Robyn Steward at Counterflows 2019. Photo by by Dawid Laskowski.
Robyn is an experimental jazz trumpeter from London. She puts on inclusive conscious (including everyone regardless of disability, gender knowledge, ethnicity or age) gigs called Robyn’s Rocket, currently at Café OTO in East London. Robyn is also a broadcaster, internationally-renowned author, autism trainer and speaker. In 2018, Robyn was named in the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK Power List and spoke at SXSW on neurodiversity in music. Robyn began playing the cornet at the age of eight but gave up in her mid teens feeling that she had not found a voice. In 2014, she joined Morley College’s big band under the direction of Tony Douglas and, in 2015, Robyn attended a workshop with Australian Klezmer musician Adam Starr (Alter Jazz) and learnt to improvise. In January 2016, Robyn met Andy Diagram (of James and The Spaceheads) and was inspired by his use of trumpet through guitar effect pedals, something with which Robyn began experimenting. Afew days later, David Bowie died and this focused Robyn’s awareness as an artist who needed to ‘get on with it’. Robyn wrote an EP using emulated guitar pedals and sent it to Andy who offered to mix it. In September 2016, with the support of Heart N Soul (an arts organisation who believe in the power and talents of autistic people and people with learning disabilities), Robyn formed her first band, Robyn Steward and The Hatonauts, comprising of five trumpets and a keyboard. Their first gig was at the Southbank Centre's Beautiful Octopus Club. To date, Robyn has seven ongoing collaborations ranging from a duo with Diagram (Two Horns) to Hat Trixs (a four-piece band with George Gleghorn of The Apathy Band). She also performs solo at venues like Café OTO and Scala, and, for Contra Pop 2019, she will be taking us on a psychedelic space trumpet voyage.