Singer and songwriter Jennifer Robin was proud of the online “corner store” she set up on CafePress.
Because she was so well known for her music, many fans were unaware of Jennifer’s artistic side.
Indeed, she had a playful nature and loved to share her music as well as her art. This talent blend was evident on her last two music CD albums, for which she designed the cover art.
Jennifer enjoyed her day job at The Canvas Peddlar, a museum quality picture framing shop in North Hollywood. Over the years we received several of her original acrylic and watercolor pieces as gifts, treasured now more than ever.
King Kong and Keebler Elves
Artistic talent runs in the family. Jennifer’s grandfather Mario Larrinaga was one of early Hollywood’s most successful scenic artists. During a career that began in the 1930s, he created original set designs and backgrounds for three major movie studios: Universal, RKO, and Warner Bros.
Directors like Cecil B. De Mille, Douglas Fairbanks, and Orson Welles came to rely on Mario Larrinaga’s abilities as a scenic painter and art director. In 1933 he teamed with fellow artist Byron L. Crabbe to create realistic matte paintings for the classic film King Kong.
Though initially trained as a painter by his older brother Juan (also a successful Hollywood artist), Mario Larrinaga studied at the Chouinard Art Institute from 1934 to 1935.
God has given me a talent which has made it possible for me to enjoy a wonderful life, to provide for my family, and to live among the beauties of my adopted country.
Jennifer’s father, Charles O. McElmurry grew up in Los Angeles and began his animation career at Walt Disney in the early 1940s. After his military service with the Marine Corps he attended the Chouinard Art Institute on the GI Bill.
In the decades to follow, Charles McElmurry worked as a character designer for several studios including Quartet Films, Jay Ward Productions, Cartoon Farm, John Hubley’s Storyboard Productions, and John Sutherland Productions.
While working for one of the busiest and most acclaimed animation production companies, Bill Melendez Productions, he was contracted as a graphic designer for A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969).
In addition to growing up surrounded by images of the lovable Peanuts characters, Jennifer enjoyed happy memories of her father working on drawings of the Keebler Elves and Snap, Crackle, and Pop of Kellogg’s cereal fame.
[My father] set high standards for himself in all that he did. He loved art, design, and architecture and built homes in Los Angeles and Taos, New Mexico.
Which brings us to Jill …
We were heartbroken to learn that Jennifer’s beloved sister Jill passed away this week (August 3, 2017).
Jill McElmurry’s first book Mad About Plaid was published in 2000. Since then she authored and/or illustrated 21 books for children, including Little Blue Truck, The Hound from the Pound, The Tree Lady, and Who Stole Mona Lisa?
Jennifer Robin’s Corner Store
Jennifer Robin Art Gallery
Here’s an easy way to enjoy Jennifer Robin art. Some of her favorite designs were used to create these products, including shirts, mugs, tote bags, aprons, greeting cards, posters, pet items, and more. Click on any item to see all of the available styles and options.
Jennifer Robin began composing music on the piano at the tender age of ten. After attending a Joni Mitchell concert as a teenager, she was inspired to play and compose music on the guitar as well. When Jennifer heard her voice amplified for the first time, she was hooked on performing!
Almost entirely self taught, Jennifer listened to her favorite artists exhaustively while she developed and honed her craft. In the years to follow, Jennifer Robin emerged as a serious musical talent with her own distinctive brand of jazz/folk music.
Jennifer Robin’s Albums
Her debut album, Fish Up a Tree (1991) received critical acclaim and solid airplay on jazz and college stations, as well as on National Public Radio. In addition, the album was voted as one of the Top Ten Favorite Adult Alternative Releases in the radio trade magazine The Gavin Report.
Jennifer’s next album, Eye Of The Storm (1996) was released in Japan and Southeast Asia, and was given high ratings in both Stereo Magazine and Swing Journal.
In 2000, Jennifer developed her own label, Risky Robin Records, and released Nonodey and Lemonade to glowing reviews. Jennifer’s final album, released in 2012 features her unique adaptations of her favorite Beatles songs. It’s aptly entitled The Bird and the Beatles.
Fish Up a Tree
Tracklist: Moon Nervous Moon, White Walls, Silver Wings, Spot in the Sun, Image of a Man, A Place to Call Home, Fish Up a Tree, Up to Now, Ladies in a Boat, Whiskey Singer
A Fun, Tongue-in-Cheek Look at the UFO Phenomenon
Co-written by Jennifer Robin & Devin Thomas Back in the Early Nineties
Another Collaboration with Devin Thomas
Vocals by Jennifer Robin
Eye of the Storm
Tracklist: Oh Mama, How Can You Know?, Closest Thing to Heaven, Eye Of The Storm, 3 Buck Gamble, Until It’s Time For You To Go, 500 Miles, Easy Math, Place Of Peace, I Have A Ladder, Broken Heart, Oh Stars
Descanso Gardens is where century-old oak trees provide the perfect backdrop for some of the coolest jazz artists in the Southland. The annual music series is popular with people of all ages who enjoy relaxing on lawn chairs and blankets with family and friends, sharing delicacies from Trader Joe’s.
Upbeat jazzy and folky Jennifer Robin music filled the air for many seasons. Small children especially loved dancing to her playful songs like Be-Ya and Red And Yellow Bus.
Meet the Band
Jennifer Robin – Guitar and Vocals
Warren Giancaterino – Bass
Michael Campagna – Guitar
Nicole Falzone – Percussion
Tracklist: Necessary Ingredient, Red And Yellow Bus, Into the Blue, Thunder and Lightning, Love Packard (Poem), Be-Ya, Up to Now, Home
This is probably the happiest song I have ever written. The DVD was shot at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood on August 4, 2007. With me on percussion are Nicole Falzone and Michelle Mangione. What fun that was!
Performed with Nicole Falzone and Michelle Mangione
Kulak’s Woodshed: 500 Miles
Here is another video from Kulak’s Woodshed in Los Angeles. It was “Songbird” night and I had the pleasure of singing this duet with the very talented Lindsay Tomasic. I love the melody of this classic folk song.
Written by Hedy West (1961)
Performed with Lindsay Tomasic
Kulak’s Woodshed: Come Rain or Come Shine
This is one my all time favorite standards to sing. I never get tired of it.
Come Rain or Come Shine
Composed by Harold Arlen with Lyrics by Johnny Mercer (1946)
The Bird and the Beatles
Tracklist: You Won’t See Me, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Ticket To Ride, Fixing A Hole, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Norwegian Wood, It’s Only Love, Nowhere Man, Something, I’ll Follow The Sun
Musician Jennifer Robin was 12 and living in Taos, New Mexico when the Beatles burst on the American music scene. Already proficient on the piano and guitar, she learned to play “Norwegian Wood” and scores of other tunes made popular by the Fab Four.
Jennifer’s love of the Beatles endured. In 2006 she debuted her show, “The Bird and the Beatles,” at Dr. Music, a well-known music store in Eagle Rock, California. The program featured Jennifer’s signature jazzy/folky interpretations of her favorite Beatles songs, interspersed with recollections of her childhood in Taos (then population 2,000).
In 2012 the collection was released on a new CD, the artist’s fifth. In 2010 Jennifer left southern California and moved back to New Mexico to be closer to her sister. She returned to southern California in August 2012 to perform selections from “The Bird and the Beatles” and a few other fan favorites at the South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory. The album is available on CD Baby. Jennifer, who hails from an artistic family, designed the sixties-inspired package art herself.
A Night of Jennifer Robin Music
South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory
Jennifer’s Message to Fans
Yay! The Beatle CD I have been longing to record for 6 years is made and ready to be served up in a concert celebration at the wonderful high ceilinged, wood floored, brick walled performance space aka The South Pasadena Music Conservatory. The cover is $10 and the CD will be available at the event.
Not only will I be singing my jazzy/folky versions of some of my fav Beatles songs, but telling a few stories of what it was like when I first heard them, first boyfriends, the excitement of wearing Mod clothes in Taos, NM in 1968 and how the famed 4 turned my life upside down!
The musicians are utterly wonderful. Riner Scivally on guitars, Warren Giancaterino on bass, Jerry Kalaf on drums, percussion and vibes, and special guest Frank Marsico on harmonica, vibes and marimba. Sure hope you can stop by!
Jennifer Robin Music and Designs
The Beatles “Abbey Road”
Written by George Harrison
Kid’s Talk Radio
Jennifer Robin on Kid’s Talk Radio
Interviewed by Bob Barboza
Albuquerque: The Magazine
She so completely owns these familiar songs that she makes you forget they were written by someone other than herself.
Spotlight on Jennifer Robin “Closer to the Sky”
Written by Mel Minter