The Creative Music Studio Story
During the '70- and '80's, the Woodstock-based Creative Music Studio was considered the premier study center for contemporary creative music. Founded in 1971 by Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Ornette Coleman, CMS brought together leading innovators in the jazz and world music communities. Creative musicians came to CMS from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Unprecedented in its range and diversity, CMS was an acknowledged phenomenon in the international music world, providing participants with the rare opportunity to interact personally with the musical giants of improvisation and musical thought on a daily basis.
|"...there was obviously something going [at CMS] on that inspired people. This brought in a number of musicians who were really exploring with ways to integrate non-western music into a jazz context. Practically everyone that has been significant in exploring in that direction passed through CMS, at some point or another."
- Steve Gorn
The concept of Worldjazz was born: the improvisational and compositional expansion of the world's musical traditions. Now one of the main driving forces in many styles of music, this concept was pioneered very early at CMS, guided by authentic leaders. Hundreds of live concerts were recorded, many heralded as landmark performances. Thousands of workshops, master classes, concerts and colloquia inspired a generation of musicians who took with them the ideas, concepts and practices developed at CMS.
CMS closed its year-round facility in 1984, largely due to the restrictive economics of the time. But the music never stopped. The program continued with a schedule of workshops, intensive sessions, and World Jazz Encounters on the road, in Florida, California, Germany, Italy, Brazil, West Africa, India, the Philippines and Japan.
Today, a thriving CMS community lives on in a remarkable network of players in the Woodstock area, in New York and around the world.
With the help of a dedicated crew and supporters, including Deborah Day, Ted Orr, Stanton Warren, Rob Saffer, Ilene Marder, Larry Chernicoff, Bob Sweet, Greg Steltenpohl, Anita Wetzel, and the members of the CMS Orchestra, Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso are working to intensify that network, and develop the CMS Orchestra, Workshop,and Archive programs. Present Board members of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc are: Ilene Marder, Jill Paperno, Rob Saffer, Chris Sarazen, Tom Schmidt, Elena Zang, Ingrid Sertso, Karl Berger.