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Venue:
International House Philadelphia3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $12 General Admission
Sponsored by:
Sunday, May 9, 2010 - 8:00pm

Karl Berger's In the Spirit of Don Cherry

Composer Portrait: Don Cherry

Karl Berger, vibraphone + piano
Dave Ballou, trumpet
Peter Apfelbaum, tenor saxophone
Kenny Wessel, guitar
Ingrid Sertso, vocals
Mark Helias, bass
Tani Tabbal, drums

Pianist/vibraphonist Karl Berger, a long-time associate of Cherry’s and founder of the Creative Music Studio where Cherry developed many of his musical treasures, will present an all-star ensemble featuring musicians who performed and studied with the late innovator. Berger’s “In the Spirit of Don Cherry” will carry the exuberant quality of Cherry's music while performing early Cherry compositions including “Symphony for Improvisers”, the seminal 1966 recording in which Berger participated.

Pianist, vibraphonist, composer and arranger Karl Berger (b.1935) is a six time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, and recipient of numerous composition awards including commissions by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. Together with Ornette Coleman and Ingrid Sertso he founded the legendary Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. Berger is known for his collaborations with Carla Bley, Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Sam Rivers, Pharoah Sanders and the Globe Unity Orchestra. He is also noted for his innovative arrangements of recordings by Jeff Buckley, Natalie Merchant, The Cardigans, Bootsie Collins, The Swans, and Sly + Robbie; and for his collaborations with producers Bill Laswell, Alan Douglas, Peter Collins, Andy Wallace, Craig Street and Alain Mallet.

This all-star ensemble includes Peter Apfelbaum, Don Cherry's music director and associate for years and member of the Trey Anastasio Band, Jazz Mandolin Project and Levon Helm Band; Bob Stewart, best known for his work with Cherry, Charles Mingus, Taj Mahal and McCoy Tyner; Mark Helias, who started his career performing with Cherry, Anthony Braxton and Dewey Redman, and continues to lead his own trio Open Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey; and Graham Haynes, son of jazz drummer Roy Haynes and member of Steve Coleman's Five Elements. In addition, the ensemble features Ingrid Sertso, a captivating, adventurous vocalist, capable of blending jazz, African, South American and other world-beat influences into a distinctive, hypnotic sound. Ingrid was Cherry's favorite singer/poet. He asked her to write the lyrics to his famed song Art Deco, which is part of the repertoire of “In the Spirit of Don Cherry".

Pre-concert discussion (6-7pm) with John Szwed, Karl Berger, Mark Helias and Peter Apfelbaum

Please join Ars Nova Workshop for a free public discussion between Karl Berger and John Szwed.

John Szwed is Professor of Music and Jazz Studies at Columbia University, and director of the web site JazzStudiesOnline.org. He is also John M. Musser Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, African American Studies, and Film Studies at Yale University. He graduated with a PhD from Ohio State University, and his work as an anthropologist and folklorist includes research in Newfoundland, the Georgia Sea Islands, and Trinidad. As a musician, he played professionally for a number of years. He has taught at Swarthmore College, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania (where he was Director of the Center for Urban Ethnography and Chair of the Program in Folklore), and in 2003-04 and 2005-2007 he was Louis Armstrong Professor of Jazz Studies at Columbia University. Szwed has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and in 2006 was awarded a Grammy for Doctor Jazz, a book included with Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax.

His other books include Afro-American Anthropology; After Africa, Folk Songs and Their Makers; Afro-American Folk Culture: An Annotated Bibliography; Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra; Jazz 101; So What: The Life of Miles Davis; The Future of Jazz; Crossovers: Essays on Race, Music, and American Culture; Blues for New Orleans: Mardi Gras and America's Creole Soul; and the forthcoming biography, Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World. As a journalist he has written for the Wire, Village Voice, New York Times, Washington Post, The Jazz Review, and other publications.