All-Star Line-Up Melds Sound and Prose

Saturday, December 2, 2017 8:00 p.m.

Greenwich House Music School, NYC

On Saturday December 2, the Creative Music Studio will present Billy Martin’s Omnispheric Orchestra, an improvising ensemble that weaves prose and sound into a dynamic musical and literary experience. The all-star ensemble includes Billy Martin (percussion), Marty Ehrlich, Ned Rothenberg and Daniel Carter (reeds), Adam Lane (bass), and the poets Ashley August, Mohamad Hodeib, Bob Holman and Nkosi Nkululeko. The performance is at the Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street in Greenwich Village.  Tickets are $20 ($15 students) and are available online and at the door.


 Billy Martin

Billy Martin was born in NYC in 1963 to a Radio City Rockette and a concert violinist. At age 17, he devoted himself to music and dove into Manhattan’s thriving, eclectic musical landscape.In the years to follow, he honed his craft everywhere from Broadway orchestra pits to Brazilian nightclubs and burgeoning underground performance spaces.

 Adam Lane
By combining a disparate set of influences into a unique improvisational voice, Adam Lane has become recognized as one of the most original creative voices in contemporary jazz. His 2006 recording New Magical Kingdom, was recently featured in the Penguin Jazz Guide 1001 Best Records Ever Made, and his most recent recording, Ashcan Ranting received a myriad of critical praise including four stars in Downbeat.
 Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter is an American free jazz saxophone, flute, clarinet and trumpet player active mainly in New York City since the early 1970s. Over the past three decades-plus, Daniel Carter has performed with: Sun Ra, Billy Bang, Roger Baird, William Parker, Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, Simone Forti, Joan Miller, Thurston Moore, Nayo Takasaki, Earl Freeman, Dewey Johnson, Nami Yamamoto, Matthew Shipp, Wilber Morris, Denis Charles, MMW (Medeski, Martin and Wood), Vernon Reid, Raphé Malik, Sam Rivers, Sunny Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, Karl Berger, Don Pate, Gunter Hampel, Alan Silva, Susie Ibarra, D.J. Logic, Margaret Beals, Douglas Elliot and Butch Morris.

 Marty Ehrlich
Marty Ehrlich is celebrating 30 years in the nexus of creative music centered in New York City. He began his musical career in St. Louis, Mo. while in high school, performing and recording with the Human Arts Ensemble. He graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with honors in 1977, where his teachers included George Russell, Jaki Byard, Joseph Allard and Gunther Schuller.

 Ned Rothenberg
Ned Rothenberg has been internationally acclaimed for both his solo and ensemble music, presented for the past 33 years on five continents. He performs primarily on alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet and the shakuhachi – an endblown Japanese bamboo flute. His solo work utilizes an expanded palette of sonic language, creating a kind of personal idiom all its own. In an ensemble setting, he leads the trio Sync, with Jerome Harris, guitars and Samir Chatterjee, tabla, works with the Mivos string quartet playing his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings and collaborates around the world with fellow improvisers. Recent recordings include this Quintet,The World of Odd Harmonics, Ryu Nashi(new music for shakuhachi),andInner Diaspora, all on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, as well as Live at Roulette with Evan Parker and The Fell Clutch, on Rothenberg’s Animullabel.


 Ashley August
Ashley August is an actress, playwright, touring spoken word artist, multipletime Grand Slam Champ, hip­hop junkie, professional shower krumper and NYC’s 2013 Youth Poet Laureate. As an actress, she got her start at 14 in the off­Broadway production of “Love: A Circus in Three Acts” and has since been featured on such great stages as the Apollo, The Great Hall at Cooper Union and The Triad Broadway House. She began her poetic journey in the summer of 2009 at Urban Word NYC where she quickly established herself as a rising star when shebecame a Youth Leadership Board Member, participating in several highly acclaimed competitions, including the Urban Word Grand Slam Finals and the New York Knicks Poetry Slam. In 2012, August landed a spot on the Urban Word Youth Slam team winning a ticket to California to perform at the Brave New Voices national poetry competition. In December of the same year, she was cast in the spirited off­broadway festival Black Ink, where she wrote and starred in her own one woman production, collaborating with award­winning choreographer and director, Nicco Annan.

 Bob Holman
The author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me (Coffee House Press), Bob Holman has taught at Columbia, NYU, Bard and The New School. As the original Slam Master and a director at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, creator of the world’s first spoken word poetry record label, Mouth Almighty/Mercury,and the founder/proprietor of Bowery of the Bowery Poetry Club, Holman has played a central role in the spoken word and slam poetry movements ofthe last several decades. A co­founder and co­director of the Endangered LanguageAlliance, Holman’s study of hip­hop and West African oral traditions led to his currentwork with endangered languages. Holman is the producer and host of various films, including “The United States of Poetry,” and “On the Road with Bob Holman.” His most recent film, “Language Matters with Bob Holman,” winner of the Berkeley Film Festival’s 2015 Documentary of the Year award, was produced by David Grubin andaired on PBS in January. “Language Matters” takes viewers around the world: to a remote island off the coast of Australia where 400 Aboriginal people speak 10 different languages, all at risk; to Wales, where Welsh, once in danger, is today making a comeback; and to Hawaii, where Hawaiians are fighting to save their native tongue. Holman worked with language revitalization centers across Alaska and Hawaii 2015, sponsored by the Ford Foundation. He lives in New York City, where he was most recently Creative Consultant at LINES Ballet in San Francisco and teaches at Princeton University.

 Mohamad Hodeib
Hodeib is a recent graduate from the Lebanese American Universitywhere he studied political science, international studies, andeconomics. Since graduating from university in the spring of 2012 hehas dedicated his time to cultural activism.

 Nkoski Nkululeko
Nkosi Nkululeko has received fellowships from Callaloo, The Watering Hole and Poets House. He has performed for TEDxNewYork and the Aspen Ideas Festival. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and finalist for both the 2016 Winter Tangerine Awards for Poetry and the 2016 Best of the Net anthology. His work is currently published inThe Collagist, Third Coast, Pank,  Apogee, VINYL and more. Nkosi lives in Harlem, New York.

The Creative Music Studio engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression and understanding through workshops, recordings and concerts worldwide.  The Creative Music Studio™ and CMS™ are trademarks of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1971 that receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), among others.  


CMS Improvisers Orchestra Receives Project Support Grant For Second Straight Year

For the second straight year, the Creative Music Studio™  has received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  The $10,000 NYSCA grant will support 2018 repertoire development and performances by the CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra (CIO) conducted by Karl Berger.

 This grant supports the years-long collaboration between CMS and El Taller, the East Harlem Latino community center where the CIO regularly performs. CMS and El Taller will collaborate on performances that highlight Hispanic performers and poets from the community that El Taller serves.

“We’re humbled to receive NYSCA’s support for the second year in a row,” says CMS Executive Director Rob Saffer. “Financial support is crucial for large ensembles such as the CMS Improvisers Orchestra; it provides working New York musicians with both creative and financial opportunities and audiences in this underserved community with access to music not typically heard there.”

The CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra is comprised of 20 – 30 string, horn, reed and percussionists.  It has performed 100 times and has featured special guests from John Zorn and Min Xiao Fen to David Soldier and Valerie Naranjo. Berger’s deft conducting, developed over decades at CMS, blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations and dynamics.


CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra takes the principles of CMS™ Workshops to a professional level with extraordinary results. Through an open rehearsal that precedes each performance, Berger transmits the “Music Mind” concepts he developed at CMS so audiences can see how they shape the sound and feel of the CIO and how musicians harmonize and blend orchestral sounds in an improvisational setting.

The CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra has received widespread critical praise. The Wall Street Journal said the orchestra’s sound “draws on lush harmonies and a well-defined relationship between foreground soloists and background.”  Lucid Culture has remarked that “the camaraderie and warmth of the repartee between the orchestra and conductor – and among the orchestra itself – was visceral,” and noted jazz critic Howard Mandel wrote that the orchestra “can expand on simple themes paying utmost attention to dynamics and each other through ‘intuited communication.’”

The Creative Music Studio engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression and understanding through workshops, recordings and concerts worldwide.  The Creative Music Studio™ and CMS ™ are trademarks of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1971 that receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), among others.