Creative Music Foundation

Music is our common language

CMS Improvisers Octet Presents 50th Anniversary Tribute to Don Cherry Recordings In Saturday, November 5 NYC Performance

Woodstock, NY, October 7, 2016  – CMS will present a 50th anniversary tribute to Don Cherry’s landmark 1966 recordings featuring the all-star CMS Improvisers Octet led by Karl Berger with a special performance on Saturday, November 5 at Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street (off Bleecker) in Greenwich Village, NYC.  The performance begins at 8:30. Tickets are $20 at the door and include a CMS Archive Project CD.

The CMS™ Improvisers Octet will explore themes from Don Cherry’s visionary recordings from 1965 and 1966, including Symphony for Improvisers, Where is Brooklyn? and Complete Communion. The CMS Improvisers Octet’s “In the Spirit of Don Cherry” performance will use pieces from these timeless recordings as launching pads for improvised interpretations that weave together jazz, world music and contemporary music. The ensemble features six musicians who played with Cherry, including Karl Berger (piano, vibes, leader), Bob Stewart (tuba), Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Peter Apfelbaum (reeds, percussion), Ingrid Sertso (vocals), and Graham Haynes (cornet), along with Tani Tabbal (drums) and Adam Lane (bass). Special guests may be announced at another time.  

Noted for his long association with saxophonist and CMS co-founder 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 last year.

“This exciting, heart-felt music strikes me as being as fresh now as when Don created it more than fifty years ago”, said CMS co-founder/artistic director, Karl Berger, who performed on “Symphony for Improvisers” and who played with Don for decades. “His world-musical approach, which he called ‘multikulti,’ incorporates folk songs and themes from around the world in an absolutely carefree and spontaneous process of collective improvisation and individual expression. No brainy concepts there. Just pure joy on an exalted level of creativity.” 

Greenwich House Music School (GHMS) has been providing high-quality, music education to the people of New York City since 1905. The school has occupied its current location since 1914 and has played an important part in the careers and lives of tens of thousands of students. The distinguished faculty works to ensure students of all ages have the opportunity to experience music through classes and performances, and being at the center of New York’s downtown arts scene allows for an array of renowned artists to become active at the school. Past guests have included John Cage, Jorma Kaukonen, Henry Cowell, Edgar Varèse, Morton Subotnick, Joan La Barbara and Meredith Monk. The school continues to serve the musical needs of students of all ages with private lessons, group classes, ensembles and regular student and faculty recitals. In addition to educating its students, GHMS serves the community with a wide spectrum of concerts and readings in its Renee Weiler Concert Hall, hosts education workshops and meetings for local civic and cultural organizations, and provides rehearsal and performance space for local musicians. 

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