Category: Blogcast

Dispatch: Cecilia Lopez

As part of our ongoing Dispatches series, we sit down with Cecilia Lopez at Roulette, to discuss their upcoming collaborative performance El Porvenir: August 1996 happening on Tuesday, October 20.

Cecilia Lopez is a composer, musician and multimedia artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently based in New York. Her work explores perception and transmission processes focusing on the relationship between sound technologies and listening practices. She works across the media of performance, sound, installation and the creation of sound devices and systems. Lopez holds an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College and an MA from Wesleyan University in composition (2016). Her work has been performed and exhibited at Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (AR), Center for Contemporary Arts (Vilnius, Lithuania), Roulette Intermedium, Issue Project Room, Ostrava Days Festival 2011 (Ostrava, Czech Republic), MATA Festival 2012, Experimental Intermedia, Fridman Gallery (NY), Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo, Norway) and the XIV Cuenca Biennial, among others. She was a Civitella Ranieri fellow in 2015 and has participated in various international residency programs.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.

Dispatch: David Watson and Tony Buck

David Watson and Tony Buck met and started improvising together almost 30 years ago in a loft concert in Brooklyn. The two Antipodeans have shared stages in many parts of the world since then, their music conversation surviving changes in times and instruments. Originally scheduled to perform together at Roulette in April with 75 Dollar Bill guitarist Che Chen, we check in with both in this Dispatch to talk about their longstanding collaboration and respective quarantines.

As an experimental musician, David Watson is drawn to combinations of order and disorder. A guitarist, bagpiper, and advocate for intelligent listening, his work encompasses improvisation and composition in a wide variety of contexts. Originally from New Zealand, he has lived and worked in New York City since 1987. He has worked intensively with a wide range of extraordinary artists, including Chris Abrahams, Robert Ashley, Frisner Augustin, Marcia Bassett, Tony Buck, Che Chen, Anthony Coleman, David First, Alastair Galbraith, Frode Gjerstad, Shelley Hirsch, Samara Lubelski, Chris Mann, Christian Marclay, Sean Meehan, Ikue Mori, Bill Nace, Andrea Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, Talibam!, Yoshi Wada, Alex Waterman, John Zorn, 75 Dollar Bill, amongst many others. His bagpipe work has created a new vocabulary for the instrument. His album for composer Phill Niblock’s XI label Fingering an Idea was described in The Wire as, “shimmering lines piling-up like an old Terry Riley piece.” While his record Throats, on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label, was described by Volcanic Tongue as “brain rearranging massive walls of constantly shifting drone.” Recently, Niblock created a new piece “Bag” using his playing as source material. Watson is in the trio Glacial, an ongoing collaboration with two highly acclaimed partners, Lee Ranaldo and Tony Buck. Watson’s guitar playing was for many years a staple in performances of John Zorn’s seminal piece Cobra. Watson founded and organizes the New York City music performance series WOrK which has presented over fifty concerts since 2015 and is predicated on exploring what experimental means to practitioners today.

Percussionist Tony Buck is one of the most sought after musicians in Europe. Burke has played / toured / recorded with John Zorn, The Ex, Lee Ranaldo, Phil Minton, Evan Parker, Tom Cora, Clifford Jordan, and Otomo Yoshihide among many others.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.

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.

Dispatch: Jeremiah Cymerman

In this Dispatch, we catch up with composer and clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman about the last six months, postponed projects and residencies, and what’s coming up in the future, including welcoming him back to Roulette as part of our soon to be announced Fall season.

Jeremiah Cymerman is a New York City-based composer and producer. Since the early 2000s, “the protean composer and improviser has made an indelible mark on NYC’s DIY avant scene” writes the Brooklyn Observer. His recorded output, with multiple releases on Tzadik and his own 5049 Records, has been described by the Wire as “blown out studio creations that merge extended reed techniques with the crushing, airless sonics of black metal.” Since 2013, he has also produced the 5049 Podcast, a weekly program of conversations with contemporary music’s most daring artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Susie Ibarra, Zeena Parkins, Craig Taborn, MV Carbon, Trey Spruance, Ken Vandermark, and more.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.

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.

Anti-Racism Resources

Roulette stands in solidarity with the protesters and our staff, artists, audiences, and community to denounce racism, white supremacy and complacency, and police brutality. We commit to serve, elevate, and amplify Black voices, work, and stories not only as a fundamental aspect of our ongoing mission but in this critical moment and beyond. We recognize the importance of Black voices in how they have shaped our history, and how they will shape our future.

To take immediate action to fight for Breonna Taylor, please visit

For centralized infomation and updates on protests in NYC follow @justiceforgeorgenyc on Instagram or visit

Anti-Racism Resources
Anti-racism Guide

We encourage you to donate to these and other organizations doing important work during this time:

The Okra Project
Marsha P. Johnson Institute
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Campaign Zero
Donate to Bail Funds
Reclaim the Block
Black Visions Collective

Dispatch: Ravish Momin

Percussionist, electronic music producer, and composer Ravish Momin discusses his latest work including Turning Jewels Into Water, a collaboration with percussionist Val Jeanty, dancers Ra Dakini and Ivvy Brynn, and video artist Art Jones. In this, Momin focuses on the importance of broadening public discourse to address multiple critical issues at once—specifically the urgent problem of climate change.

Ravish Momin is a versatile percussionist/composer/ electronic musician. He has studied drumset with master-drummer Andrew Cyrille, and has also studied North Indian Classical percussion. Ravish’s love for the sciences simultaneously led him to obtain a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (1994.) He has worked with artists as diverse as pop-star Shakira and legendary saxophonist Maurice McIntyre (early member of the AACM, 1969.) In the past, he led the acclaimed Global/Jazz/Electronic band Tarana on international stages for 14 years and had recorded several albums to critical acclaim. He has also received grants from NewMusic USA, Arts International, Meet The Composer, Chamber Music America and US Artists International. While not on tour he works as a Teaching Artist across NYC with inner-city youth, covering a wide range of subjects such as Snare-drumming, West African and Middle-Eastern percussion, Early Childhood Music and Electronic Music-production.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.

Dispatch: Cassie Wieland

In this Dispatch, composer and Roulette 2020 commissioned artist Cassie Wieland discusses how the pandemic has brought new focus to her production work in the absence of face to face interactions. Her commissioned work, HYMN is set to premiere at Roulette this fall.

Composer Cassie Wieland (she/her) delves into intimate subject matters of human connection, interaction, and expression in various ways throughout her work, ranging from 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.

Cassie 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. Cassie 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.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.

Dispatch: Jon Kinzel and Vicky Shick

In this Dispatch, choreographers Jon Kinzel and Vicky Shick discuss collaboration in a time of distance and how their shared practice continues although their performance at Roulette has been postponed.

Jon Kinzel has presented his work, including numerous commissions and solo shows, in a variety of national and international venues. He has received support from foundations, fellowships, and residency programs, and served as a sound designer, dramaturg, and curator. Pacific Terminus, in part, stems from residencies held at Telematic Gallery in San Francisco, and the MacDowell Colony. He feels fortunate to have performed and collaborated with choreographers and artists across several disciplines, contributed to publications such as SCHIZM Magazine, MR Performance Journal, and PAJ: a journal of performance and art, and, to have taught at many institutions of higher learning, the Merce Cunningham Trust, Lincoln Center Education, and Movement Research.

Vicky Shick has been involved in the New York dance community for four decades. She was a member of the Trisha Brown Company and has been making dances since the late eighties. Shick has also created pieces with students at several universities, currently at Yale. In the NYC area she teaches mostly at Movement Research, for the Trisha Brown Company and for 15 years at Hunter College. She has taught internationally including in her home town, Budapest. Shick recently returned from a work-making residency in San Francisco at Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab. She was a two-time Movement Research Artist-In-Residence, two-time Bessie recipient, a grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a Guggenheim Fellow and a DiP grantee at Gibney Dance Center.

As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.