Remembering Don Cherry” With Guest Soloists Peter Apfelbaum and Graham Haynes

Saturday, September 30 at the El Taller Cultural Community Center, NYC

 The Creative Music Studio™ Improvisers Orchestra, conducted by Karl Berger, will commence its fall season on Saturday, September 30 at the El Taller Cultural Community Center at 215, East 99th Street in Manhattan. This performance features multi-instrumentalist and CMS™ associate artistic director Peter Apfelbaum, cornetist Graham Haynes, violin/viola virtuoso Jason Hwang, percussion wizard Warren Smith, and vocalist/poet Ingrid Sertso. The performance begins at 8:30 with a rehearsal open to ticket holders at 7:00 when listeners gain insights into the unique process that guides the CIO.  Tickets are $20 ($15 students).

In this performance, the CMS Improvisers Orchestra will play themes composed by Don Cherry, including “Om Nu,” “Remembrance” and “Thomas Mapfumo” inspired by the great Zimbabwean musician, as well as Jim Pepper’s “Witchi Tai To.” Cherry was and remains instrumental in the creation of CMS. The New York State Council on the Arts and the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation are generously underwriting this performance.

Since its inception in 2011, the CMS Improvisers Orchestra, comprised of 20 or more string, horn, reed, and percussion soloists, has performed nearly 90 times.  Conducted in Karl’s inimitable style developed over decades at the legendary Creative Music Studio™, the CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra explores Berger’s original compositions as well as melodies from the world’s folk traditions and themes by visionary composers such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, creating a platform for musical ideas to arise spontaneously among the orchestra’s musicians. Karl’s conducting blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations and dynamics.  One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso’s unique vocalizations and poetry.

Additional artists in the CIO include: Jason Hwang, Leonor Falcon, Annemarie Wiesner, strings, Ras Moshe, flute and tenor sax; Sylvain Leroux, fula flutes; Haruna Fukazawa, Bill Horberg, flutes; Gene Coleman, alto flute, Nick Gianni, bass flute, Don Payne, clarinet; Christoph Knoche, bass clarinet; Richard Keene, oboe; Jason Candler, soprano sax; Welf Doerr, Patrick Brennan, alto sax; Bill Ylitalo, baritone sax; Westwood Johnson, trombones; Kenny Wessel, Ted Orr, guitars; Warren Smith, drums, Nicolas Letman, bass percussion; and surprise guests.

CIO will also perform at El Taller on Saturday, October 29 and again on December 8, in a performance showcasing its collaboration with the Chinese pipa virtuoso and composer, Min Xiao Fen. The CIO will perform with the Soldier/Kane Duo on November 25.

The CMS Improvisers Orchestra has received numerous critical reviews. In a glowing review, the Wall Street Journal said the orchestra’s sound “draws on lush harmonies and a well-defined relationship between foreground soloists and background.”  The arts blog Lucid Culture remarked that “the camaraderie and warmth of the repartee between the orchestra and conductor – and among the orchestra itself – was visceral,” and acclaimed jazz critic Howard Mandel wrote that the orchestra “can expand on simple themes paying utmost attention to dynamics and each other through ‘intuited communication.”

CMS Improvisers Orchestra at El Taller; CMS Ensembles at Greenwich House Music School

The Creative Music Studio™ has announced its Fall 2017 series of concerts in New York City with four performances by the CMS Improvisers Orchestra (CIO) conducted by artistic director Karl Berger, along with a series of three ensemble performances curated by CMS associate artistic directors Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein and Billy Martin.

 On Saturday, September 30 the series kicks off when the CIO performs with the Soldier/Kane duo, featuring Dave Soldier (violin) and Jonathan Kane (drums), at El Taller, 215 East 99th Street. There will be a second CIO Soldier/Kane concert at El Taller on Saturday, November 25. All CIO performances begin at 8:30pm, preceded by an open rehearsal for ticket holders at 7pm. Tickets are $20 ($15 students). These CIO concerts are supported through the generosity of the New York State Council on the Arts and the Robert F. Bielcki Foundation.

Peter Apfelbaum

On Saturday, October 7 CMS’ performance series at Greenwich House Music School,(GHMS) 46 Barrow Street (off 7th Ave.), begins with Peter Apfelbaum’s world music project, Song of the Mystic Thread. Utilizing both Western and non-Western instruments and “expanded” tuning, this ensemble plays hypnotic, non-tempered polyrhythmic music and new world folk songs.  In addition to Apfelbaum (woodwinds/de-tuned organ/piano), the group features two leading practitioners of the gyil (traditional Ghanaian xylophone) – master Alfred Kpebesaane and his protege, Brittany Anjou, along with Charlie Burnham (violin/vocals), Mali Obamsawin (bass) and April Centrone (drums/riqq), along with special surprise guests.  All CMS performances at GHMS begin at 8:00pm, and tickets are $20 ($15 students). Advance tickets for this performance are available here.  Tickets are also available at the door.

Min-Xiao-Fen

On Saturday, October 28 the CIO series at El Taller continues with special guest, Chinese composer, vocalist and pipa player Min Xiao Fen, a guiding artist at the CMS Spring Workshop last June. On Saturday, December 9 there will be a second CIO   El Taller concert featuring Min Xiao Fen.

Steve Bernstein

On Thursday, November 2, at GHMS, Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra will present its version of Don Cherry’s rarely performed “Relativity Suite.”  Cherry, who was instrumental in the development of CMS, composed it in 1970 to feature a mix of brass, saxophones, strings, and Indian and Chinese instruments. “This instrumentation crossover perfectly blends with MTO, and the expansive nature of the suite (and Cherry’s musical conception) allows for the band to bring their own sound and rhythm into the composition, while remaining committed to its essence,” said Bernstein. The second half of the concert will feature pieces drawn from MTO’s repertoire, ranging from 1920’s Harlem big band pioneer Cecil Scott, to Prince and whatever else the moment may bring.  The performance begins at 8:00pm, and advanced tickets  ($20/$15 students) are available here and at the door.

     On Saturday December 2, CMS’ GHMS performance will feature Billy Martin’s Omnispheric Orchestra, an improvising ensemble that weaves prose and sound into a dynamic musical and literary experience. The ensemble includes Billy Martin (percussion), Marty Ehrlich, Ned Rothenberg and Daniel Carter (reeds), Adam Lane (bass), and the poets Bob Holman, Ashley August, Mohamad Hodeib and Nkosi Nkululeko, among others to be named later. Advanced tickets are here and will also be available at the door.

The CIO will perform its 100th concert during the run at the El Taller.   Since its inception in 2011, the CIO, comprised of 20 or more string, horn, reed, and percussion soloists, has performed nearly 100 times.  Conducted in Berger’s inimitable style developed over decades at the Creative Music Studio™, the CIO explores original compositions as well as melodies from the world’s folk traditions and themes by visionary composers such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, creating a platform for musical ideas to arise spontaneously among the orchestra’s musicians. Berger’s conducting blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations and dynamics.  One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso’s unique vocalizations and poetry.

The Creative Music Studio™ engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression and understanding through workshops, recordings and concerts worldwide.  The Creative Music Studio™ and CMS ™ are trademarks of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1971.

“In The Spirit of Don Cherry” to be Performed by the CMS Improvisers Octet Led by Karl Berger

Saturday, September 2, 2017, 8:00pm at Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, NY

 

 The revamped Creative Music Studio™ will present In the Spirit of Don Cherry at Woodstock’s legendary Maverick Concerts, Saturday, September 2, 2017, at 8:00. Performed by the all-star CMS™ Improvisers Octet led by Karl Berger, ‘In the Spirit of Don Cherry’ will explore Cherry’s compositions as well as music inspired by him and will use those themes as launching pads for exciting improvisation that weave together jazz, world and contemporary music. Tickets are $5 – $40 and available at the Maverick Concert website.

Six members of the CMS Improvisers Octet played with Cherry: Karl Berger (piano, vibes, leader), Bob Stewart (tuba), Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Peter Apfelbaum (reeds, percussion), Ingrid Sertso (vocals), Graham Haynes (cornet); along with Woodstock’s Tani Tabbal (drums), and Adam Lane (bass).

Noted for his long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, which began in the late 1950s, Don Cherry became a pioneer of world-fusion music in the 1960s. During this period, he incorporated various ethnic styles into his playing and composing. Cherry, who died in 1995, was essential to the creation and development of the Creative Music Studio he inspired many of its methodologies, taught many CMS workshops and founded his legendary group, Codona, at CMS. A suite of his is included in CMS Archive Project Selections Vol. 2, released in 2015.

“This all-star octet of improvisers will play Don Cherry’s compositions and songs, but is not solely a repertory ensemble,” said Karl Berger, CMS’ artistic director. “Don was unique in opening the way to interpreting music from anywhere in the world in very personal and inspiring ways. His music is always great fun to play and to listen to. We feel his presence, loud and clear; Don’s music speaks to us and everyone in engaging and positive ways. His amazing spirit lives on in this ensemble and in the multitude of musical expressions emerging at the Creative Music Studio.”

The octet was founded 12 years ago and is comprised of players who collaborated with Cherry from the 1960s through the 1990s. Karl Berger joined Don’s quintet in 1965 and played on many of Don’s breakthrough recordings such as “Symphony for Improvisers.” Peter Apfelbaum was Don’s music director in the 90s; he and Steven Bernstein played frequently with Don then. Ingrid Sertso performed with Don on many occasions, including on his album, “Multi-Kulti,” and on her album, “Dance with It”; she also wrote lyrics to several of Don’s songs, including “Art Deco.” Bob Stewart and Graham Haynes played extensively with Don, often internationally.

 About CMS: The Creative Music Studio™ engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression and understanding through workshops, recordings and concerts worldwide.  The Creative Music Studio™ and CMS ™ are trademarks of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1971.

Series Features Small Ensembles to Orchestras, From NYC to the Catskills

Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso

May 30, 2017, Woodstock, NY – The enduring spirit if the Creative Music Studio™, nearing its fifty-year anniversary, will be showcased in a month-long series of concerts from New York City to the organization’s home base in upstate New York. The twelve June performances will feature CMS artistic directors – Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso, Steven Bernstein,  Billy Martin and Peter Apfelbaum – in various settings from small ensembles to full orchestras. A complete schedule is below.

Steve Bernstein

The performances commence on Saturday, June 10 with the CMS Improvisers Orchestra at the El Taller Cultural Community Center at 215 East 99th Street in Manhattan. CMS co-founder Karl Berger will conduct the Orchestra, comprised of twenty or more soloists, and this performance will feature percussionist Valerie Naranjo. It begins at 8:30pm with a rehearsal that’s open to ticket holders at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 ($15 students) at the door.

Peter Apfelbaum

Evening performances in conjunction with the CMS Spring Workshop in Big Indian, NY, will take place from June 12 – 15. Each night at 8:15pm, ensembles comprised of the workshop’s Guiding Artists will take the stage in the Full Moon Resort’s intimate Roadhouse.  Artists performing in these four upstate concerts will include: Karl Berger (piano/vibes), Ingrid Sertso (vocal), Peter Apfelbaum (reeds, flutes), Warren Smith (percussion), Min Xiao Fen (Chinese pipa), Joe McPhee (reeds), Tanya Kalmanovitch (viola), Ken Filiano (bass), Angelica Sanchez (piano) and Omar Tamez (guitar). Suggested donation is $20.

On Sunday June 17 at 7:00pm, Karl Berger’s new group, “Together,” will perform at the Falcon in Marlboro, NY. The group features Karl Berger (vibes, piano), Ingrid Sertso (poetry, vocals), Kirk Knuffke (cornet),

Billy Martin

Billy Martin (drums), Kenny Wessel (guitar), Ken Filiano (bass) and special guest, Peter Apfelbaum (reeds, flutes). Suggested donation is $20.

Finally, The Stone in New York City will be home base for CMS and its artistic directors during the week of June 27 – July 2 in a series Karl Berger is curating. Tickets are $20 at the door. The schedule is:

June 27: “Vibes, Voice & Bass” (Ken Filiano, bass; Ingrid Sertso, vocals, poetry; and Karl Berger, vibes, compositions)

June 28: “Hustling Raindrops” (Billy Martin, percussion; Peter Apfelbaum, flutes/reeds; Jay Rodriguez, flutes, reeds; Dana Lyn, violin; and Falu, vocals)

June 29: “Apfelbaum/Rojas/Baptista” (Peter Apfelbaum , woodwinds, keyboards, percussion; Marcus Rojas, tuba, percussion; and Cyro Baptista, percussion, vocals)

June 30: “Sertso/Berger Quintet” (Kenny Wessel, guitar; Ken Filiano, bass; Warren Smith, drums; Ingrid Sertso, vocals, poetry; and Karl Berger, vibes, piano, compositions)

July 1: “The Directors” (Steven Bernstein, trumpet; Peter Apfelbaum, tenor sax, flutes; Billy Martin, drums; Ken Filiano, bass; Ingrid Sertso, vocals, poetry; and Karl Berger, piano, vibes)

July 2 “Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra” (Steven Bernstein, trumpet; Curtis Fowlkes, trombone; Charlie Burnham, violin; Doug Wieselman, clarinet; Peter Apfelbaum, tenor saxophone; Erik Lawrence, baritone saxophone; Matt Munisteri, guitar; Ben Allison, bass; and Ben Perowsky, drums).

The Creative Music Studio engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds and traditions, deepening and transforming their personal experience, understanding and expression of music as a universal language by illuminating its shared elements in workshops, residencies, performances, recording and archival projects throughout the U.S. and around the globe. The Creative Music Studio™ and CMS ™ are trademarks of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1971 that receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), among others. Its website is: creativemusic.org.

Soloists Include Peter Apfelbaum, Graham Haynes, Jason Hwang,
Warren Smith and Steve Swell;
Concert Features Latino Poet Jesús Papoleto Meléndez
And Songwriter Bernardo Palombo

 Woodstock, NY, May 16, 2017 — The Creative Music Studio™ Improvisers Orchestra, conducted by Karl Berger, will perform Saturday night, May 27 at the El Taller Cultural Community Center at 215, East 99th Street in Manhattan. This performance features multi-instrumentalist and CMS™ associate artistic director Peter Apfelbaum, cornetist Graham Haynes, violin/viola virtuoso Jason Hwang, percussion wizard Warren Smith, trombonist Steve Swell and vocalist/poet Ingrid Sertso. The Orchestra will also back Latino poet Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and songwriter Bernardo Palombo. The performance begins at 8:30 with a rehearsal open to ticket holders at 7:00.  Tickets are $20 ($15 students).

Since its inception in 2011, the CMS Improvisers Orchestra, comprised of 20 or more string, horn, reed, and percussion soloists, has performed nearly 90 times.  Conducted in Karl’s inimitable style developed over decades at the legendary Creative Music Studio™, the CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra explores Berger’s original compositions as well as melodies from the world’s folk traditions and themes by visionary composers such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, creating a platform for musical ideas to arise spontaneously among the orchestra’s musicians. Karl’s conducting blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations and dynamics.  One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso’s unique vocalizations and poetry.

In this special performance, the CMS Improvisers Orchestra will accompany “Poet and Prophet of El Barrio,” Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, and icon of Nueva canción and El Taller founder, Bernardo Palombo, as they perform a poem and a song honoring Antonia Martínez Lagares, a college student fatally shot by police in Puerto Rico in 1970 while protesting police violence . The New York State Council on the Arts and the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation are generously underwriting this performance. CIO will also perform at El Taller on Saturday, June 10, in concert showcasing Valerie Naranjo, a marimbist, percussionist, vocalist, and composer who is exploring the relationships between indigenous music in West Africa and popular music in America.

The CMS Improvisers Orchestra has received numerous critical reviews. In a glowing notice, the Wall Street Journal said the orchestra’s sound “draws on lush harmonies and a well-defined relationship between foreground soloists and background.”  The arts blog Lucid Culture remarked that “the camaraderie and warmth of the repartee between the orchestra and conductor – and among the orchestra itself – was visceral,” and acclaimed jazz critic Howard Mandel wrote that the orchestra “can expand on simple themes paying utmost attention to dynamics and each other through ‘intuited communication.’”

Musicians featured in these CMS Improvisers Orchestra performances may include:, Sana Nagano, Richard Carr, Ernesto Llorens violins, Jason Hwang, Leonor Falcon, viola, Tomas Ulrich, cello; Graham Haynes, cornet, Brian Groder, Thomas Heberer, trumpet; Peter Apfelbaum, Ras Moshe, flute and tenor sax; Sylvain Leroux, fula flutes; Haruna  Fukazawa, Gene Coleman, flutes; Andy Laties, shakuhachi; Lee Odom, Don Payne, clarinets; Michael Lytle, Christoph Knoche, bass clarinet; Richard Keene, oboe; Jason Candler, soprano sax; Welf Doerr, Patrick Brennan, alto sax; Bill Ylitalo, baritone sax;; Steve Swell, Rick Maurer, Westwood Johnson, trombones; Michael Gassmann, Ted Orr, guitars; John Ehlis, mandolin; Ken Filiano, Hilliard Greene, Nicolas Letman, basses; Warren Smith, Aaron Latos, Hollis Headrick, percussion; and surprise guests.

The Creative Music Studio engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds and traditions, deepening and transforming their personal experience, understanding and expression of music as a universal language by illuminating its shared elements in workshops, residencies, performances, recording and archival projects throughout the U.S. and around the globe. The Creative Music Studio™ and CMS ™ are trademarks of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1971 that receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), among others.

    

Peter Apfelbaum, Joe McPhee, Warren Smith, Tanya Kalmanovitch, Min Xiao Fen and CMS Co-Founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso To Lead Spring 2017 Workshop

June 12 – 16 Workshop Features Intensive Workshops, Jam Sessions and Intimate Concerts in a Spectacular Mountainside Setting

Creative Music Studio (CMS) associate artistic director Peter Apfelbaum, percussion master Warren Smith, reed player Joe McPhee, Chinese pipa player Min Xiao Fen, violist Tanya Kalmanovitch join CMS co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso as Guiding Artists for the CMS Spring 2017 Workshop intensive, June 12 – 16 at the ear-inspiring Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY.

Register Now

The workshop will be held in conjunction with a second workshop the following week, June 19 – 23, led by Billy Martin, Cyro Baptista, Mark Guiliana, Allen Herman and others (a 25% discount will be offered to those who register for both workshops).

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CMS Receives New York State Council on the Arts Grant for CMS Improvisers Orchestra Performances

WOODSTOCK, NY, December 6, 2016 - The Creative Music Studio™ has received a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  The $5,000 grant will support repertoire development and performances in 2017 by the CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra conducted by Karl Berger.

"We look forward to applying these funds to our 2017 programs’ musician fees," says CMS Executive Director Rob Saffer. "The support of NYSCA and our other funders is vital to growing CMS' public performance activities and providing working New York musicians with both creative and financial opportunities.”

The CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra, conducted in artistic director Karl Berger’s inimitable style developed over decades, is comprised of 20 or more professional string, horn, reed and percussionists.  It explores original compositions by Berger as well as melodies from the world's folk traditions, and themes written by visionaries such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, creating a platform for musical ideas to arise spontaneously among the orchestra’s musicians. Berger’s conducting blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations and dynamics.  One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso's unique vocalizations and poetry.

CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra takes the principles of the CMS™ Workshops to a professional level, with extraordinary results. Through an open “rehearsal” that precedes each performance, audiences can listen and watch as Berger transmits the “Music Mind” concepts he developed at CMS. Audiences can see how Berger shapes the sound and feel of the orchestra and how he gets the musicians to harmonize and blend orchestral sounds in an improvisational setting.

The CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra has received numerous critical reviews. The Wall Street Journal said the orchestra’s sound “draws on lush harmonies and a well-defined relationship between foreground soloists and background.”  Lucid Culture has remarked that “the camaraderie and warmth of the repartee between the orchestra and conductor – and among the orchestra itself – was visceral,” and noted jazz critic Howard Mandel wrote that the orchestra “can expand on simple themes paying utmost attention to dynamics and each other through ‘intuited communication.’”