Creative Music Foundation

Music is our common language


CMS Archive Project CD Set Reviewed

The first edition of the CMS Archive Project Selection CD sets, featuring Oliver Lake, Roscoe Mitchell, Musa Suso, David Izenson and many others, was positively reviewed in the in many publications, print and online (and both!), including in Downbeat, Jazziz, New York City Jazz Record and Cadence, among many others.

Find links to these and other reviews here


CMS Gets Credit in NY Times Review

Ben Ratliff of the New York Times gave CMS a positive call-out in a July 31, 2014 review, saying, “The drummer Tyshawn Sorey and the pianist Marilyn Crispell played together as a duo only once before Tuesday night at the Stone. It was a couple of months ago, during a Creative Music Studio Workshop in the Catskills, and it lasted about 20 minutes. The reports were positive, and a video appeared online." 

"Making It Up on Drums, on Piano, on the Fly

Tyshawn Sorey and Marilyn Crispell Improvise at the Stone


“The drummer Tyshawn Sorey and the pianist Marilyn Crispell played together as a duo only once before Tuesday night at the Stone. It was a couple of months ago, during a Creative Music Studio Workshop in the Catskills, and it lasted about 20 minutes. The reports were positive, and a video appeared online. It’s a little compromised. Ms. Crispell is playing a digital keyboard; the subtleties of Mr. Sorey’s drumming are compressed through YouTube audio. What can you do?”

An Incubator of Jazz Improvisation: Karl Berger's Improviser's Orchestra at ShapeShifter Lab

From New York Times April 20, 2013

"Karl Berger, the jazz pianist, vibraphonist and conductor of improvisers, ran a workshop for his orchestra before its performance at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn on Thursday night. He uses a few simple hand signals for duration, attack and pitch, and the musicians wanted to be sure they were interpreting the specifics correctly. But Mr. Berger seemed more concerned with telling them something very general."

Karl Berger’s Improvisers Orchestra Bring Their Lush Sounds to Brooklyn

From Lucid Culture December 8, 2012

“Karl Berger has been a pioneer in large-scale jazz improvisation longer than just about anybody, which explains why his Improvisers Orchestra swings as hard, and interestingly, and often hauntingly as they do...”
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Composer/Arranger/Conductor Karl Berger: A Zen master relishes the here and now

By Shaun Brady, Jazz Times, November 16, 2011

“…in a sense any project in which Berger takes the helm involves playing naked. As a disciple of Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics, as a sideman for Don Cherry’s early ventures into the fusion of jazz and world music, as the eccentric visionary behind the Woodstock-based Creative Music Studio, and now as mastermind and conductor of the Stone Workshop Orchestra, Berger has practiced and encouraged the art of opening oneself to the immediate, shrugging off preconceptions in order to hear the options inherent in the here and now.”


Karl Berger and Ingrid Berger: Interviews by Ted Panken

Interviews by Ted Panken, July 19, 2011

The Downbeat interview, that never made it to Downbeat is on a wordpress blog.


Improvisers’ Paradise Revisited by Howard Mandel

The legacy of the Creative Music Studio persists—if you listen

“…attention to sense perceptions and encouragement of imaginative play remain touchstones of the CMS method, along with study of the rhythmic exercise called GaMaLa Taki (for its syllabic division into three beats, and two), the overtone series and harmonics. “These are more basic, ground level elements of music than Western tradition teaches, starting with pitches written on staffs,” says Berger.“


Jazz Beyond Jazz

By Howard Mandel, Jazz Beyond Jazz, April 21, 2011

“…the study of the fundamental rhythmic exercise “GamalaTiKa,” the overtone series and harmonics offers a young player more direct connection to the “playing” aspect of music than does learning to read scores. This is the kind of pedagogy that could take root all over, encouraging spontaneous, personalized music wherever it reaches. That’s what happened last time, as the generation of CMS participants who emerged included percussionist Adam Rudolph, pianist Marilyn Crispell, tambin flutist Sylvan Leroux, bansuri flutist Steve Gorn, alto saxist Dan Davis, guitarist James Emery … trumpeter Steven Bernstein, multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum and many others. More good music, mixing tradition and creativity, all the time!”


A Ferment of World Jazz Yields a Trove of Tapes

By Ben Ratliff, New York Times, October 21, 2008

“…Its (CMS) instructors were active performers and bandleaders, and they used the school as laboratory and playground. …Certainly the discoveries of the students — there were never more than 30 a term — were matched by the discoveries of the teachers. The studio did not promote one style because its teachers were too stylistically diverse. But a handful of important bands or records would not have happened without the studio as a spur, where the players were introduced to one another and the ideas were hatched.“


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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.

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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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