Jason Roebke

Repertoire for High Concept Laboratories


Expanding upon his solo performance practice, Roebke’s research will focus on developing a group performance methodology integrating elements of music, theater, and dance. Understanding the body, its movement, placement in space, the energy it produces are central to the research to be undertaken. Taking inspiration from early jazz and performance, Roebke’s work will reconsider the body, its role in art music and how physicality can be in dialogue with sound for a richer performance language. The title refers to German-Argentinian composer Mauricio Kagel’s theatrical work “Repertoire aus Staatstheater.”


Photo credit Gonzalo Guzman, Art Dir Shirley Ellis, Tech Denny Chan


Jason Roebke is a Chicago bassist and composer. In addition to playing bass in several of Chicago’s most compelling jazz groups, he has composed music for his own Octet and small groups. His playing is intensely physical, audacious, and sparse. Roebke has collaborated extensively as a performer and composer with choreographer Ayako Kato. The Chicago Reader described his work as “a carefully orchestrated rummage through a hardware store.” He is a member of Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, Mike Reed Flesh & Bone, and Tomeka Reid Quartet. Roebke studied privately with saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell as well as legendary double bass pedagogue Stuart Sankey. In 2009, he was awarded the Fellowship in Music Composition from the Illinois Arts Council. Roebke tours widely in the US and Europe. He was the subject of an extensive interview and career overview in Point of Departure.