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Matana Roberts


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New York City, United States (2002 – present)

Matana Roberts is a saxophonist, composer and improviser based in New York City, United States. She is a past member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The Jazz Journalists Association selected Roberts as a finalist nominee for the 2008 Up and Coming Musician of the Year award (which Lionel Loueke ultimately won).

Born in Chicago, United States, Roberts was raised on the city’s South Side and studied classical clarinet during her youth. She formed a trio, Sticks and Stones, with bassist Josh Abrams and drummer Chad Taylor, with whom she regularly performed at the Velvet Lounge. In 2002, Roberts moved to New York, initially busking in subways and publishing a zine, Fat Ragged, about her experiences.

Roberts is the composer of Coin Coin, a musical work-in-progress exploring themes of history, memory and ancestry. Roberts performed at the London Jazz Festival in 2007. In 2008, Central Control released Roberts’ The Chicago Project. The album, produced by Vijay Iyer, includes performances by members of Prefuse 73 and Tortoise along with AACM saxophonist Fred Anderson.

In January 2010, Roberts was the guest curator at The Stone. Roberts has been chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival that he will curate in March 2012 in Minehead, England.


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  • guthermarcela


    31 Jul 5:39pm Reply
  • mortauxvaches_


    1 Jun 8:58pm Reply
  • ARTemiJast


    17 Apr 8:44pm Reply
  • rOOm-on-fire

    “Nos barques sont ouvertes, pour tous nous les naviguons”...Le troisième chapitre est majestueux. Je suis sidérée, notamment par la "spatialité" des compositions et la manière dont elles vous transportent, presque littéralement; l'effet "physique" qu'elles produisent sur l'auditeur. Bref, c'est un chef-d'oeuvre.

    21 Feb 10:15am Reply
  • oaquard

    Article of interest. She apparently lives on a boat in NYC. What the heck!

    16 Feb 8:58pm Reply
  • four-space

    Love the complete difference between the three Chapters so far.

    12 Feb 5:54pm Reply
  • electroncats

    Coin Coin 3 is the best chapter so far [2]

    11 Feb 4:34am Reply
  • Triplearrow

    Whole chapter three is made only by Matana, great piece of music

    7 Feb 9:42pm Reply
  • fastlane01

    COIN COIN Chapter Three is one of the coolest/most unique things I've ever heard. [2]

    6 Feb 4:02pm Reply
  • optimistic_tour

    Wow, Chapter Three is a wildly interesting twist. I'm loving the alto solos over that sustained drone in Dreamer of Dreams <3

    5 Feb 5:02am Reply
  • HeadlessClown

    COIN COIN Chapter Three is one of the coolest/most unique things I've ever heard.

    4 Feb 12:40am Reply
  • radiobicycle

    მიყვარხარ, გოგოუ!

    29 Jan 6:57am Reply
  • jkillamilla

    i like chapter 1 better. Matana is blogging about chapter 3 here i like the blog

    25 Jan 3:44am Reply
  • sergio_bg

    Coin Coin 3 is the best chapter so far

    22 Jan 12:39pm Reply
  • Draft_Jam97

    coin coin 4 when???

    15 Jan 5:41pm Reply
  • AlaTis-BnT

    Coin Coin 3 easily makes up for the disappointing second chapter

    4 Jan 4:29pm Reply

    Chapter Three is again very refreshing and inspiring in every way imaginable. Wouldn't say it surpasses the previous parts but it's a perfect addition to the series.

    4 Jan 4:10pm Reply
  • affasf

    chapter III is beyond reason.

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • robingesmith

    this project continues to be absolutely amazing

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Tricksta_P

    Agreed with _duif, Chapter Three proves an interesting and rather unexpected turn of events, but this is nowhere near Chapter One and especially Chapter Two, which are probably my two favourite contemporay jazz albums of the last couple of years.

    23 Dec 2014 Reply
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