Back to All Events

CMS Orchestra with special guest Melvis Santa

  • El Taller Latino Americano 215 East 99th Street New York, NY, 10029 United States (map)

The Creative Music Studio 2.0 presents:

Karl Berger and the CMS Improvisers Orchestra

at the new El Taller,  Saturday, December 10, 2016

The CMS Improvisers Orchestra ends its Manhattan fall concerts with a performance on Saturday, Dec. 10, 8:30pm, at the new El Taller Center, 215, East 99th Street.  Since its inception in 2011, this unique Improvisers Orchestra of 25+ professional string, horn, reed, and percussion soloists has performed 85 times. Conducted in Karl Berger’s inimitable style, developed at the legendary Creative Music Studio, the CMS Improvisers Orchestra explores original compositions as well as melodies from the world's folk traditions (African, Indian, Turkish, South American, European etc), themes written by visionaries Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and others, and musical ideas that arise in solo/duo/trio improvisations. The performance is preceded by an open rehearsal/workshop starting at 7pm, where listeners may experience the process of turning themes in improvisations into fully-formed concerts, guided by Karl Berger’s “Music Mind” concept of spontaneous harmonization.

The suite-like performances have a warm, buoyant vibe issuing from brief folkloric-like motifs. These are mostly veteran musicians from avant rock and world music as well as jazz scenes, paying utmost attention to dynamics and each other”, says ‘Beyond Jazz’ writer Howard Mandel.

And the blog Lucidculture compares the CIO “with the phantasmagorical sweep of the Gil Evans Orchestra and the rough-and-tumble bustle of the Mingus bands. The camaraderie and warmth of the repartee between the orchestra and conductor – and among the orchestra itself – was visceral. 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.”

“My emphasis is on musical emotion, that cuts through all concept”s, says Karl Berger. “The sounds of the CIO might lead you to think of music from Ligeti to Fela Kuti, until you give up all comparisons and join the fun, pure and simple.”  

One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso's unique vocalizations and poetry. CIO performances benefit the Creative Music Studio the 45 year old nonprofit Karl and Ingrid co-founded with the late Ornette Coleman.                           (

The performers include: Strings: Sana Nagano, Chern Hwei Fung, Richard Carr, Annemarie Wiesner; clarinets: Lee Odom, Don Payne, Blaise Siwula; bass clarinets: Michael Lytle, Christof Knoche; soprano sax: Jason Candler; alto sax: Welf Doerr, Patrick Brennan, tenor sax: Peter Apfelbaum, Ras Moshe; cbass clar: Bohdan Hilash; bar.sax/picc. flute: Bill Ylitalo; oboe: Richard Keene; trumpet: Thomas Heberer, Aaron Shragge; trombone: Westbrook Johnson; flutes: Sylvain Leroux, Haruna Fukazawa, Bill Horberg, Gene Coleman; bass: Adam Lane, Ken Filiano; drums: Warren Smith; guitar: Kenny Wessel, Mike Gassmann, Ted Orr, Mandolin: John Ehlis, Sam Harmet; keyboards: Bob Bresnan; Vocals/Poetry: Ingrid Sertso.

The Cuban vocalist/composer Melvis Santa will be the guest artist of the evening.        

Tickets are $15.





Earlier Event: November 7
Aaron Shragge and Eli Ashe duo at 65Fen
Later Event: December 11
Second Sunday Series