Monday, June 1st, 2015
The Civic Minded 5 and Timucua Arts Foundation
present an Atlantic Center for the Arts Outreach Concert
Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso, Karl Berger’s Improvisers Orchestra
2000 S. Summerlin St., Orlando
Open to the public workshop rehearsal at 3:00 pm
7:00 pm doors and 7:30 pm concert, free admission, all ages welcome
Atlantic Center for the Arts choosing the partnership of Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso as Master Artists in Residence is one of the most logical choices imaginable. Let’s start here: the pair direct Woodstock, N.Y’.s non-profit Creative Music Foundation, started by Berger and Ornette Coleman back in 1971. The pastoral arts foundation had a fervent start including a board consisting of composers John Cage, George Russell, Gil Evans, Gunther Schuller and super-genius writer Buckminster Fuller. Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) has also shared the following artists in residence with Berger and Sertso’s Creative Music Studio: Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Allen Ginsburg, Cecil Taylor, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers and Marilyn Crispell.
Berger and Sertso also have parallels- both from Germany, performing with many of the same artists, moving to the U.S., teaching at progressive learning institutes in North America, and ultimately becoming directors of CMS.
Karl Berger moved into his current mode of operations after internalizing the 1961 Ornette Coleman Quartet opus This Is Our Music. The album cover effectively doubled as a band portrait- one used to identify Coleman trumpeter Don Cherry in Paris jazz club in 1966. The result was pivotal. Berger- a pianist and mallet percussionist- approached Cherry with the idea of playing music. Cherry stated that rehearsals started the next day. That Don Cherry Quintet is heard on the ESP-Disk releases Live at Café Montmartre Vol. 1 and 2. A moderately expanded, yet super-powered septet pairing the quintet’s Gato Barbieri with Pharoah Sanders recorded one of Blue Note Records’ classic “Inside/Outside” discs; Symphony For Improvisers at the now legendary Van Gelder Studios in Engelwood Cliffs, New Jersey. Berger used that opportunity to stay, geographically, in the U.S. underground. Cherry’s musicians were exploring a variation of the Pan-African ecstatic music that John Coltrane was also recording. Equally notable, Blue Note’s Symphony For Improvisers served as an auspice of the direction that Karl Berger, Pharoah Sanders and Gato Barbieri would follow in their later work.
Vocalist and poet Ingrid Sertso became a steady U.S. resident by 1972, recording with Karl Berger and performing with Don Cherry, Sam Rivers, Jimmy Giuffre, Ed Blackwell, Lee Konitz, and others. She became a faculty member at the literary icon Naropa Institute in Boulder, Co., then the Banff Center for Fine Arts, and ultimately Berger’s Creative Music Studio.
The Creative Music Studio remained in full-time operation between 1972 and 1984, serving as a worldwide training institute for World Jazz, incorporating stalwarts such as Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland and Lee Konitz with Brazil’s Naná Vasconcelos, Senegal’s Aiyb Dieng, Japan’s Zen Watazumi-doso, and India’s G.S. Zachdev. A well-known Creative Music Studio-influenced outcome is Codona, the ECM Records act featuring Don Cherry, Naná Vasconcelos and Oregon’s Colin Walcott.
Your workshop and concert (come to both) at Timucua white house feature concepts developed by Berger and Sertso at the Creative Music Studio, El Taller and John Zorn’s The Stone in NYC, Shapeshifter Labs in Gowanus, Brooklyn and other locations. Look for recognizable compositional outlines merged with improvisational soloing and conducted, resonant collective playing more attuned to the World Jazz concepts than to big band or contemporary classical outcomes. At this press time, you can expect voices, percussion, electronics, piano, a dancer, reeds, brass and strings.
Take part in the Timucua instant arts community created at each event by appearing willing – described by composer Anthony Braxton as the “friendly experiencer.” Timucua encourages a small plate dish and a bottle of wine for community distribution. We’ll see you there.