A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Jason Fulford, via

Photo by Jason Fulford, via

When asked about her motivations to create art, Chicago-born alto saxophonist Matana Roberts said:

My belief in the unbelievable, my desire to make sense of the non-sensical, and my urge to give voice to the voiceless through the type of work I make…. The positive wave of change/hope/faith I continue to see art give to the world deeply drives me as well. There is so much astounding possibility in creativity. 

Matana has appeared on our stage numerous times over the years, most recently in October to celebrate the release of the second installment in her COIN COIN project, an ongoing music cycle suffused with “Americana research, ancestral memory, imaginative storytelling, instrumental improvisation and vocal performance, which includes opera alternating with screams of joy.”

In April, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced that Matana would be part of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Impact Award recipients, each of whom will be awarded $80,000 to pursue creative work. Other members of this inaugural class of Impact Award recipients included Muhal Richard Abrams, Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Coleman, Ben Monder, Aruán Ortiz, and Jen Shyu.

We’re pleased to welcome Matana back to our stage as she convenes ANTHEM, a quartet featuring guitarist Liberty Ellman, Kevin Tkacz on bass, and Ches Smith on drums. Hear more of her music on her SoundCloud page and on YouTube, including her most recent performance at The Jazz Gallery for Coin Coin.

Matana Roberts’s ANTHEM performs this Saturday, July 26th, 2014, at The Jazz Gallery. ANTHEM features Roberts on alto saxophone, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Kevin Tkacz on bass, and Ches Smith on drums. Sets are at 9 and 11 p.m. $22 general admission and $10 for Members, and free for SummerPass HoldersPurchase tickets here.