Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Hank Roberts made his name in the 1980s legendary New York Downtown scene. Faced with a dearth of improvisational cellist mentors or peers, he carved his own path through that fertile ground alongside such frequent collaborators as Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Marc Ribot and John Zorn, finding a second home at the famed Knitting Factory, leading and recording with his own groups, ‘Birds of Prey, ‘Black Pastels’, ‘Little Motor People’ and co-founding ‘Miniature’ with Tim Berne and Joey Baron, and the ‘Arcado String Trio’ with Mark Feldman and Mark Dresser.
The list of names with whom Roberts has shared stages or recording studios with includes Gavin Friday (with the members of U2), Sting, Jeff Buckley, David Sanborn, Mamadou Diabate, Andy Summers, Gary Burton, Marty Ehrlich, Arto Lindsey, Gerry Hemingway, Don Byron, and Julius Hemphill. He is currently a member of Bill Frisell’s 858 Quartet and Big Sur Quintet, and appeared on the guitarist’s GRAMMY-winning 2004 release Unspeakable. He’s recorded 10 albums on the Winter & Winter label, along with numerable self-released recordings. His solo performances are singularly compelling and unpredictable, wending from jagged dissonance to intoxicating pop songcraft.