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Matana Roberts presents:
red, white and blue(s), a sound quilt of sorts featuring her New Year’s Eve Back Room 12tet

Location: Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater

Renowned sound experimentalist, composer, and improviser Matana Roberts returns to the Whitney for this special one-night only New Year’s Eve ensemble performance and celebration. Over the last year Roberts has performed throughout the Whitney’s new building in a series of site-specific engagements, including a roving hard-hat concert in the midst of construction, an incantation to inaugurate the opening, a live in-gallery improvisation with Eva Hesse’s No Title (1969), a daylong happening, and a week-long open studio residency in the theater. red, white and blue(s) marks the culmination of this series—coalescing into a complex, thoughtful and celebratory consideration of contemporary American art and music. This event will debut a score that Roberts composed over this past year through this series of open-ended public explorations, which responded to the Whitney’s galleries, performance spaces and the inaugural exhibition America is Hard to See. For this special performance, Roberts also draws inspiration from the life and work of Archibald Motley, whose work is currently on view.

Roberts has emerged as one of the most innovative cross-disciplinary sound artists of her generation. A dynamic saxophonist, composer, improviser, and mixed media sound conceptualist, her acclaimed artistic practice 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.

Matana Roberts: alto saxophone, composition and electronics

Stuart Bogie: clarinet
Jeff Tobias: alto saxophone
Peter Evans: trumpet
Steve Swell: trombone
Mazz Swift : violin
Daniel Levin: cello
Jessica Pavone: viola
Mary Halvorson: guitar
Gabriel Guerrero: piano
Me’Shell NdegéOcello: bass
Tomas Fujiwara: drums
Helado Negro: wordspeak and electronics

Followed by a DJ set by special guest: DJ Rupture

Please note: this event has reached ticketing capacity. Tickets are required ($50 adults; $45 member, students and seniors).

Matana Roberts, i call america, August 9, 2015, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Lindsay Keys

Matana Roberts, i call america, August 9, 2015, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Lindsay Keys

New Year’s Eve
Thursday, December 31
9 pm–1 am

Doors open at 9 pm and will close at 10:30 pm
*all guests must arrive before 10:30 pm, no late entry and no re-entry permitted
Festive attire
Refreshments will be served

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Additional Information
for Ticket Holders

  • Each guest will receive 2 complimentary drink tickets, and enjoy a cash-only bar serving beer and wine throughout the evening. Complimentary snacks will also be provided.
  • Coat check will be available; all large bags and backpacks must be checked
  • Flash photography is not permitted
  • The Museum's galleries will be closed
  • Untitled restaurant will host a New Year's Eve dinner, and reservations will be available at 6 pm that evening for a $95 per person 7-course tasting menu. Drinks, snacks, and a limited a la carte menu will also be offered at the restaurant's bar and high top tables. 

Yamaha grand pianos provided by Yamaha Artist Services, New York.