Karl Berger and All Star Friends

CD wlll be available in September 2016


Karl Berger’s residency at the Falcon in Marlboro, NY ended with an All Star performance featuring 

Kirk Knuffke, cornet, Kenny Wessel, guitar, Ken Filiano, bass, Billy Martin, drums, Ingrid Sertso. vocals/poetry and Karl Berger, piano, vibes, compositions, with an new and exciting concept of collective improvisations.

The deep connection between these players stems from their involvement together in the legendary Creative Music Studio workshops, where the spirit of music reaches for the sky of abundant inspiration. Not to be missed!

Here’s some info on the participating performers:

Billy Martinhttp://www.billymartin.net/

After touring with Chuck Mangione, Martin returned to NYC where he played with John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, a Downtown experimental jazz band, best known for their contributions to the "Get Shorty" soundtrack. He joined with John Medeski and Chris Wood in '91 to form Medeski Martin and Wood. Two decades later, the trio continues to record and perform, recently releasing "Juice" (September 2014) with the addition of guitarist John Scofield. Throughout his tenure with MMW, Martin has pursued outside projects, with both notable musicians and up-and-comers.


Kirk Knuffke (kirkknuffke.com)                                                                                                            Cornetist and Composer Kirk Knuffke is the winner of Downbeat Magazine's "Rising Star"critics poll for 2015.  A recipient of the Jerome Foundation composers grant, Kirk has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader. One of modern jazz’s most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing, he has "full command of his most demanding instrument” (All About Jazz)                                                   Matt Wilson, Allison Miller, Butch Morris, Uri Caine, Karl Berger, Michael Formanek and many more have chosen Kirk as a sideman for over 60 recordings, he has been called "One of New York City's busiest musicians" New York Times)

Kenny Wessel

Kenny Wessel is a vital and personal voice in jazz, and has performed in 27 countries at major jazz festivals, concert halls and in radio and television appearances. Wessel worked with revolutionary jazz artist Ornette Coleman from 1988-2000, as a member of Coleman's Prime Time. Ken has appeared with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic and the London Philharmonia Orchestra. He can be heard on Steely Dan frontman, Donald Fagen’s album, "Morph the Cat" as a featured soloist.


Ken Filiano (www.allmusic.com/artist/ken-filiano)


Ken Filiano, bass player, composer, improviser, has been performing around the world for thirty years, collaborating with leading artists in multiple genres, fusing the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless imagination. Ken leads two quartets, Quantum Entanglements (with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael TA Thompson), and Baudolino's Dilemma (with Vinny Golia, Warren Smith, and Michael TA Thompson). He is a co-leader of The Steve Adams/Ken Filiano Duo and of TranceFormation (Connie Crothers, Andrea Wolper.) His extensive discography includes a solo bass CD, “subvenire” (NineWinds), and “Dreams From a Clown Car" (Clean Feed). For these and numerous other recordings and performances, critics have called Ken a "creative virtuoso," a "master of technique" . . . "a paradigm of that type of artist. . . who can play anything in any context and make it work, simply because he puts the music first and leaves peripheral considerations behind." ( JazzValley.com / Robert Rusch / Chris Kelsey)

Ken has performed and/or recorded with Karl Berger, Bobby Bradford, Anthony Braxton, Connie Crothers Quartet, Bill Dixon, Ted Dunbar, Giora Feidman Quartet, Vinny Golia ensembles, Taylor Ho Bynum, Jason Kao Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Raul Jaurena, Joelle Leandre, Frank London, Tina Marsh, Warne Marsh, Dom Minasi, Barre Phillips, Roswell Rudd, ROVA Saxophone Qt., Paul Smoker, Peeter Uuskyla, Fay Victor Ensemble, Pablo Zielger, and many more. Ken is a guest artist lecturer at School of Visual Arts and Hunter College (New York),  teaches master classes in bass and improvisation, and has a private bass studio in Brooklyn.


Ingrid Sertso (www.allmusic.com/artist/ingrid-sertso-mn0001577731

Through her work with such avant-jazz musicians as Don Cherry and Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso established herself as a captivating, adventurous vocalist, capable of blending jazz, African, South American, and other worldbeat influences into a distinctive, hypnotic sound. During the late '60s, she lived in Europe, Serts led her own trios and performed with Eric Dolphy, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Karl Berger, and Leo Wright.


Karl Berger (www.karlberger.org)

Award-winning composer/arranger/conductor, Karl Berger, wrote and recorded over 200 compositions and arrangements for classical ensembles, jazz groups, song-writers and performers, big bands, symphony and crossover projects. He has gained critical acclaim for his original scores for live orchestras and ensembles and for numerous recordings. As a performer ( piano, vibraphone ) Karl won 6 Downbeat Critics Awards and remains internationally active on the concert and residency circuits for new music and innovative jazz. The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra and Ensembles are influential forces to date. He now records for John Zorn’s Tzadik label.

With Ornette Coleman and Ingrid Sertso, Karl Berger founded the Creative Music Foundation, with the legendary Creative Music Studio at the core. CMS maintained a year-round program and campus in Woodstock, New York, that attracted many world-renowned composers and improvising artists of many instruments and traditions from around the world. At CMS Karl Berger developed his Music Mind approach for heightened focus on detail, emotional expression, and cross-cultural communication, with the universal Gamala Taki Rhythmic Training at its center.



CMS Archive Selections CD Vol. 2 Available Now


A torrid first encounter between avant-garde jazz titan Anthony Braxton and Marilyn Crispell, a rare chance to hear Don Cherry playing with and conducting an orchestra, and a workshop peek at the roots of the nascent “world jazz super-group” Codona are among the highlights of the Creative Music Foundation’s Creative Music Studio Archive Selections Vol. 2, now available on the CMF website and through CDBaby.


The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra kicks off its 2015 Fall season with a performance in Brooklyn at the Firehouse Space on Saturday, October 24.  

Since its inception in 2011, the KBIO orchestra of 25 or more professional string, horn, reed, and percussion soloists that turn improvisational ideas developed in open workshop/rehearsals into fully formed concerts has performed nearly 80 times.  Rehearsals are open to the public and begin at 8:00pm with performances starting at 9:00 pm.      

Conducted in Karl’s inimitable style developed at the legendary Creative Music Studio, the Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra of extraordinary improvisers explores original compositions by Karl Berger as well as melodies from the world’s folk traditions, and themes written by visionaries such as Don Cherry or Ornette Coleman, as well as musical ideas that arise spontaneously in solo/duo/trio improvisations by the orchestra’s musicians. Karl’s conducting blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations.  One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso’s unique vocalizations and poetry. KBIO performances benefit theCreative Music Foundation, the 45 year old nonprofit Karl and Ingrid co-founded with the late Ornette Coleman.

The October 24 performance will feature: Peter Apfelbaum, tenor sax, Welf Dorr, Patrick Brennan, alto sax, Mercedes Figueras, sopr. sax, Bill Ylitalo, bar. sax, picc. flute, Lee Odom, Jason Candler, Marc Cobrin, clarinets, Michael Lytle, Christoph Knoche, bass clarinets, Bohdan Hilash, contrabass clarinet, Richard Keene, oboe, Yasuno Katsuki, euphonium,  Michael Gassmann, guitar, John Ehlis, mandolin, Haruna Fukazawa, , Ras Moshe, flutes, Andy Laties, shakuhachi, Sana Nagano, Ernesto Llorens, Richard Carr, violins, Kevin Ray, bass, John Pietaro, Hollis Headrick, percussions, Joe Hertenstein, drums, Bob Bresnan, piano, Ingrid Sertso, vocals.

KBIO performances in NYC are produced by the Creative Music Foundation.www.creativemusicfoundation.org.

“Karl Berger has been a pioneer in large-scale jazz improvisation longer than just about anybody, which explains why his Improvisers Orchestra swings as hard, and interestingly, and often hauntingly as they do…. Berger is an elegant and economical pianist, which informs how he conducts…. Like the best big bands, this crew use the entirety of their dynamic range. The ensemble weren’t often all playing at once, making those lush crescendos all the more towering and intense…, with the phantasmagorical sweep of the Gil Evans Orchestra and the rough-and-tumble bustle of the Mingus bands.”    Alan Young, Lucid Culture

The Creative Music Foundation makes it possible to profoundly experience and express our deep connection with the transforming energies of music, our universal language. CMF programs focus on the common elements of all music, emphasizing keen awareness, personal expression, intensive listening and cross-cultural communication, and providing unique opportunities for musicians, students and listeners from different backgrounds and traditions to explore together, share, develop, and broaden their musical understanding and sensitivity. CMF pursues its mission through workshops, residencies, coaching, concerts, recordings and archival projects that engage both listeners and musicians in the USA and around the world.

KBIO performances benefit the Creative Music Studio Archive Project, preserving, digitizing and re-mastering over 400 historic CMS concert recordings from the 1970s and 80s. Some artists heard in these recordings include: Dave Holland, Don Cherry, Jimmy Giuffre, Wadada Leo Smith, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, George Lewis, Carla Bley, Nana Vasconcelos, Trilok Gurtu, Collin Walcott, Kalaparusha, Oliver Lake, Ismet Siral, Ed Blackwell, and Cecil Taylor. The CMS Archive is being housed for posterity at Columbia University Library and has received support from the Grammy Foundation.


Also please note that the Creative Music Studio Archive Project of recordings will be the focus of a WKCR-FM (and WKCR.org) “Jazz Profile” on Sunday, October 25 from 2:00 – 7:00 pm. Steven Bernstein and Peter Apfelbaum will be on-air to share stories and recordings about CMS.


For Creative Music Studio Workshop info, videos and testimials  please go to www.creativemusicfoundation.org

CMS Workshop Guiding Artists in 2013 to 2015 included: Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, John Medeski, Henry Threadgill, Joe Lovano, Oliver Lake, Don Byron, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Apfelbaum, Tony Malaby, Cyro Baptista, Marilyn Crispell, Steven Bernstein, Jason Hwang, Kirk Knuffke, Kenny Wessel, Steve Gorn, Mark Helias, Tom Rainey, Thomas Buckner, Judi Silvano. Billy Martin, Marty Ehrlich, Harvey Sorgen, Tani Tabbal, Ken Filiano, Omar Tamez, and John Menegon, in addition to Creative Music Foundation co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso. 

CMS Workshops feature four days of intensive workshops, master classes, intimate concerts and informal jam sessions that inspire active listening, personal expression, improvisation and musical exploration. Musicians of any instrument, including voice, are welcome as are non-musicians.  Adults who played music earlier in their lives can benefit from this lifelong learning opportunity that offers participants a once-in-a-lifetime experience to learn from and play with music masters, and to simply spend time with them in an informal, personal setting.  The non-traditional atmosphere of the Creative Music Studio Workshop encourages participants to experiment, push beyond limits, genres and categories, to take risks, and to develop their own deeply personal musical expression.

A typical day at the CMS Workshop is:


8:00 – 9:30                   Breakfast

9:30 – 10:00                    Body Awareness

10:15 – 11:00                  Rhythm/Voice Awareness, including GaMaLa Taki  rhythm practice

11:30 – 1:00                  Master Class/Workshop

1:00 – 2:15                  Lunch

2:30 – 5:00                  All Instruments Workshop

5:15 – 6:30                   Improvisers Orchestra

6:30 – 7:00                  Listening Meditation

7:00 – 8:15                  Dinner

8:30 – 10:00                  Concert with Guiding Artists

10:00 - ?                  Participant concerts and jams, unscheduled sessions


Late night consists of playing music, unscheduled sessions, conversations, bonfires, or simply stargazing at Full Moon’s gorgeous location in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, with the historic Esopus Creek running through the expansive property.

The Creative Music Foundation, a 501C(3) nonprofit corporation, makes it possible to profoundly experience and express our deep connection with the transforming energies of music, our universal language. CMF programs focus on the common elements of all music, emphasizing keen awareness, personal expression, intensive listening and cross-cultural communication, and providing unique opportunities for musicians, students and listeners from different backgrounds and traditions to explore together, share, develop, and broaden their musical understanding and sensitivity. CMF pursues its mission through workshops, residencies, coaching, concerts, recordings and archival projects that engage both listeners and musicians in the USA and around the world.





Sketches of Sound in the Gallery

“SKETCHES OF SOUND FROM THE GALLERY” Friday, November 16th - 8:00PM, Photosensualis Gallery, 15 Rock City Rd, Woodstock NY This series of unique collaborations of world-renowned improvising musicians, is open to concert goers, and all who would like to interpret these sounds in sketches, etc. Special guests join Harvey Sorgen (drums - Hot Tuna), Ingrid Sertso (vocalist/poet), Karl Berger (piano/vibes, and with Ornette Coleman and Ingrid Sertso, founder of the Creative Music Studio), “Sketches” is curated by Harvey Sorgen and Karl Berger, supported by the Creative Music Studio. call 845-679-5695 or contact creativemusicstudio@gmail.com

Residencies and workshops

“RHYTHM IS THE KEY” Gamalataki Rhythm Workshops series continues Tuesdays, from Nov. 13th.  CMS hosts a series of weekly GaMaLaTaKi sessions. Musicians and non-musicians are encouraged to attend the rhythm training sessions from 8:00 - 9:30pm at Photosensualis, Rock City Road. For more information, call: 845 679-5616.

Karl Berger's Improvisers Orchestra

Karl Berger's Improvisers Orchestra at ShapeShifter Lab

7:30 Rehearsal Workshop / 9 PM Performance

Sunday Nov. 18th and Monday Dec. 3rd

Admission: $15, students: $10

 Karl Berger's Improvisers Orchestra is a 20+ players ensembles of extraordinary professional improvisers. Conducted in Karl’s inimitable style, developed at the legendary Creative Music Studio, this orchestra explores original themes, melodies from the world’s folk traditions and compositions written by the likes of Don Cherry or Ornette Coleman, as well as musical ideas that arise spontaneously in solo/duo/trio contributions by the players. Karl introduces a new approach and experience of blending and harmonizing improvised sound. One of the orchestra's trademarks is Ingrid Sertso’s uncanny vocalization and poetry.

“The suite-like performances have a warm, buoyant vibe issuing from brief folkloric-like motifs and the low-key, common-sense guidance Karl offers his players.” says music critic Howard Mandel. And composer Sonia Megias adds: “I love the magical atmosphere that Karl and Ingrid create. For me it’s an oasis in the middle of all these stressful energies that the city brings.”

The players on November 18 include:
Friederika Krier, Sana Nagano, violins, Sylvain Leroux, fula Flute, Yukari Watanabe, alto flute, Harvey Valdes, guitar, John Ehlis, mandolin, Thomas Heberer, trumpet, Yatsuno Katsuki , euphonium, Catherine Sikora, soprano sax, Avram Fever, Michael Lytle, bass clarinet, Welf Doerr, Patrick Brennan, alto sax, Peter Apfelbaum, Stephen Gauci, tenor sax, Bill Ylitalo, picc. flute, bar. sax, Sean Sonderegger, bar. sax, Adam Lane, LIsa Dowling, bass, Hollis Headrick, John Pietaro, percussion, Lou Grassi, drums, Mossa Bildner, vocals, Ingrid Sertso, vocals and poetry. + surprise guests.

contact: creativemusicstudio@gmail.com