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

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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World Class Musicians Coming to Big Indian NY?! Four Concerts June 9 – 12 Offer Intimate Setting to Hear Joe Lovano, Henry Threadgill, Marilyn Crispell and Many More

Over a dozen world-class musicians, including Joe Lovano and Henry Threadgill, are participating in four concerts Monday, June 9 through Thursday, June 12 at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. The musicians are taking part in the Creative Music Studio’s Spring Workshop and will offer concerts 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. Seating in the Roadhouse is very limited. Lovano and Threadgill, both reed players, composers and bandleaders, will join CMS co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso, in concerts that will also feature musician/educators Marilyn Crispell, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Apfelbaum, Warren Smith and many more.

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Grammy Foundation Awards Grant to the Creative Music Foundation To Digitize and Preserve the CMS Archive

The Grammy Foundation awarded a grant to the nonprofit Creative Music Foundation to help it preserve, digitize and archive the CMS Archive, over 500 concerts conducted at the Creative Music Studio in the 1970s and 1980s. CMF was one of only 16 organizations to receive the prestigious grant. The grant, for $11,600, will help CMF digitize the remainder of its archive, which is being collected and stored at Columbia University’s Library.

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Joe Lovano, Henry Threadgill, and Tyshawn Sorey Named Guiding Artists for CMS Spring 2014 Workshop

The Creative Music Studio continues its resurgence, offering the first of two four-day workshops in 2014 at the well-appointed Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. Master musicians/educators Joe Lovano, Henry Threadgill, Tyshawn Sorey, Marilyn Crispell, Peter Apfelbaum, Warren Smith and Judi Silvano will join CMS Artistic Directors Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso as Guiding Artists for the CMS Spring workshop intensive, June 9 – 13. Registration deadline for is May 19, 2014.

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Music Literacy Project Update – Notes from Guinea, West Africa

CMS alumnus Sylvain Leroux (flutist & saxophonist, etc.) is in Guinea, West Africa, launching a music literacy project he created and funded through a Kickstarter campaign. His project aims to develop a pedagogic music literacy method based on the use of his recently patented invention, the “chromatic tambin.” Sylvain wrote to us with an update from Guinea on how the project is progressing .

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Karl Berger's Improvisers Orchestra Announces Spring Performances at Shapeshifter Lab and El Taller

Karl Berger's Improvisers Orchestra starts its new season at Brooklyn’s Shapeshifter Lab and at El Taller on New York’s Upper West Side, beginning April 3. Founded in 2011, KBIO has performed over 60 times with a revolving cast of nearly 75 professional musicians. Each show features an open workshop/rehearsal, followed by a full performance.

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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

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