Cole Robinson

Musician, Mentor, Community Builder

For more than a decade, Cole Robinson has been dedicated to music education, community building, and mentoring students.


As an educator, Cole has taught and designed highly acclaimed programs in music education, outdoor leadership and youth empowerment. As a community builder, Cole has brought youth, college students and adults together to develop skills and support their community. 


Leading Musician

Cole has studied and performed with some of the leading artists in the Northwest. He is also the founder of Portland’s most unique ensemble-based teaching program, and leads his own musical group, the Cole Robinson Trio. As a performing musician, Cole has performed with such regional acts as Fritzwa, Keegan Smith, and The Essentials.

Cole’s passion for music began at the age of eight, when he first picked up a guitar. Cole found himself travelling as a teenager to study under such talented guitarists a Dan Balmer, John Stowel, Tommy Emmanuel, and Jeff Peretz. Cole’s passion for music drew him to Portland, where he studied at Portland State University under such noted musicians as Darrell Grant, Jeff Putterman, and Alan Jones.  

Cole also gained valuable experience directing PSU’s Audio Engineering Program, where he trained students in the fine points of audio reproduction for live musical events. Under Cole’s supervision, students were responsible for setting up and operating audio systems at more than 50 musical performances.


Organizer, Leader

Cole’s work as an environmental advocate and outdoor educator has run parallel to his passion for music.  Since 2005, Cole has led more than one hundred wilderness trips for youth and adults from highly diverse backgrounds. He has coordinated numerous cleanup events focused on Oregon rivers and written multiple grants for environmental advocacy groups.

In late 2011, Cole became the Coordinator of the Portland Parks and Recreation department’s Teen Environmental Adventures Program. Thanks to Cole’s efforts, hundreds of hours of environmental education, job-training, academic support, and long-term youth mentorship programming was provided to a diverse range of cultural and minority groups.


Pioneering Ensemble Teacher

Cole decided to focus directly on teaching, composing, and performing music through the founding of Pacific Guitar Studio in 2013. The studio aims to help people find the musicianship, mentorship, and creativity they seek.

Cole makes ensemble studies a high priority. In groups of three to five musicians led by Cole, students discover the joys and intricacies of playing in a small group.

“Leaning to play as an individual is important,” says Cole, “but when you learn to play with others, you advance to a new level of musicianship. Groups are important to me as well -- I want to bring students together to form their own communities and to learn from each other. That’s what music is about.”


Resume in Brief:

  • Founder of Pacific Guitar Studio, a unique ensemble-focused musical education program.

  • Bachelor’s degree in music from Portland State University; Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from University of Oregon.

  • Environmental advocate and project organizer, leading more than 100 wilderness trips for youths and adults as well as working with diverse organizations serving minority youths.

  • Performing musician, music group leader and composer of original works.


Hear Cole’s Playing

A short trailer displaying the sound of the Cole Robinson trio.

Darrell Grant and Cole Robinson performing in the Elliot State Forest.

Original Compositions

All recordings written, performed, and produced by Cole.