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Karl Berger (composer/piano/vibraphone) is a six-time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, recipient of numerous Composition Awards, including commissions by the NEA, NYSCA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many European radio and television stations. He 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, 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 the Atlantic, Axiom, Black Saint, Blue Note, Capitol, CBS, Columbia Double Moon, and many others.
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.