Jason Kao Hwang / Karl Berger

I want to thank the moment and circumstance in time that got us together for this music.
– Karl Berger

Karl Berger (composer/piano/vibraphone) is a six-time winner of the DownBeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist. He is also the recipient of numerous composition awards, including commissions by the NEA, NYSCA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many European radio and television stations. He has recorded and performed internationally with Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Sertso, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Ray Anderson, Carlos Ward, Pharoah Sanders, James Blood Ulmer, Hozan Yamamoto, and many others. Founder and director of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., and creative leader of the Creative Music Studio, Karl’s recordings and arrangements appear on many labels, including Atlantic, Axiom, Black Saint, Blue Note, Capitol, CBS, Columbia, and Double Moon.


It was a crisp, sunny March afternoon when I drove up to Woodstock to record with Karl in his home studio, which is named after his wife, Ingrid Sertso, a great vocalist. Having played in Karl’s Creative Music Orchestra, we were familiar with each other and understood that our music of that day would be spontaneous and unpredictable, as life is. Without written score or any predeterminations we opened ourselves to each other into the unified mystery and light conjured within each of these journeys for which I am grateful. – Jason Kao Hwang

The music of Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) explores the vibrations and language of his existence through compositions of transformative journeys. He currently leads the octet Burning Bridge, quintet Sing House, and the Critical Response and Human Rites trios. In 2019, 2013 and 2012 the El Intruso Jazz Critics Poll voted him Violinist of the Year. The 2012 DownBeat Critics’ Poll voted Mr. Hwang as Rising Star for Violin. As composer, Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, and the NEA. As violinist, he has worked with Tomeka Reid, William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris, Oliver Lake, Henry Threadgill, Reggie Workman, Ivo Perlman, Patrick Brennan, and many others.