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

Amir ElSaffar, Steven Bernstein, Warren Smith and CMS Co-Founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso To Lead Spring 2015 Workshop, June 8-12

Composer/multi-intrumentalist/vocalist and educator Amir ElSaffar, composer/trumpeter/bandleader and CMS veteran Steven Bernstein, and percussion master Warren Smith join Creative Music Studio Artistic Directors/Co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso as Guiding Artists for the CMS Spring 2015 Workshop intensive, June 8 – 12, at the ear-inspiring Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY.

more details

Autographed Ornette Coleman Photo Fundraising Campaign

To help incentivize year-end, tax-deductible donations to the nonprofit Creative Music Foundation, six stunning, signed and numbered limited edition 17”x22” photos of Ornette Coleman from 1969 are now available. Elliott Landy, the legendary Woodstock photographer and long time CMS supporter, is generously donating six high-quality prints for CMF to use for fundraising. Both Ornette and Elliott have signed them!

more details

The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra Performs Its 78th Concert! — Thursday, November 20 at The Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY

The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra continues its fall season on Thursday, November 20, at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn with the 78th 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.

more details

CMS and Karl Berger Recordings Reviewed

Downbeat Magazine (December 2014) reviewed the first recordings from the CMS Archive, CMS Archive Selections Vol. 1 (Innova). And, Karl Berger’s recent trio CD, “Gently Unfamiliar” (Tzadik) and his duets with Ivo Perelman, “Reverie” (Leo), were reviewed in the November, 2014 issue of the NYC Jazz Record.

more details

CMS Premieres Music from the CMS Archive Project; Open Studio Listening Session at 4pm on Sunday, November 23

The Creative Music Studio will host an ‘Open Studio’ Listening Session where music from its archive of over 550 rare concert recordings made in Woodstock in the 1970s and 1980s will be played. A Q&A with CMS co-founder and artistic director, Karl Berger, will follow and light refreshments will be served. The Open Studio Listening Session, Sunday, November 23 from 4:00 – 5:30pm is free and open to the public. It will take place at CMS’s studio in Woodstock. Seats are limited and an RSVP is required (845-679-8847) or

more details

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.

more details

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.

more details

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.

more details

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.

more details

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.

more details

Search CMF website


Subscribe to our Newsletter

CMS Advisory Circle

Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein, Robert Browning, Mark Christman, Marc Epstein, Ken Filiano, 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, Michael Shore, John Zorn.

CMS Archive CDs For Sale

CMS recordings for Sale

The second limited edition 3-CD set from the CMS Archive Project features rare small group, large ensemble and world music gems from Don Cherry, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Collin Walcott and many more. It's just $25.

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 or DAF Direct donation box below -- or by mailing a check, payable to “Creative Music Foundation,” and sending it to Creative Music Foundation, PO Box 671, Woodstock, NY 12498.


Creative Music Studio Workshop - Spring 2016

CMS is Grateful for Generous Support From:

New York City Council on the Arts

Robert D. Bielecki Foundation logo