Karl Berger

Genres: Jazz
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


30 March 1935, Heidelberg, Germany. Berger studied piano, musicology and philosophy at his home town university. In 1960, he took up vibes in order to play jazz. After gaining his PhD in 1963 he left for Paris, where he joined Don Cherry’s quintet, with whom he worked for a year and a half. In 1966 he relocated to New York, finding a ready welcome in the free scene. An energetic educationalist, he established a music school (Creative Music Studio) in Woodstock where students were taught by avant garde luminaries, including George Russell, Roscoe Mitchell, John Cage and Sam Rivers, until its closure in the early 80s. Berger continues to record, often in collaboration with his wife, Ingrid Sertso, who is a singer, and has worked as a sideman for artists such as Lee Konitz, Alan Silva, and John McLaughlin.

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