Author: Rachel Lyngholm

Announcing Roulette’s 2022 Van Lier Fellows

Roulette is excited to announce the selection of vocalist, improviser, and composer Isabel Crespo Pardo and saxophonist and composer Alfredo Colón 2022 Van Lier Fellows. They will join Roulette’s Resident and Commissioned artists in presenting new work at Roulette in 2022.

Our long-time partnership with the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust has enabled Roulette to offer year-long fellowships to a number of outstanding young artists to create, rehearse, experiment, and investigate new directions in their craft.

Isabel Crespo Pardo (they/them) is an NYC-based latinx vocalist, improviser, and composer creating art that constantly evolves to reflect the intra/interpersonal spaces they inhabit. Their practice is nourished by curiosity and (dis)comfort. Reveling in soft chaos, they embrace openness and specificity to create poetic work. For Crespo, music is a place to gather, to exercise intuition, rigor and delight. Most recently, they composed a set of music for trio exploring free improvisation, graphic notation and the expressive and sonic potential of words. Current works in progress include tiny vignettes for piano and voice, and open form pieces for voice and qanun. They are also involved in numerous collaborative projects, presently: Chatterbox (experimental vocal trio), RE-CONNECTING (interdisciplinary duo), and Who’s Lily (improvising quintet). In addition to music, Crespo expressively engages with collage work, poetry, and movement. Taking great care in the gathering process, Crespo is interested in reimagining the construction of artistic spaces and fostering collaborations devoid of oppressive dynamics. Recent community initiatives include Streamfest, a five-week virtual concert series presenting 63 artists from 14 countries, and La Merienda Virtual, an inclusive virtual forum facilitating community co-education through intimate conversations with latinx folks. Institutions that have shaped Crespo’s artistic trajectory include: New England Conservatory (MM), University of North Texas (BM), Conservatorio de Castella, Siena International Jazz Workshop, and the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency.

Alfredo Colón is a saxophonist and composer from New York City. His music draws inspiration from his upbringing in Upper Manhattan, his Dominican heritage, and his love of musicians with melodic approaches to improvisation, including Sonny Sharrock, Ornette Coleman, and Pharoah Sanders. Colon specializes in the use of the EWI ( electronic wind instrument ) and can be seen performing with it in a variety of musical settings. He has performed alongside distinguished musicians such as Dr Lonnie Smith, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Nels Cline, Lenny White, Gene Lake and many others and has performed in esteemed venues such as The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland Jazz Club, The Bop Stop, The Blue Llama, National Sawdust, The Jazz Gallery, SOUTH and myriad others. He has also participated in festivals including Afropunk, The Outsiders Creative and Improvised Music Festival and The Composers Now festival. In early 2020, Colon was awarded the Jazz Coalition Commission fund Grant. He premiered his piece ‘A Witch Gets Married’ in October of that same year.

Announcing Roulette’s 2021–2022 Resident and Commissioned Artists

It is with great excitement that Roulette announces its Resident and Commissioned artists for the 2021–2022 season. Chosen through a rigorous evaluation process, artists are given financial and technical resources to create signature work in Roulette’s state-of-the-art theater.

Composer-bassist Max Johnson; fiddler, improviser, and composer Cleek Schrey; bassist and organizer Luke Stewart; composer Cassie Wieland; and composer and saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins have been selected for year-long residencies.

Commissioned artists include pianist, singer, composer, and improviser Sonya Belaya; improviser and songwriter Wendy Eisenberg; violinist, improviser, and composer gabby fluke-mogul; vocal artist Shelley Hirsch; drummer, composer, and improviser Lesley Mok; and composer, vocalist, performance artist Marisa Tornello.

Each artist will present at Roulette in the coming year. Immanuel Wilkins and Luke Stewart will be presenting next month in two special performances. Visit our website to learn more about each awardee and stay tuned for announcements about their upcoming performances.

[commissioned artist] Sonya Belaya is a Russian-American pianist, singer, composer, and improviser, who divides her time between Michigan and New York. Committed to multiplicity, she is a diverse music-maker invested in vulnerable art and the development of intimate, meaningful collaborations. Her work explores the integration of women’s trauma and the immigrant experience as a musical narrative by centering power-sharing and storytelling as a symbol of powerful vulnerability. Belaya’s awards include the 2021 ACF Create Award and the 2020–2021 Resident Artist at Roulette Intermedium, made possible by the Jerome Foundation. She has performed as a pianist and singer with members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Music Detroit, Wild Up, Michigan Opera Theatre, Russian Renaissance, and Bang on a Can All-Stars. Belaya’s lead project is “Dacha”, an octet flowing freely through influences of creative music, jazz, folk, and contemporary music. The ensemble seeks to preserve and recontextualize the ancestral memories of Russian folk traditions. Consisting of musicians from diverse music backgrounds, the project uses storytelling and improvisation as a governing principle to transcend these differences for deeper musical dialogue. Dacha was born out of a necessity to find a sense of home and belonging, when Belaya’s mother went missing in 2014. This resulted in the first project, “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, a five song cycle released in May 2019. Belaya released a second album with the ensemble, Dacha: Live at Roulette, in September 2020.

[commissioned artist] Wendy Eisenberg is an improviser and songwriter who uses guitar, pedals, the tenor banjo, the synthesizer, and the voice. Their work spans genres, from jazz to noise to avant-rock to delicate songs; their performances span venues, from international festivals to intimate basements. Though often working solo in both songwriting and improvisational realms, they also perform in the rock band Editrix, the jazz-adjacent band Strictly Missionary, a “hooky-free” trio with Allison Miller and Nick Dunston, and in endless other combinations of their heroes and peers. They have published essays on music in Sound American, Arcana, and the Contemporary Music Review

[commissioned artist] gabby fluke-mogul is a New York-based violinist, improviser, composer, & educator. fluke-mogul exists within the threads of improvisation, the jazz continuum, noise, & experimental music. Their playing has been described as “embodied, visceral, & virtuosic” & “the most striking sound in improvised music in years…” gabby is humbled to have collaborated with Nava Dunkelman, Joanna Mattrey, Fred Frith, Daniel Carter, Ava Mendoza, Jessica Pavone, Luke Stewart, Zeena Parkins, & Pauline Oliveros among many other musicians, poets, dancers, & visual artists. gfm holds a MFA in Music Performance & Literature from Mills College, a BA in Music & Early Childhood Education from Hampshire College, & a Deep Listening certificate from The Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer.

[NYSCA commissioned artist] Born and raised in East New York Brooklyn, Shelley Hirsch has been pushing boundaries with her unique vocal art drawing on her life experiences, her memory, and her vivid imagination for decades. She has presented her compositions, staged multimedia works, improvisations, radio plays, installations, and collaborations in concert halls, clubs, festivals, theaters, museums, galleries, and on radio, film, and television on five continents. Hirsch’s fellowships and awards include The Foundation For Contemporary Arts Grants for Artists; The John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship; A Creative Capital Grant; NYFA fellowships in both Music and Interdisciplinary categories; AIR Grants from The DAAD in Berlin, Havestworks, Yaddo, Queenslab, etc, and NYSCA Individual Artist Commissions, the latest in 2021 for a music composition commission which will premiere in Winter, 2021. Hirsch can be heard on seventy-plus recordings. In 2018, her archives were acquired by the Fales Library at NYU for their Downtown Collection. 

“A woman of a thousand voices… She offered an enthralling demonstration of the way songs, vocal styles and language might have evolved out of more primal musical impulses. (Stephen Holden, New York Times)

“A unique poetry…telling of the waywardness and drift of language…full of lust and humour, lasciviousness and rebellion…(Harry Lachner, Süddeutsche Zeitung)

[resident] Described as “an intrepid composer, architect of sound and beast of the bass…” (Brad Cohan, NYC Jazz Record) composer-bassist Max Johnson creates complex worlds of sound, challenging his listeners to engage deeply and be rewarded with an experience always crafted with love, care, and clarity. With nine albums and over two thousand concerts internationally with artists like Anthony Braxton, Mary Halvorson, Tyshawn Sorey, William Parker, and Mivos Quartet, Johnson brings a wild energy and excitement. He has been commissioned by the Jerome Foundation, Society of Composers Inc; teaches music theory at Brooklyn College; and has a beautiful chihuahua named Gabby.

[commissioned artist] Lesley Mok is a drummer, composer, and improviser based in Brooklyn, NY. Interested in the ways social conditions shape our beings, Mok’s work focuses on transposing, augmenting, and overacting humanness to explore ideas about normalcy, alienness, and privilege. She explores this by writing in a way that subverts traditional instrumental roles, often utilizing extreme ranges and unconventional timbres while creating a context that allows for simultaneously different musical perspectives. By maintaining an agile and improvisatory approach, Lesley creates fantastical and evocative sound worlds through the use of dissonance.

[resident] From Virginia, Cleek Schrey is one of the world’s few players of the hardanger d’amore, a uniquely-designed violin with five strings that resonate sympathetically beneath the fingerboard to create an acoustic resonance. Like his instrument, Schrey’s musical interests span centuries of tradition and repertoire. Schrey draws on fiddling practices from across the American south and introduces elements of traditional repertoire, improvisation, and experimental composition. His work is preoccupied with the physical phenomena of vibrating strings and the histories and aesthetics of recording technologies. He collaborates regularly with traditional fiddle icon Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and the viola da gamba virtuoso Liam Byrne in addition to experimental composers such as David Behrman and Alvin Lucier. Solo appearances include the Big Ears Festival (Knoxville), SuperSense Festival of the Ecstatic (AUS), and the Kilkenny Arts Festival (IE).

“A musician utterly at one with his instrument and his music.” — The Irish Times

“A rare combination of traits: deep respect for traditional music and the people who make it, and an unbounded curiosity about new directions for sound.” — Sound Post

[resident] Luke Stewart is a Brooklyn/DC-based musician and organizer of important musical presentations, with a strong presence in the national and international Improvised Music community. He is noted in Downbeat Magazine in 2020 as one of “25 most influential jazz artists”of his generation. He was profiled in the Washington Post in early 2017 as “holding down the jazz scene,” selected as “Best Musical Omnivore” in the Washington City Paper’s 2017 “Best of DC,” chosen as “Jazz Artist of the Year” for 2017 in the District Now, and in the 2014 People Issue of the Washington City Paper as a “Jazz Revolutionary,” citing his multifaceted cultural activities throughout DC. In New York City, Luke collaborated with Arts for Art in hosting the first-ever “Free Jazz Convention” to share resources and strategies among the community. He has also performed in a myriad of collaborations and performances in venues such as The Kitchen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Issue Project Room, Pioneer Works, and Roulette. In 2021, he participated in artist residencies with Pioneer Works and Roulette. Some of his regular ensembles include Irreversible Entanglements, Heroes are Gang Leaders, Ancestral Duo, Heart of the Ghost, and experimental rock duo Blacks’ Myths, but in continuously working on the development of new collaborations and solo work. As a solo artist, he has been compiling a series of improvisational sound structures for upright bass and amplifier, utilizing the resonant qualities of the instrument to explore real-time harmonic and melodic possibilities. As a scholar/performer, he has performed and lectured at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Medgar Evers College, George Mason University, Wayne State University, University of Montana, New Mexico State University, and the University of South Carolina. He holds a BA in International Studies and a BA in Audio Production from American University, and an MA in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship from the New School. In 2019, Luke was also a finalist for the Johnson Fellowship, citing his work in changing the musical fabric of Washington, DC. He is currently a participant in the Roulette Residency Program as well as a teacher at the New School.

[commissioned artist] Marisa Tornello (she/they) is a composer, vocalist, performance artist, mover, and maker. From bodypaint to projection art, Tornello cultivates a platform for dialogue around the human psyche through the dual lens of trauma and healing. Their works have been shown at Roulette, the Tank, Jack, La MaMa ETC, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Vital Joint, Invisible Dog Arts Center, and Judson Church, and have been featured in the Exponential Festival and Ladyfest at the Tank. Tornello is from and based on Staten Island, and is currently pursuing her MM at the New School.

[resident] Composer Cassie Wieland (she/her) delves into intimate subject matters of human connection, interaction, and expression in various ways throughout her work, ranging from the exploration of found text to forming connections between natural phenomena and everyday life. Wieland masterfully experiments with timbre and texture, specifically through exploring intimate and fragile sounds, to achieve the “hand-made” sound she is often looking for: imperfect, but intentional. Wieland has been commissioned and performed by line upon line percussion, Ensemble Dal Niente, ~Nois, Unheard-of//Ensemble, Chromic duo, clarinetist Ken Thomson, percussionist Adam Groh, Ritual Action, the Illinois Modern Ensemble, and Great Noise Ensemble, among others. Her music has been featured at events such as the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the SCI National Student Conference, the Red Note New Music Festival, the Electronic Music Midwest/Electronic Music Eastern festival, and the Maryland Wind Festival. Wieland has also been twice recognized as an ASCAP Morton Gould finalist and as the 2018 composer in residence for the Maryland Wind Festival. She has recently been named a 2020 Roulette Commissioned Artist and an inaugural Bouman Fellow for the 2019–2020 Kinds of Kings season. Her music has been featured on New Sounds, I Care if You Listen, AnEarful, and The Road to Sound.

[resident] Immanuel Wilkins is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and bandleader from the greater Philadelphia-area. While growing up, he honed his skills in the church and studied in programs dedicated to teaching jazz music like the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. Moving to New York in 2015, Wilkins proceeded to earn his bachelor’s degree in Music at Juilliard while simultaneously establishing himself as an in-demand sideman, touring in Japan, Europe, South America, The United Arab Emirates, and the United States and working and/or recording with artists like Jason Moran, the Count Basie Orchestra, Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton, Gretchen Parlato, Lalah Hathaway, Solange Knowles, Bob Dylan, and Wynton Marsalis. His own work as a bandleader has evolved tremendously in recent years allowing him to grow as a composer and arranger and has led to him to receive a number of commissions awards from including from Roulette, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Jazz Gallery Artist Residency Commission Program, and The Kimmel Center Artist in Residence for 2020. Wilkins’s mission is to create a sound that has a profound spiritual and emotional impact which will allow him to become a great leader in the long lineage of jazz musicians. Through studying the human pathos of the music and the culture of jazz, Wilkins aspires to bring people together through the commonality of love and belief in this music.

Tickets On Sale Now

Roulette is excited to announce that limited in-person audiences will be welcomed to our theater beginning May 4th. Tickets for the Spring Season are on sale now. Stay tuned for updates.

Don’t want to miss out? Roulette Members receive exclusive access to Spring Season Tickets, including discounted tickets and free entry passes. Become a Roulette member to grab a seat and help support artists!

All performances will be streamed live and free of charge through and on YouTubeFacebook, and Vimeo, and archived for future viewing.

Roulette has created a comprehensive reopening and safety plan. The most up-to-date information can be found here.

Announcing Roulette’s Spring 2021 Season

This spring, Roulette is excited to present over 30 performances spanning the best of experimental music, dance, and intermedia. The season opens on Wednesday, April 21 with a special collaboration with the International Contemporary EnsembleTri-Centric Foundation, and the Icelandic Dark Days Festival in a synchronous live stream performance of the work of Antony Braxton and Bergrun Snaebjornsdottir.

Season highlights include a number of world premieres developed during Roulette’s Van Lier Fellowships and Residencies, as well as a number of commissions including new pieces by Leila AduEddy Kwon, Tomas FujiwaraJoel Ross, and Luisa Muhr. Performances by Gelsey Bell & Justin HicksKa BairdBrandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi, and Matt Mehlan & Sonnenzimmer are of note. Roulette welcomes a new group with Ches SmithCraig TabornMat ManeriBill Frisell, and also celebrates a number of album releases including Karl Larson playing music by Scott Wollschleger and James Brandon Lewis‘s Jesup Wagon. The season closes with a performance created by Ayano Elson in collaboration with composer Matt Evans and video artist Hyung Seok Jeon at the end of June.

All performances will be performed and streamed live from Roulette’s downtown Brooklyn theater and will be accessible free of charge through and on YouTubeFacebook, and Vimeo, and archived for future viewing. As the season continues, Roulette is planning a safe phased reopening for in-person audiences at a limited capacity. Details of the reopening plan, along with how to purchase tickets, will be released at a later date on and through Roulette’s newsletter. Stay tuned!

Announcing Roulette’s 2021 Van Lier Fellows

Roulette is excited to announce the selection of vocalist Charmaine Lee and violinist/violist and interdisciplinary performing artist Eddy Kwon as 2021 Van Lier Fellows. They will join Roulette’s Resident and Commissioned artists in presenting new work at Roulette in 2021.

Our long-time partnership with the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust has enabled Roulette to offer year-long fellowships to a number of outstanding young artists to create, rehearse, experiment, and investigate new directions in their craft.

Eddy Kwon (they/them) is a violinist/violist, vocalist, composer, improviser, and interdisciplinary performing artist based in Brooklyn. They are a United States Artists Ford Fellow, Hermitage Fellow, and Johnson Fellow for Artists Transforming Communities (Americans For The Arts). In addition to a rigorous and evolving solo practice, they collaborate with artists of diverse disciplines, including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Senga Nengudi, Tomeka Reid, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Jens Lekman, and Lizzy DuQuette. They have performed throughout the Americas and Europe, including the Kennedy Center, Big Ears Festival, SESC Pompeia, Barbican Centre, Berlin Jazz Festival, Festival Banlieues Bleues, and more. Recent commissions include the Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, National Performance Network, and Colorado College Creativity & Innovation.

Charmaine Lee is a New York-based vocalist from Sydney, Australia. Her music is predominantly improvised, favoring a uniquely personal approach to vocal expression concerned with spontaneity, playfulness, and risk-taking. Charmaine uses amplification, feedback, and microphones to augment and distort the voice. She has performed with leading improvisers Nate Wooley, id m theft able, C. Spencer Yeh, and Ikue Mori, and maintains ongoing collaborations with Conrad Tao, Victoria Shen, Zach Rowden, and Eric Wubbels. She has performed at ISSUE Project Room, the Kitchen, Roulette, the Stone, and MoMA PS1, and participated in festivals including Resonant Bodies, Huddersfield Contemporary, and Ende Tymes. She has been featured in group exhibitions including The Moon Represents My Heart: Music, Memory and Belonging at the Museum of Chinese in America (2019). As a composer, Charmaine has been commissioned by the Wet Ink Ensemble (2018) and Spektral Quartet (2018). In 2019, she was an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room. Charmaine is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Sound American.

Mary Prescott’s Mom’s Thai Rice Soup (aka Porridge)

On December 19th, Mary Prescott presents Tidaan interdisciplinary performance examining intergenerational cultural identity through the artist’s maternal lineage. Integrating music, dance, and word, Prescott investigates her mother’s undocumented Thai ancestry, her experience as a Southeast Asian immigrant raising biracial children in Midwest America, and the resulting impact of these histories on her, her daughters, and granddaughters.

Tida is an exploration of my unknown personal history, which I have been researching through my maternal ancestry, and my Mom’s experience as a Thai immigrant who raised a biracial family in Minneapolis.

It comforts me, when I miss my Mom the most or when I just need relief from loneliness, to cook food that tastes like hers. Although by now she makes a lot of delicious American dishes, her superb Thai food is what has always stood out. It is home food, simple and delicious, and the flavors are uniquely hers. When I make it (although mine never tastes quite the same as hers), it still brings me back into her kitchen where I am together with family, cared for and content.

Since COVID prevents us from gathering in-person for the performance, I thought I would find a way for us to connect that is just as physical, sensory and special as sharing a space with one another. So, I invite you to make one of my Mom’s easiest and coziest recipes, Thai Rice Soup, to eat while you watch the show! It really is easy, and you might even already have many of the ingredients you’ll need in your kitchen. It is the taste of my home, my culture, and my comfort. And through this simple dish, we can share the experience of a performance and a meal together.”

Mary’s Mom’s Thai Rice Soup (aka Porridge)

Every year since I was little, I have awakened the day after Thanksgiving to a steaming hot bowl of what we in my family call porridge! Porridge is our version of a turkey and rice soup that my Mom makes with leftovers from the previous day’s Thanksgiving feast. What makes her version of this soup so special and unique are the Thai seasonings that she adds. This soup is a taste of my home, the flavors of my Mom’s cooking, of coziness and comfort!

Since turkey is something we usually only eat around winter holidays, I often make this soup with chicken instead. After roasting a whole bird, I separate and save any remaining meat from the bones, and use the carcass to make my own stock. I just simmer it in a crockpot with water, a couple carrots, stalks of celery, an onion, garlic and bay leaf overnight, then strain it in the morning. It’s all ready to go for porridge without any fuss! I like this method, because you use every part of the bird without wasting anything, and I feel that is a good way to honor the animal and the earth that gave us nourishment. If you don’t have homemade stock, you can use any store bought version that you have on hand.

This recipe is easily adaptable for vegetarians or vegans, with the exception of the fish sauce. I have seen vegan versions of fish sauce, but have never tried them, so can’t speak as to how well they mimic the real thing. You’ll have to try, and let me know!

Porridge is home food, meaning there are no real measurements for it. I’ll include approximations for how I make one serving, but please feel free to adjust anything to your own liking and quantity! There’s lots of room for improvisation!

Prep time: 5 minutes (use rice and chicken or turkey that have already been cooked!)
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
Total time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 1 – 2 (easily adjusts to serve more… just multiply all quantities by number of servings)

Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 c. cooked white rice (I use white jasmine rice… that is the standard in Thai households, but any white rice will do.)

  • 2 c. chicken or turkey stock

  • ⅓ c. chopped carrot

  • ¾ c. cooked chicken or turkey, cubed

  • ½ T fresh ginger, julienned

  • Pinch of salt (not too much, as the sauce we will add later is also quite salty!)

  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper to taste


  • A few pieces of Thai pickled cabbage (I never have this in my kitchen, so I always leave it out, but my Mom loves adding this ingredient!)

Garnish ingredients:

  • 1 T roughly chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 T sliced scallions

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1-2 T vegetable oil (avoid using olive oil as it interferes with the flavor profile of this dish)

  • A drizzle of toasted sesame oil

Sauce ingredients:

  • Fish sauce (An essential ingredient to practically all savory Thai dishes. If you don’t already have it in your kitchen, you should be able to find it fairly easily at most grocery stores or online. Note: soy sauce is not a good substitute for fish sauce… it’s a totally different taste!)

  • Juice from one lime (MUST be fresh squeezed!)

  • 2 or 3 fresh Thai chilis, sliced (if you can’t find Thai chilis, you can substitute a fresh jalapeno or any other fresh hot pepper)


  1. Make the soup: In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the stock, rice, carrot, chicken, ginger, salt and pepper over medium-high heat until it reaches a gentle boil. Reduce heat, and simmer about 5 minutes, or until the carrots are cooked.
  2. Toast the garlic: While the soup is simmering, add vegetable oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on this! The garlic will toast very quickly, in just a minute or two, and can burn easily if left for even a few seconds too long. As soon as the garlic starts to turn uniformly light brown, remove the pan from heat. It will continue to toast for a few moments after that. Set aside.
  3. Make the sauce! In a jar or small bowl, mix equal parts Thai fish sauce and freshly squeezed lime juice. Add Thai chilis or jalapeno.
  4. Put it all together: Ladle your soup into a bowl. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, toasted garlic (and the oil you toasted it in), and toasted sesame oil. Spoon a few spoonfuls of the fish sauce/lime juice concoction over your soup to taste. Add a lime wedge to squeeze over the entire dish if you like! Serve!

The sauce and fresh garnishes are really what make this soup so special and so flavorful! Also, once you have these ingredients in your fridge, you’ve got all the makings for another one of my favorite comfort foods, the Thai omelette. Okay… twist my arm, here’s the quick recipe for that: beat two eggs. Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a saute pan. When the oil is very hot (but not smoking), add the eggs, and then add sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and spinach (if you like spinach, which I do!). Flip like an all-star to cook the other side. Done! Serve over a bed of warm jasmine rice. Spoon that lime/fish sauce “sauce” over the top. Devour hungrily like you need comfort and you need it now!

Mary Prescott: Tida premieres Saturday, December 19th 2020 on Roulette’s livestream channels.

Studio Visit: Anjna Swaminathan

Roulette TV visits composer and our Van Lier Fellow Anjna Swaminathan in her home to discuss her latest project premiering Monday, November 16th. Rivers Above, Floods Below is an homage to the experience of immigrants, reflected in the meteorological phenomenon of “atmospheric rivers,” large bodies of water which collect in the atmosphere above the tropics and later rain down in a different place entirely. This work considers the possibility that much like these bodies of celestial water, our homes, too, are not stationary, but exist in the very possibility of our migration. Our global collective relies on a memory of homelands that have been colonized, spliced, and severed time and time again, but while we are so often nostalgic for a home that is broken, we more easily find community in new lands that don’t feel beholden to the same burdens of conflict and status quo. Much like the rivers brewing and creating movements above, Swaminathan considers the massive rivers of protestors who have flooded the streets against injustice in recent months. What if this, too, is a deluge of cosmic importance?

Anjna Swaminathan is a queer multidisciplinary artist, composer, violinist, vocalist, writer, theatre artist, and dramaturg. As an artist with a passion for sociopolitical work, community building, and critical consciousness, her artistic practice is an extension of her activist spirit. Informed by her rigorous training in the Carnatic and Hindustani music traditions of India, Anjna creates in New York’s vibrant creative music and improvisatory scene, in hybrid classical compositional work, and in her own multidisciplinary projects. She is a disciple of violin maestro Parur Sri M. S. Gopalakrishnan and Mysore Sri H.K. Narasimhamurthy and continues her training in Hindustani music with Samarth Nagarkar. Since 2018, Anjna has been under the compositional mentorship of Gabriela Lena Frank with whom she is exploring the creative possibilities of using Western Classical notation as a mode of communication for her deeply rooted Indian classical compositional and improvisational ideas. As an educator, Anjna has a strong commitment to mindfulness-based music-making, socially conscious and empathetic principles, and expression-oriented rigorous practice.

Roulette TV: Meredith Monk

Roulette is proud to premiere a new Roulette TV episode featuring the legendary creator and composer Meredith Monk. The episode traces a series of 10 performances that Monk curated at Roulette from 2016–2017 and features an exclusive interview.

Listen to the complete series of 10 concerts Meredith Monk curated at Roulette. Evolving out of a desire to dissolve genre boundaries and categories and highlight the freedom of imagination, authenticity, and liveliness of each artist’s practice, the performances ranged from experimental vocal music to electronic improvisation, from dance to film, and from rock and roll sound art to pop classics reimagined. Artists include David Behrman, Theo Bleckmann, Missy Mazzoli and GABI, American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Don Byron, Robin Holcomb, Ellen Fisher, Phil Kline and Jim Jarmusch, Dick Connette, and Ensemble Connect.

Roulette Launches its Fall 2020 Season: Live Streamed from our Stage


As Roulette adapts to the new realities and constraints created by the Covid-19 pandemic and implements protocols to operate safely and in accordance with city, state, and federal health guidelines, we also look to the future.

We are forging ahead to present new work, live streamed from our performance space and offered to the public free of charge, beginning in September 2020. We are doing this even amidst the uncertainty and constant influx of new information that has become a feature of life since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic because we at Roulette believe that experimental art has a vital role in imagining and building a new, better path forward. No other art form provides a more relevant, living, breathing space for new thought, and perhaps no time has demanded new ways of thinking more than the present.

While Roulette remains closed to the public, and much of our staff continues to work remotely, we have created a comprehensive reopening plan, instituted special training for staff onsite, increased and intensified the regular cleanings our venue undergoes, and implemented a screening process for anyone entering Roulette. An overview of Roulette’s reopening stages and details on our current operating procedures are available at

Building a new future is a joint effort between forward-thinking artists and an engaged and critical public. As we reopen and begin presenting performances again–carefully and with adherence to strict safety protocols–we do so in pursuit of that collaborative process of creation and transformation. For more than 40 years, Roulette has been a home for adventurous artists and audiences. We hope you will join us online and, when it’s safe to gather again, in person. We look forward to announcing our full season line-up on in early September.

Announcing Roulette’s 2020–2021 Resident and Commissioned Artists!

It is with great hope and excitement that Roulette announces its Resident and Commissioned artists for the 2020–2021 season. Staying true to our core mission—that Roulette remains an essential and centralized place for artists to realize their creative visions, even in times of great uncertainty—we began to work with artists in early March to build a safe, exciting, and unique body of new work. Pianist, singer, composer, and improviser Sonya Belaya, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, composer and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, artist and interdisciplinary designer Crystal Penalosa, and jazz performer and vibraphonist Joel Ross have been selected for year-long residencies. Commissioned artists include song-writer and vocalist Leila Adu; vocalist Ganavya Doraiswamy; alto saxophonist and composer Darius Jones; multidisciplinary performer and sound artist Luisa Muhr; sound artist and composer Teerapat Parnmongkol; interdisciplinary artist, composer, and pianist Mary Prescott; and composer and saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins.

Each artist will present at Roulette in 2020–2021. The performances will be broadcast live from our theater, with the possibility of a limited in-person audience depending on what safety and public health guidelines allow.

Roulette operates a Commissioning Program and an Artist Residency Program, supported by funds from the Jerome Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts. These programs accelerate the careers of talented musical creators, giving them the financial and technical resources to create signature work in our state-of-the-art theater.

Sonya Belaya is a first generation Russian-American pianist, singer, composer, and improviser, who divides her time between Michigan and New York. Committed to multiplicity, she is invested in vulnerable art and the development of strong, personal collaborations. Her work centers around the integration of women’s trauma as musical narrative, with a focus on storytelling as a vehicle for social change. Sonya’s lead project is Dacha, a septet flowing freely through influences of creative music, jazz, folk, and contemporary music. The ensemble seeks to preserve and re-contextualize the ancestral memories of Russian folk traditions. Dacha was born out of a necessity to find a sense of home and belonging when Belaya’s mother went missing in 2014. Belaya’s debut album, Songs My Mother Taught Me, was released in 2019. Photo: Katherine Pekala.

Jonathan Finlayson has been recognized by The New York Times as “…an incisive and often surprising trumpeter,” who is “…fascinated with composition.” Born in 1982 in Berkeley, California, Finlayson began playing the trumpet at the age of ten in the Oakland public school system. He came under the tutelage of Bay Area legend Robert Porter, a veteran trumpeter from the bebop era who took Finlayson under his wing; he was often seen accompanying Porter on his gigs about town and sitting in on the popular Sunday nights jam session at the Bird Cage. He subsequently attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where he studied with Eddie Henderson, Jimmy Owens, and Cecil Bridgewater. Finlayson is a disciple of the saxophonist/composer/conceptualist Steve Coleman, having joined his band Five Elements in 2000 at the age of 18. He is widely admired for his ability to tackle cutting-edge musical concepts with aplomb. Finlayson has performed and recorded in groups led by Steve Lehman, Mary Halvorson, Craig Taborn, Henry Threadgill, and played alongside notables such as Von Freeman, Jason Moran, Dafnis Prieto, and Vijay Iyer.

Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer, composer, and bandleader. His current projects include his bands Triple Double, 7 Poets Trio, and the Hook Up; a collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek); and a diversity of creative work with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Mary Halvorson, Matana Roberts, Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum, Nicole Mitchell, Ben Goldberg, Tomeka Reid, Amir ElSaffar, Benoit Delbecq, and many others.

Crystal Penalosa (she/they) is an artist & interdisciplinary designer based in New York. Their work focuses on self-compassion practices while engaging with authenticity and personal safety. She has performed collaboratively and presented solo works in New York at Issue Project Room, Roulette, MoMA PS1, SPEKTRUM in Berlin, and at the Golden Pudel in Hamburg. She currently works with the veteran underground record label Generations Unlimited, Voluminous Arts record label, and with the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Innovation. Photo: Plenilunix Photography.

Chicago native and newly minted Blue Note artist Joel Ross is a sophisticated jazz performer with a sound steeped in the post-bop tradition. Joel has performed with many of jazz’s most lauded artists including Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian McBride, Marquis Hill, Gerald Clayton, Louis Hayes, Melissa Aldana, Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, among others. He leads his own group Joel Ross’s Good Vibes, among other projects, and recently released his debut album KingMaker on Blue Note in 2019. He is currently based in New York City.

Leila Adu is an astonishing force in the space where electropop, avant-classical and singer-songwriter meet. Exploring her roots in New Zealand, Britain and Ghana, Adu is an international artist who has performed at festivals and venues across the world. Compared to Nina Simone and Joanna Newsome by WNYC, Adu has released five acclaimed albums, and has given visionary solo BBC and WQXR performances. Adu’s credits include Ojai Music Festival, Bang on a Can, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Late Night with David Letterman, and composing for a Billboard charted album. Adu holds a Princeton University music composition PhD.

Tamil Nadu-raised and New York-born critically acclaimed vocalist Ganavya Doraiswamy (b. 1991) lives, learns, and loves fluidly from the nexus of many frameworks and understandings. Hers is a deeply profound and rooted voice.  A multidisciplinary creator, she is a soundsmith and wordsmith. Trained as an improviser, scholar, dancer, and multi-instrumentalist, she maintains an inner library of “spi/ritual” blueprints offered to her by an intergenerational constellation of collaborators, continuously anchoring her practice in pasts, presents, and futures. Both as an educator and student, she “wishes to study and bring liberative techniques into this world… study certain dyads: what empowers, who is disempowered; what heals, who is ailing— and wishes to wed the two.”

Darius Jones has created a recognizable voice as a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer by embracing individuality and innovation in the tradition of African-American music. Jones has been awarded the Van Lier Fellowship, Jerome Foundation Commission, Jerome Artist-in-Residence at Roulette, French-American Jazz Exchange Award, and, in 2019, the Fromm Music Foundation commission at Harvard University. Jones has released a string of diverse recordings featuring music and images evocative of Black Futurism. His work as a new music composer for voice culminated in a major debut performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Jones has collaborated with artists including Gerald Cleaver, Oliver Lake, William Parker, Andrew Cyrille, Craig Taborn, Wet Ink Ensemble, Jason Moran, Trevor Dunn, Dave Burrell, Eric Revis, Matthew Shipp, Marshall Allen, Nasheet Waits, Branford Marsalis, Travis Laplante, Fay Victor, Cooper-Moore, Matana Roberts, JD Allen, Matthew Shipp, Nicole Mitchell, Georgia Ann Muldrow, and many more. The New York Times named Jones among the Best Live Jazz Performances of 2017 for his Vision Festival performance with Farmers by Nature. In 2018, Darius premiered across the United States a major new composition entitled LawNOrder, a dramatic commentary on social justice and American politics. Jones’ music is a confrontation against apathy and ego, hoping to inspire authenticity that compels us to be better humans.

Luisa Muhr is a multi and interdisciplinary performer, improvisor, installation artist, sound artist, composer, director, and theater maker, originally from Vienna, Austria. A previous inhabitant of Montreal, she has been permanently living and working in New York since 2013. Her artistic home is in the experimental/avant-garde. As a performer she specializes in performance, vocal, and movement art. Muhr is the creator and curator of New York’s leading interdisciplinary womxn and non-binary artists performance series Women Between Arts at The New School and was an Artist in Residence at Pioneer Works in 2019. She is currently writing and developing a political experimental opera with six-times-Grammy-winning composer Arturo O’Farrill. Photo credit: Video still. Pioneer Works. False Harmonics. 2018.

Teerapat Parnmongkol was born in Sakon Nakorn, Thailand before moving to Udontani at the age five or six. Parnmongkol began living and studying music in Bangkok in 2006 and continued his studies at Brooklyn College in the USA with a focus in performance and interactive media arts from 2013–2015. Parnmongkol’s main interests are in sound, music, vibration and performance in mystical traditions.

Mary Prescott is a Thai-American interdisciplinary artist, composer and pianist based in Minneapolis and New York City who explores the foundations and facets of identity and social conditions through experiential performance. She aims to foster understanding and create pathways for change by voicing emotional and human truths through artistic investigation and dissemination. Prescott’s output includes several large-scale interdisciplinary works, improvised music, an immersive multimedia chamber opera, a 365-day sound journal, solo and chamber concert music. Prescott is a Resident Artist at Roulette Intermedium (NYC), a Lanesboro Arts Artist-in-Residence (MN), and a 2019-21 The American Opera Project Composers and the Voice Fellow. She has previously held residencies at Hudson Hall, Areté Venue and Gallery, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and Arts Letters and Numbers. She is an awardee of a National Performance Network Creation Fund, and the Documentation and Storytelling Grant supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts; a New Music USA Project Grant; an American Composers Forum Create Commission supported by the Jerome Foundation; and several state and regional awards. She has been commissioned by Roulette Intermedium (NYC), Living Arts (Tulsa), Public Functionary (Minneapolis), Shepherdess Duo, Piano Teachers Congress of NY, and Duo Harmonia.

Immanuel Wilkins is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and bandleader from the greater Philadelphia-area. While growing up, he honed his skills in the church and studied in programs dedicated to teaching jazz music like the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. Moving to New York in 2015, Wilkins proceeded to earn his bachelor’s degree in Music at Juilliard while simultaneously establishing himself as an in-demand sideman, touring in Japan, Europe, South America, The United Arab Emirates, and the United States and working and/or recording with artists like Jason Moran, the Count Basie Orchestra, Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton, Gretchen Parlato, Lalah Hathaway, Solange Knowles, Bob Dylan, and Wynton Marsalis. His own work as a bandleader has evolved tremendously in recent years allowing him to grow as a composer and arranger and has led to him to receive a number of commissions awards from including from Roulette, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Jazz Gallery Artist Residency Commission Program, and The Kimmel Center Artist in Residence for 2020. Wilkins’s mission is to create a sound that has a profound spiritual and emotional impact which will allow him to become a great leader in the long lineage of jazz musicians. Through studying the human pathos of the music and the culture of jazz, Wilkins aspires to bring people together through the commonality of love and belief in this music.