Originally from Philadelphia (b. April 16th 1951), he moved to Los Angeles and played with Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and other bands. He moved back to Philadelphia in the ’80’s and played with two musicians he still collaborates with today, Sunny Murray and Raymond A. King, and also with Monette Sudler, Bill Lewis and many others. He also pursued studies with Byard Lancaster.
Having moved to New York in 1989, Sabir became a world renowned artist and has performed with the greats such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker Ensembles (Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra & The Inside Songs Of Curtis Mayfield), Alan Silva, Wilber Morris, Jemeel Moondoc, Charles Downs (Rashid Bakr), Marc Edwards, Mark Whitecage, Raphe Malik, Dave Burrell, Butch Morris, Henry Grimes, Kali Z. Tom Bruno, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell The Sun Ra Arkestra, Frode Gjerstad, William Hooker and many others.
Mateen has performed in Europe, Japan, and Africa. He is also involved in Collective bands such as TEST (w/ D. Carter, Matthew Heyner and T. Bruno), The Downtown Horns (w/ R. Campbell & D. Carter), The East 3rd St. Ensemble (w/ Matt Lavelle, Clif Jackson and David Gould).
Sabir leads his own bands as well: The Sabir Mateen Ensemble, Omni-Sound, Trio Sabir, and Juxtapositions. Sabir also performs in solo and duo configurations with Matthew Shipp and Hilliard (Hill) Greene.