RIP: Karl Berger, 1935-2023

Avant-garde jazz musician and composer Karl Berger has transitioned. He co-founded the Creative Music Institute in Woodstock with his wife, Ingrid Sertso, and the late Ornette Coleman. He worked with Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, Sam Rivers, and Pharaoh Sanders. He was recognized as a maestro by musicians in the pop and rock world as well. Through Bill Laswell, he contributed to recordings by Angelique Kidjo, Natalie Merchant, and Better Than Ezra.

Photo by Rudy Lu

He was noted for playing the vibraphone and piano. He has been active as a sideman as well as a leader. Locally he was active as a member of  Chris Pasin’s Ornettiquette and has played in Troy and other bands in the Hudson Valley. His personal contributions to the rich diversity of music in Upstate NY and the world will be missed but will continue through his students and his collaborators.

Photo by Rudy Lu
  1. Harry Miller says

    So sorry to hear this. I spent time at the Creative Music Studio in 82 and 83 and have nothing but positive memories. I didn’t get a lot of what he was saying at the time, but over the years it made more sense. RIP Karl

  2. zim funsten says

    I loved Karl and worked with him closely but I resent the term transitioned

    Karl would have a had a good laugh at that term .

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