it into a song,” said McFadden. “The other song is ‘Sweet Song,’ which I wrote after coming home for the first time after being away.”

Jamner is excited to experience performing alongside fellow songwriters. “I think all of our songs … have grown during the rehearsal process,” he said. “This isn’t the only time I’m going to do a performance like this for sure.” - The Oberlin Review

"Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club"


Much of the group that performed during Friday’s showcase are involved with Oberlin Songwriters, an organization started last year by College juniors Kristin McFadden and Rob Jamner. “I noticed when I got [to Oberlin] that there [were] a lot of songwriters on campus, and they’d be playing at the Cat open mics or other talent show performances,” McFadden said. “I was super impressed and also a little frustrated that there were so many songwriters and there was no way to bring us all together, that we’d just listen to people’s songs and not give feedback.” Jamner added that before he and McFadden founded Oberlin Songwriters, there weren’t a lot of resources for songwriters to utilize in Oberlin. “There’s not enough support for singer-songwriters here, at least at an institutional level,” he said. “There’s not classes offered in it as much — there wasn’t, before Oberlin Songwriters, an organization dedicated to it, and [there aren’t] as many venues [ for songwriters to perform]. Becoming more involved in building a community helped me with my own [songwriting] as well — just starting things, meeting people and starting to pursue songwriting a lot more seriously.”

The organization holds workshops during which songwriters bring their compositions and give and receive feedback from one another. In addition, McFadden led a workshop last year specifically for women and trans songwriters to increase accessibility to the organization’s resources. Members of Oberlin Songwriters also hold resource sessions on how to copyright songs and how to write in specific genres.

The organization sponsored a songwriters’ showcase at the Slow Train Cafe last year, which featured 19 people playing original music. “We fit it into two hours, which was pretty amazing,” Jamner said. “Each person had one song and it was kind of hectic, but it was really fun. It’s something that, in the first year of operating, we were pretty proud of.” This semester, the organization became officially chartered, providing members with more resources. McFadden and Jamner hope that these resources can be used to bring in professional songwriters to give workshops, talks and performances.

Jamner and [Brendan] Eprile also decided to teach a songwriting ExCo for the first time this semester. “It’s a workshop-style class, and we’re trying to go through as many different parts of songwriting and also really build a community,” Eprile said. “We’re learning from our students, too.” The ExCo aims to broaden the songwriting community and allow students to get involved at any level they feel comfortable. These new opportunities to connect with other songwriters in Oberlin may explain the many songwriter performances at the Cat over the past two weeks.


Additionally, Jamner will be performing Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Cat to celebrate the release of his new five-song EP, Lost in the Clouds. College junior Maddie Batzli will be joining him. “Rob and I met freshman year just [through] mutual friends unrelated to songwriting,” Batzli said. “We’ve played together a tiny tiny bit last year, but basically just at the beginning of this year, a couple weeks ago, he just said that he was planning on playing a show at the Cat to showcase his EP, and he asked me if I wanted to open for him. Then he gave me half the set, which was really nice. I’m really excited to hear him play his stuff.”

... - The Oberlin Review


On September 1, 2015, Rob Jamner released Lost in the Clouds, an EP featuring five original songs.



Rob Jamner grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, his house echoing with the sounds of his mother playing flute and his father playing piano. His own musical journey began when he picked up the cello at the age of six. He brought stacks of books home from the library, and spent much of his childhood drifting into other worlds. Soon he began creating stories of his own, writing fiction, poetry, and plays. As he grew older, Rob fell in love with folk and rock music, and he decided to learn guitar. When he was fifteen, he brought his passion for music and his love of storytelling together by writing his first songs.

Over the years, Rob has grown into a dynamic songwriter and performer. He graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Creative Writing in 2017, and moved to Berkeley, California. As an openly queer person, Rob thrives on ambiguity, and he plays with expectations in his music. Some moments are catchy and cathartic, other moments are surprising and sophisticated, and they all come together to make a singular, distinctive sound. 

Rob sees his music as an opportunity to collaborate and build community. For his upcoming EP, Holding Stones, Rob has commissioned five video artists to create short films inspired by his songs. Rob says, “Instead of traditional music videos that focus on myself and my band, I want our works of art to be in conversation with each other, standing on equal footing.” Holding Stones will be released on February 22, 2019.

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