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 (Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, et al), composer/interpreters (Pauline Oliveros, Frederic Rzewski) and “world music” fusionists (Olatunji, Nana Vasconcelos) taught through oral transmission in an immersion setting.
The good news emerging from the day-long discussions was that John Zorn has agreed to let Berger start a new Creative Music Orchestra at his East Village performance space the Stone, every Monday night for three months. If it’s a success, the ensemble could be ongoing. Every 7:30 there will be an open rehearsal, followed at 9:30 by a performance of the work rehearsed — all for one low $10 admission.