Creative Music Studio, Woodstock at Columbia U and East Village

My CityArts - New York column is about the Creative Music Symposium, organized by Karl Berger, pianist/vibist with his wife Ingrid Sertso, who cofounded with free-thinking Ornette Coleman of the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock NY (1972-1984). The symposium at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies (directed by trombonist and digital music innovator George E. Lewis, once a CMS student/participant) last weekend dipped into the history and practices of the CMS, a paradise where cross-genre visionary improvisers … [Read more...]

Best American city for jazz? Chicago

I'm a Chicago homie -- long removed but never really gone -- so don't expect objectivity, but a recent visit proved my native metropolis is #1 in America and maybe everywhere for its active, creative, meaningful, almost-economically-viable, neighborhood-rooted, exploratory and world class jazz. I say this even as my dearly adopted New York City kickstarts as freshly energized a fall season as any I recall.Jazz is the lifeblood of Chicago in a way it ain't in NYC, at least not right now. Jazz-soul-blues is Chicago's street music. Chicago's … [Read more...]

Today’s the day NYC goes beyond jazz

On September 17,New York kicks off a fall season more highly charged with new creative energies than any in memory. An army of mostly young, skilled, ambitious and devoted musicians is making itself heard in the East Village, Soho, Brooklyn, on the Lower West Side and in the clubs -- while benevolence is cast by the first ever performance -- at last -- of Ornette Coleman at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Sept. 26. … [Read more...]