National Sawdust Announces In-Person Reopening for Season 7

Featuring performances from Meredith Monk and John Hollenbeck, new music from Lee “Scratch” Perry and Mouse on Mars, ChamberQUEER Pride Fest and more.

By: Dec. 16, 2021
National Sawdust Announces In-Person Reopening for Season 7

Following a two-year pandemic-imposed hiatus, National Sawdust has announced the January reopening of its in-person performance space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the organization's seventh season of artistic programming. The live performance schedule includes an eclectic selection of performances from both newcomers and icons hailing from across the musical spectrum, including:

  • A duet improvisation with avant-garde legends Meredith Monk and John Hollenbeck (scheduled for 2/27)
  • An immersive spatial-sound listening session of previously unheard and unreleased recordings from the late reggae innovator Lee "Scratch" Perry, curated by his collaborators, the German electronic duo Mouse on Mars (two sets per evening on 3/12 and 3/19)
  • Two nights curated by ChamberQUEER Pride Fest exploring the work of Julius Eastman and contemporary queer composers (6/10 and 6/12)
  • Two evenings of the Darius Jones-curated MATA Festival for new composers (5/6 and 5/7)
  • MacArthur award-winning guitarist Mary Halvorson's release show for her new interlocking projects, Amaryllis and Belladonna, supported by Mivos Quartet (5/18)
  • Three new works for violin and spatial electronics from National Sawdust favorites Miranda Cuckson and Rand Steiger (3/25)
  • A recital of politically and socially-charged operatic works curated and voiced by the celebrated soprano Karen Slack (1/21)
  • The album release of Yeasayer founder Anand Wilder's debut solo work (4/30)
  • An evening of solo sets from electronic composers Lesley Flanigan, Christopher Tignor, and Tristan Perich (2/12)
  • An internationally-sourced series of individual evenings of new works from the Mexican singer Magos Herrera (2/17), the Romani-jazz inspired guitarist Stephane Wrembel (1/29), the Scandi-pop duo Smerz (3/4), Canadian Wolastoq First Nation singer-songwriter Jeremy Dutcher (3/3), and the London-based jazz/hip-hop fusion producer Alfa Mist (5/11)

The season begins with a free, ticketed, audience-appreciation set that showcases the venue's immersive and remarkably high-fidelity Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system and its immersive Spacemap® component premiering the debut album of rising star and Jamie xx / FKA Twigs / Harry Styles collaborator Pauli the PSM on January 7. That event is followed by a work-in-progress showing of the new multimedia "live documentary" project 32 Sounds by Oscar-nominated director Sam Green with music by JD Samson on January 14. Those dates, along with soprano Karen Slack's recital on January 21 and Stephane Wrembel's Django Reinhardt retrospective on January 29, provide the lineup for National Sawdust's annual FERUS Festival.

Tickets to all shows are available for purchase and reservation now via the National Sawdust website at

Since its inception in 2015, National Sawdust has pushed the boundaries of the artistic experience for curators, creators and audiences alike, challenging established compositional and performative power structures and upturning presumed hierarchies of genre and form. Over the past seven years, National Sawdust has presented thousands of live performances, dozens of full-length recordings, and provided financial and creative support to tens of thousands of practicing artists. With its upcoming seventh season, National Sawdust provides a glimpse of the new era of arts in its intersectional and inclusive form, an open field of exploration, risk, and joy. Performance on both National Sawdust's digital and in-person performance stages, alongside editorial content on the website and the organization's social media, will evolve in tandem with one another, taking on some of the topics informing artists' creative process: joy, healing, racial justice, gender justice, and deforestation.

Composer Paola Prestini, the organization's co-founder and Kris Sebastian & Alberto Cribiore Artistic Director Chair, says, "Our goal has always been to make National Sawdust a space that embraces the future, blurring genres and disciplines to provide a home for exploration and experimentation with inclusivity and mentorship always serving as our guiding stars. Throughout the pandemic, we achieved this goal remotely via our Digital Discovery series, which supported over 100 artists throughout 2020; with the WNET/ALL ARTS' retrospective video series Contemplations from National Sawdust; and with multiple new releases from our National Sawdust Tracks label featuring the music of Terry Riley and Magos Herrera, among others. This overdue return to our physical space allows us to finally get back to doing the work we do best in person."

Nicole Merritt, National Sawdust's long-time Programming Director and this season's curator, says, "Whether it's immersive opera, experimental cyberpop, hip-hop-infused jazz and everything in between, we remain hands down the best room to experience your favorite artist's creativity in action. With our January reopening, we are excited to announce that National Sawdust and our artist family are not only back, but thriving."

The upcoming season represents a shift in leadership staff with the introduction of Ana De Archuleta, National Sawdust's Director of Artistic Operations. The founder of A.D.A. Artistic Management, a life-long opera industry leader and artist advocate, De Archuleta brings specialized knowledge and decades of practical and creative experience to the organization. De Archuleta notes that she is "honored to join this passionate and forward thinking team. The intimacy of the space, the powerful artist-audience connection, as well as the art driven mission makes National Sawdust a vibrant and joyful space for all."

This season's theme, The Future Is..., was conceived by National Sawdust's writer-in-residence, the poet Lynne Procope. Procope serves as the Ideas Editor for the organization's online Idea Zone, a burgeoning hub on the National Sawdust website that uses live and digital performances as a jumping off point for intellectually and politically aware criticism and cultural commentary. She writes, "The writing we present in the Idea Zone seeks to celebrate music, language, collaboration, and interdisciplinary work. We are seeking to mitigate harm, to be a source of change in the service of justice and liberation, and to explore how crisp, radical thinking about art amplifies rapid movements toward a more just future. We seek to publish fresh criticism, cultural anthropology, creative writing and vital journalism."

The current complete schedule for National Sawdust follows. For up-to-the-minute bookings and changes, visit To request press tickets to these performances, for high-resolution artist images and to inquire about staff and artist interviews, please contact John Seroff at


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