In Conversation with Matana Roberts

The ISSUE Project Room interviews Ms. Roberts.

Matana, a 2006 Van Lier fellow, Brecht Forum fellow, and 2008 and 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts nominee, has appeared as a collaborator on recordings and performances in the U.S., Europe, and Canada with her own ensembles as well as with the collaborative jazz trio Sticks and Stones, Black Rock Coalition founder Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar, Reg E Gaines and Savion Glover’s homage project to the late John Coltrane, the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Julius Hemphill Sextet, and the Merce Cunningham dance company. She recently released a homage project to her hometown, entitled “The Chicago Project,” on Barry Adamson’s Central Control International, produced by pianist extraordinaire Vijay Iyer, featuring friends and supporters of her Chicago development. She has also recorded as a side person on recordings with such iconic bands as Godspeed You Black Emperor, TV on the Radio, Guillermo Scott Herren’s Savath and Savalas, Silver Mt Zion, and sound artist Daniel Given’s Day Clear/Day dark. Matana is a member of the AACM– Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the BRC– Black Rock Coalition.

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Mary Halvorson On Tour

From Improvised Communications:

Mary Halvorson Trio
Tuesday, August 4th @ Yoshi’s (Oakland, CA)
Thursday, August 6th @ The Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA)

Matana Roberts
Sunday, August 9th @ The Stone (New York, NY)

Tom Rainey
Friday, August 21st @ The Stone (New York, NY)

Positive Catastrophe
Tuesday, August 25th @ Freddy’s Bar & Backroom (Brooklyn, NY)

Marc Ribot’s Sun Ship
Wednesday, August 26th @ Rose (Brooklyn, NY)
Sunday, August 30th @ Jazz in Willisau (Willisau, Switzerland)

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Interviews Performances

Interview with Matana Roberts

From New York’s Roulette:

On Thursday, June 18th at 8:30pm, Matana Roberts presents ILLUMINATION, a collection of sound paintings that testify to why any artist would chose to live in New York in the first place. A city unlike any other, with an artistic spirit unlike any other. An Illumination in sound, space, real time. A testament to the tenacity of the creative human spirit.

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Roulette in June

From New York‘s Roulette:

6/9: Angie Eng w/ Thierry Madiot: Rite Ways, Every Intentional Act is a Magical Act (work in progress)
6/10: Joseph Hannan: Varieties of Canine Experience
6/11: Urs Leimgruber meets Peter Evans & Okkyung Lee
6/12: Yvonne Meier: Gogolorez+
6/13: Paula Matthusen
6/16: Joel Kennedy & Ensemble
6/18: Matana Roberts‘ ILLUMINATION
6/19: ROULETE BENEFIT: DJ Olive, Okkyung Lee, Satoshi Takeishi, Elliot Sharp, Shoko Nagai + MORE. Curated by Shoko Nagai $20
6/20: David Means w/ Cyrus Pireh and Anthony Ptak: Tumbleweed

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Sontag Shogun & Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN at RUCMA

From New York’s Rise Up Creative Music & Arts:

Start: 05/25/2009 – 7:30pm
End: 05/25/2009 – 11:00pm

first set @ 7:30PM

Sontag Shogun
Ian Temple, piano
Jeremy Young, electronics and reel to reel tapes
Jesse Perlstein, electronics

second set @ 9PM

Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN: Prologue
Matana Roberts, sax and video projections

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John Zorn and Matana Roberts on BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 is featuring a performance of John Zorn this week, and next week will feature one by Matana Roberts.

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Blues, Chants, and Free at RUCMA


Start: 10/27/2008 – 7:00pm
End: 10/27/2008 – 9:30pm
Timezone: Etc/GMT-4

Blues, Chants, & Free
Monday, October 27 @ 7:00 PM
Yippie Café: 9 Bleecker Street, near Bowery

General Admission: $10
Students and Seniors: $7
Jam Session @ 8:30: $5

Fay Victor (vocals)
Andrew Bemkey (piano)
Matana Roberts (saxophone)

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Image via Wikipedia


October 02, 2008
Concert Introduction, Roulette
Muhal Richard Abrams
Henry Threadgill‘s Zooid Talujon Percussion Quartet, Roulette
Jose Davila, Dominic Donato, Liberty Ellman, Elliot Humberto Kavee, Michael Lipsey, Stomu Takeishi, Henry Threadgill, Matt Ward
Myra Melford Quartet, Roulette
Harris Eisenstadt, Mary Halvorson, Myra Melford, Matana Roberts

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The Kitchen Celebrates the AACM

George Lewis (cropped version)Image via Wikipedia AACM happenings going down at the Kitchen:

The Kitchen presents A Power Stronger Than Itself: A Celebration of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians Curated by George E. Lewis and Christopher McIntyre

Two evenings of music, October 9 and 11, will include performances by Nicole Mitchell, Amina Claudine Myers, Muhal Richard Abrams, Matana Roberts, Craig Taborn, Chad Taylor and Wet Ink Panel discussion moderated by Christopher McIntyre and Book signing with George E. Lewis will take place prior to the October 11 concert New York, NY, September 9, 2008—In conjunction with the recent publication of George E. Lewis’s book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008), The Kitchen presents A Power Stronger Than Itself: A Celebration of the AACM, Thursday and Saturday, October 9 and 11.

The Kitchen and Lewis—a composer, musician, former Kitchen music curator and long-time AACM member—will host two evenings of performances paying tribute to the seminal music collective, which has reconfigured the trajectory of music-making in America through its devotion to furthering
artistic experimentation and its forward-thinking approach to composition, performance, improvisation and collectivity. The first concert, on Thursday, October 9, will feature Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers and the ensemble Wet Ink performing the works of AACM composers. The second, on Saturday, October 11, will feature Nicole Mitchell, Matana Roberts, Craig Taborn, Chad Taylor and Wet Ink. Both concerts will take place at 8:00 P.M. at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street). Tickets are $10. Prior to the October 11 event, Christopher McIntyre will moderate a free, 5:00 P.M. panel discussion followed by a book signing with Lewis.

Founded in 1965 on the South Side of Chicago, the AACM has remained a singular force in supporting, performing, and recording serious, original music. A collective of exceptionally dynamic artists formed the organization to meet their emergent needs to expose and showcase original compositions, and to create an outlet for the development and performance of their music. Many of its members are now considered visionaries in the history of American music: the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill and Lester Bowie, to name a few.

The concerts at The Kitchen will bring together a cross-generational variety of artists, performing works by AACM composers. Some of the performers are founding and early members of the collective, including the pianists Amina Claudine Myers and Muhal Richard Abrams (duo piano). Others, like the flutist and AACM Chicago Chapter Co-President Nicole Mitchell, and the New York-based saxophonist Matana Roberts, joined the AACM more recently. Still others are New York-based artists who are not affiliated but nonetheless make music in the spirit of the collective’s diversity, such as the piano/organ/synthesizer player Craig Taborn, the drummer Chad Taylor and the contemporary music ensemble Wet Ink.

The panel discussion moderated by Christopher McIntyre on the afternoon of October 11 will include Lewis, Myers, Roberts, and Mitchell as well as writers Brent Hayes Edwards, Ted Panken, and Howard Mandel. It will conclude with a book signing by Lewis. The events at The Kitchen bookend a Friday evening concert of the music of Oliver Lake and Reggie Nicholson on Friday, October 10, 8:00 P.M. at the Community Church of New York (40 East 35th Street).

The event is sponsored by the AACM New York Chapter, Inc. For more information, please visit

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