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Playing to express his passion

Music director for Frankie Valli donates his time, talents to churches, Jam for Jesus event

Posted: February 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Robbie Robinson, 62, has been pop singer Frankie Valli’s music director for 35 years, and also serves as music director for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Castaic.


If you asked Robbie Robinson about his musical talent and nearly 50-year career as a professional musician, he would simply say he is blessed to be able to use his musical talent and passion every day to serve God.

“I have loved music all of my life and still have a passion for it today,” Robinson said.

Robinson, 62, began his “love affair” with music at a very young age by taking music lessons and singing all day, every day. By the time he was 13, he had formally begun his professional music career.

In 1978, a friend of his recommended him to pop singer Frankie Valli. He has been Valli’s music director for nearly 35 years and still continues to tour with him today.

“I am thankful I get to play music every day, all day,” he said. “But the most fun I have is playing for church. I make my living as a secular musician, but that allows me to use my gifts for God in between.”

Playing for Christ

Robinson has played and sung in church for almost as long as his secular career. He was the musical director at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Canyon Country for almost 10 years and recently became the music director for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Castaic.

There, he uses his musical gifts and invites many of his professional musician friends to participate during church services. Pastor Tom Cizmar from Prince of Peace said that since Robinson has joined the church, attendance has increased by 30 percent.

“Robbie has brought a tremendously joyful spirit,” Cizmar said. “It just radiates from him. It has changed our worship style and direction completely.”

In addition to serving local area churches, Robinson created Jam for Jesus, now in its 20th year. The concert is an annual holiday event held at Bethlehem Lutheran in Canyon Country that focuses on the love of Christ through music and offering praise through the gifts God gives.

He also created Jam for Freedom, a musical concert held after Sept. 11 to raise funds for charity efforts in New York. Over the years he has created Christian rock operas, performed at National Youth Gatherings and composed musical material for national Vacation Bible School curriculums.

Filled with the Lord

Every one who works with Robinson gushes about his love for the Lord and his passion for music.

“He is so dynamic when he plays,” said Kathy Marshall, fellow band member at Prince of Peace. “He is filled with the Lord. You can see it bubbling out of him. He is the real deal.”

Robinson tries to give back every chance he gets. He even plays at monthly church services held at the Santa Clarita convalescent home.

“When he starts hitting those keys, it’s as if all of heaven is opening up and the angels are joining us,” Cizmar said.

Although many weekends Robinson is away on tour with Valli, he still finds local churches to play with while on the road. He has quite a few Christian musician friends around the country who he plays with.

“Being able to use my gifts for Christ is the highest honor and the best thing I could possibly do,” Robinson said. “My faith affects what I do everyday. That’s what motivates me. That’s what I live for.”


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