Creative Music Foundation

Music is our common language

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.

Creative Music Foundation News

CMS Fall Workshop Recap – Another Ear-Bending Experience

Guiding Artists John Hollenbeck, Marty Ehrlich, Steve Gorn, Badal Roy and CMS co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso headlined another spectacular Creative Music Studio workshop in the Western Catskills, framed by blazing fall colors and equally blazing music. They were joined by Kirk Knuffke, Kenny Wessel, Ken Filiano, Harvey Sorgen and Omar Tamez, in addition to over 20 participants, in a fully immersive musical experience. A full recap follows.

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CMS Meets Kickstarter Goal; Project Still Needs $2,000 To Finish

CMS’s Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign raised $4,130 and reached its minimum goal but falling about $2,000 short of what’s needed to complete restoring, preserving, digitizing and re-mastering concert recordings from the CMS Archive. Though the Kickstarter campaign has ended, CMF can still take tax-deductible donations to support the project.

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CMS Opens Workshop Concerts To The Public — Four Concerts September 29 – October 2 Offer Intimate Setting to Hear Marty Ehrlich, John Hollenbeck, Indian Music Masters and More

Over a dozen world-class musicians taking part in the Creative Music Studio’s Fall Workshop, including multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich, drummer/composer John Hollenbeck, and Indian music masters Steve Gorn and Badal Roy, are participating in four concerts Monday, September 29 through Thursday, October 2 at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. The concerts start each night at 8:30 pm in The Roadhouse, an intimate setting to see artists who often play large concert halls that seat thousands. A donation of $20 to CMS is required at the door.

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The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra Performs Its 75th Concert! — Fall Season Kicks Off Wednesday, September 24 at Shapeshifter Lab

The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra kicks off its fall season on Wednesday, September 24 at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn with the 75th performance since its inception in 2011. The KBIO is an orchestra of 30 or more professional string, horn, reed, and percussion soloists who turn improvisational ideas developed in the open workshop/rehearsals at 7:00 pm into fully formed performances that begin at 8:15.

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CMS Kickstarter Campaign Nears September 7 Deadline — Matching Funds Double Donations

As the Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to help fund the Creative Music Studio Archive Project nears its September 7 deadline, a CMS donor has stepped up and is offering to match donations dollar-for-dollar for the first $1,000 raised. The campaign aims to raise $6240 to finish preserving, restoring, re-mastering, and digitizing recordings of over 400 concerts that took place at the Creative Music Studio in the 1970s and 80s.

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Karl Berger Begins 80th Year with Residency at The Stone NYC September 2-7 -- Weeklong Residency Features Solos, Duos, Small Ensembles and The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra

CMF co-founder and artistic director Karl Berger turns 80 in March and begins celebrating over five decades making music with a weeklong residency at The Stone, John Zorn’s lower east side music club. Through performances ranging from solos and duos to small ensemble and orchestras, the September 2 – 7 residency will showcase Berger’s diverse musical interests and talents. Unusual pairings with improvisers such as William Parker, Tyshawn Sorey, Kirk Knuffke, Jason Hwang, Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein and Berger’s musical partner, Ingrid Sertso, will highlight the residency.

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Karl Berger Trio Premieres “Gently UnFamiliar”

Karl Berger’s upcoming trio record, “Gently UnFamiliar,” will be premiered in a live concert at the Falcon in Marlboro, NY, on September 17. The trio, featuring Harvey Sorgen on drums and Joe Fonda on bass, will play music from its upcoming CD release on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. More information is available at

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Marty Ehrlich, John Hollenbeck, Steve Gorn and Badal Roy Join Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso As Guiding Artists for the Creative Music Studio’s Fall 2014 Workshop -- Kirk Knuffke, Theo Bleckmann, Ken Filiano and Kenny Wessel Join Artist List

Composer/multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, composer/drummer John Hollenbeck, Indian music masters Steve Gorn (flute) and Badal Roy (tabla) will join Creative Music Studio Artistic Directors/Co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso as Guiding Artists for the CMS Fall Workshop intensive, September 29 – October 3, at the well-appointed Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. The workshop will follow a new format designed to give participants more time with individual Guiding Artists.

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Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso lead the OMI Improvisers Orchestra

On Sunday, June 20, 2014 Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso lead the OMI Improvisers Orchestra, a unique ensemble of international soloists in an event held at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson NY.

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CMS Spring Workshop Recap: Ears Split, Hearts Open, Minds Blown

The Creative Music Studio’s Spring 2014 workshop took place between June 9 – 13 at Full Moon Resort, nestled streamside in a valley 30 minutes west of Woodstock, NY. Twenty-two participants, from Berlin to Warsaw, Tokyo to Los Angeles, interacted day and night with a dozen CMS Guiding Artists, including Henry Threadgill, Joe Lovano, Tyshawn Sorey, Marilyn Crispell, Peter Apfelbaum, Warren Smith, Judi Silvano, and of course Creative Music Foundation co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso. Intense workshops and breathtaking concerts created a nurturing, inspiring environment.

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CMS Advisory Circle

Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein, Robert Browning, Mark Christman, Marc Epstein, Steve Gorn, Frederic Hand, Klaus Hekking, Laura Kaminsky, Bill Laswell, George Lewis, John Medeski, Roscoe Mitchell, Janine Nichols, Pauline Oliveros, Frederic Rzewski, Alexander von Schlippenbach, John Zorn.

CMS Guiding Artists

The Creative Music Foundation and its educational program the Creative Music Studio were founded by Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso, and Ornette Coleman. CMS was considered the premier study center for creative music in the 70s and 80s. Over 100 Guiding Artists came to CMS to teach, including: Don Cherry, Dave Holland, Carla Bley, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Gorn, Anthony Braxton, Jimmy Giuffre, Wadada Leo Smith, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Pat Metheny, George Lewis, Lee Konitz, Nana Vasconcelos, Trilok Gurtu, Collin Walcott, Oliver Lake, John Cage, Ismet Siral, Ed Blackwell, and Cecil Taylor.

Support the Creative Music Foundation

Please support the Creative Music Foundation’s programs to nurture the next generation of improvising, creative musicians and to preserve and share our music globally. Tax-deductible donations can be made with any credit card via the PayPal donate button below or by mailing a check, payable to “Creative Music Foundation,” and sending it to Creative Music Foundation, PO Box 671, Woodstock, NY 12498.


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