Matana Roberts Music/Sound Co-Chair
Chicago born and bred, Matana Roberts is an alto saxophonist/composer/performer who works in various mediums of improvised sound and performance, and has been active in New York since 2001. A Vanlier and Brecht Forum fellow, as well as a 2008 and 2009 nominee for an Alpert Award in the Arts, she has appeared as a collaborator on recordings and performances worldwide with her own ensembles as well as with a variety of collaborative ensembles - such groups as Sticks and Stones, Burnt Sugar, Exploding Star Orchestra, the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Julius Hemphill Sextet, Myra Melford's Happy Whistlings, Jayne Cortez's Fire Spitters, Merce Cunningham Dance, and Savion Glover Dance. In 2008, the success of her leader debut, The Chicago Project (Central Control International), led critics to call Roberts "one to watch" (Kevin Legencre, Jazzwise) and "an eloquent, dramatic, tone warping free jazz artist right out of Ayler's anti bop tradition." (John Fordham, London Guardian) She has also recorded as a side woman on recordings with a large smattering of influential ensembles such as Godspeed You Black Emperor, TV on the Radio, Savath and Savalas, and Thee Silver Mount Zion.