Creative Music Foundation

Music is our common language

Creative Music Studio Archive Project

The CMS Archive Project is a rich, historically important treasury of jazz, world music, and new music from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Creative Music Studio had a magnetic force that drew musical innovators from all over the world, offering the unique opportunity to work with ensembles large and small away from the restrictive climate of the professional music world. 

With its 45-acre campus as the hub of the Creative Music Studio, hundreds of live concerts were recorded, many heralded as landmark performances. These concerts often featured combinations of musicians from jazz, classical and world music traditions who never played together before or after. Ben Ratliff of The New York Times wrote that CMS  and its archive is “.. a definitive history of jazz in the 1970s – a book yet to be written – ought to give it (CMS) central importance.” And as a jazz scholar and archivist puts it, “This archive is a unique collection that documents cross-cultural musical expression, as well as creative improvised and composed music, and it includes many of the most important names in that era. It's imperative that the collection be properly preserved so that scholars, musicians and academics might have access and use it for educational and other purposes. This collection will contribute to our understanding of late 20th century musical streams, and I hope it will be available to inspire musicians in this century as well.”

The Creative Music Foundation has partnered with Columbia University’s Library to preserve the CMS Archive for posterity. CMS is giving Columbia the full archive of recorded tapes, along with memorabilia and photographs from CMS. CMS co-founder Karl Berger and audio engineer (and former CMS participant) Ted Orr are going through each tape, lovingly digitizing them and re-mastering them, a time consuming process that’s as much a labor of love as it is technical.  The digitized, re-mastered recordings will be available at the Columbia University Library for scholars or others who want to enjoy and learn from them.

As part of its nonprofit mission, CMF is offering Guiding Artists who made these rare recordings a digitized version for their unrestricted use free-of-charge! At the discretion of the Guiding Artists, selections of the re-mastered, digitized recordings will be made available in CD compilations to help raise money for the Creative Music Foundation. CMF is partnering with American Composers Forum and its Innova recording label to release these compilations. Each volume will feature three compact discs full of rare recordings divided into small ensemble, orchestral and world music performances. Two volumes will be released annually, beginning in summer 2013.

Since history is a powerful teacher, part of the CMS Archive Project also includes obtaining rich oral histories from the musicians and participants who were at CMS. The CMS Oral History Project is a natural complement to the CMS Archive Project. The CMS Oral History Project is also a partnership with Columbia University and its Jazz and Oral History Departments, as well as with WKCR-FM, Columbia’s radio station.  The goal is for these oral histories to be published on as well as to be made available through Columbia’s resources. Eventually, select oral history interviews will be broadcast on WKCR.  The end result will be vibrant and vital histories of the evolution of jazz, world music and new music.

If you wish to help support the ongoing preservation of these taped recordings, please contribute by visiting the CMF "Support" page

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

comprar cialis farmacia kamagra bestellen in den haag tadalafil in holland kaufen viagra sicher kaufen forum viagra ungarn apotheke purchase cialis in canada can you buy real viagra from canada price of generic viagra in canada sildenafil citrate canada viagra 50 mg prijs