Matana Robertsis an American sound experimentalist, visual artist, jazz saxophonist and clarinetist, composer and improviser based in New York City She has previously been an active 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.
Born in 1975 in Chicago, Illinois, 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 multichapter 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.
She has previously been an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).
In January 2010, Roberts was the guest curator at The Stone. Roberts was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he curated in March 2012 in Minehead, England. Roberts held a residency at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the summer of 2015, during which she produced a series of research-based sound works entitled i call america.The following summer, she had a solo show at the Fridman Gallery entitled I Call America II that was presented as an expanded version of the Whitney exhibition.