Matana Roberts

Via New York, NY

Matana (m(a)-ta-na\) Roberts is an internationally acclaimed sound experimentalist and performer; her practice includes improvisation, dance, poetry and theater. A dynamic saxophonist, composer, improviser and mixed media sound conceptualist, she aims to expose the mystical roots and the intuitive spirit raising traditions of American creative expression in her music and art. Her innovative work has forged new conceptual approaches to considering narrativity, history and political expression within improvisatory structures.
Roberts, a self-taught mixed media composer, has earned two degrees in performance from a smattering of American institutions, though she received her main training from free arts programming in the American public school system. She is a past member of the Black Rock Coalition (BRC) and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). She has been a Van Lier Fellow, Brecht Forum Fellow, Copeland Fellow, Jazz Makes Fellow, ICASP fellow, FCA fellow and an Alpert Award in the Arts nominee five years running (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). She has been invited to teach, lecture, run workshops and take up artistic residencies in countless places under diverse conditions and communities over the past decade. In the past she has served as faculty at the Banff Creative Music Workshop, School for Improvised Music and Bard College, where she was co-chair of the Music and Sound Department 2011-12. Photo by Brett Walker


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