We’re down to the final month!! As we get closer to ISB’s 50th year anniversary, we are jumping back in time with monthly installments featuring each decade in ISB history. All leading to this year’s Convention in Ithaca, June 5-10, 2017!  In this installment we’re channeling 2007-2017.

The ISB held conventions:

Year Location Convention Chair(s) Attendance
2007 Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University (OK) Hans Sturm & John Schimek surpassed 1,000
2009 Penn State University School of Music (State College, PA) Rob Nairn just over 1,300
2011 San Francisco State University (CA) John Kennedy just over 1,300
2013 Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) Kristin Korb; Jeff Campbell & James VanDemark – co-chairs over 1,300; over 30 countries represented
2015 Colorado State University (Ft. Collins, CO) Douglas Mapp & Forest Greenough almost 1,400
2017 Ithaca College School of Music (NY) Nicholas Walker Find out in June!
ISB started:
  • its own publishing arm with ISB Editions in 2008 in order to ensure that selected compositions that were previously commissioned for or winners of ISB competitions, and/or premiered at ISB conventions enter the standard double bass repertoire.
  • a new online store, ISBstore.com, to sell members’ recordings, CDs and more.
  • a Partnership with the Music Teachers Association International for the “Year of Collaborative Music.”
  • a new Members-Only area of the website featuring the George Vance Online Research Library, over 40 years of searchable PDFs of past newsletters and magazines. 
  • a first-ever convention app in 2013, led by ISB intern Allegra Hale.
  • a “Build a Bass in a Week” event, led by luthier Paul Hart. The bass, an international team effort of dozens of luthiers, is raffled off to convention attendees with proceeds benefitting the ISB during the 2015 convention.
  • a mobile-friendly version of website, including Find a Teacher and Find a Luthier directories.
  • a Partner in Education program for bass clubs, competitions and bass-focused events.
  • an international online forum for double bass news. Former ISB president-elect Kristin Korb founded and curated ISBconvention.com, now ISBconnect.org.
ISB experienced changes:
  • Bass World editor Andi Beckendorf passes the baton to new editor Jeremy Baguyos.
  • Jeremy Baguyos becomes editor of the ISB’s Online Journal of Bass Research.
  • Connie Brown becomes editor of Bass World.
ISB celebrated Madeleine:
  • during the 2013 Convention, ISB honored general manager Madeleine Crouch with a CD of music performed by ISB artist members, Dear Madeleine, as a fundraiser for the organization.

Fifty Years goes by in a Flash!

Gary Karr: The Man Who Started it All

“Gary Karr is the first solo double bassist in history to [pursue] a full-time career. Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1962, Gary has performed as a recitalist and as a soloist on six continents. One of Gary’s proudest achievements is the bronze medal he received from the Rosa Ponselle Foundation recognizing him as an outstanding lyrical musician. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria, Canada. Gary received the 1997 Artist/Teacher of the Year Award from the American String Teacher’s Association. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the ISB in 1995, the highest honor bestowed by the organization Gary himself founded in 1967, as well as the ISB’s Special Recognition Award for Teaching in 2001. In 2004, Gary made the incredibly generous gift of the instrument given to him in 1961 by Serge Koussevitzky’s widow to the ISB, and now the Karr-Koussevitzky Bass, as it was named, is made available to the worldwide bass community in residencies and for performances by ISB members. Dozens of Gary’s recordings and books are avail- able at the ISB’s online store, ISBstore.com.” (ISB Calendar, March 2012)

Nicholas Walker: This Year’s 2017 Convention Chair

“Nicholas Walker is a freelance musician and associate professor of music at Ithaca College. He is active in many genres of music – classical and jazz, contemporary and Baroque – giving solo recitals and performing with chamber ensembles and orchestras. Without the generosity and guidance of his mentors, “Well, you would not be reading this now,” says Nicholas. He studied with Mark Foley as a high school student in Rochester, New York, earned his bachelor of arts degree at Rice University with Paul Ellison, and then spent a year in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship working with François Rabbath. Nicholas worked ten years in New York City, where he enjoyed many rewarding collaborations in jazz. He later earned his doctor of musical arts in early music at Stony Brook University studying the viola da gamba. Nicholas is passionate about teaching and works with a dynamic studio of bassists at Ithaca College. Currently on sabbatical leave, Nicholas is studying the German bow and the German language. He and his wife, Katherine, are enjoying this adventure abroad with their two young daughters. In his rare free time Nicholas enjoys playing golf and connecting with friends.” (ISB Calendar, May 2013)

A Look Back on Conventions of the Decade

2007 Convention

Tom Knific, John Clayton and Jacek Niedziela burned it up!

(Bass World, Volume 31, Issue 2)
2009 Convention

John Kennedy with the Young Bassists Orchestra

(Bass World, Vol. 33, Issue 2)
2011 Convention

David Murray, left, presents Gary Karr with a mosaic bass on behalf of the ISB (photo by Judy Kirtley) (Bass World, Vol. 35, Vol. 2)

2013 Convention
The ISB honors Madeleine Crouch’s years of service to the ISB with a CD of great bass tunes specially made for her!
2015 Convention
 
Build a Bass in a Week Team
Led by Paul Hart:
BLA BLA Group
(“Brotherhood of Loosely Associated Bass Luthiers of America”)
Sponsored by Upton Bass
(Bass World, Vol. 38, Issue 2)

Remembering Jane Little: 1929-2016

Jane Little orch press
Jane Little orch press
Jane Little orch press

“Jane Little, assistant principal bass emeritus with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the longest tenured orchestra musician in the world, died May 15, 2016. She fainted onstage during an encore to the evening’s pops concert and never fully regained consciousness. She was 87 years old. A charter member of the Atlanta Youth Symphony, forerunner of the Atlanta Symphony, she made her debut as a bassist at age 16 after two years of studying bass in high school and never stopped. She played under all four of the orchestra’s music directors as well as guest conductors including Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Pierre Boulez, Leopold Stokowski, Sir John Barbirolli, and James Levine. An Atlanta native, she attended the University of Georgia. She was principal bass with the Theater of the Stars orchestra for 15 years, and played extensively with regional ballet and opera companies, as well as in touring performances of the American Ballet Theatre, Covent Garden Ballet, and the Boris Goldovsky Opera Theatre. While playing in the symphony, she met her future husband, Warren Little, who played the flute. “I must say that when I met Warren, I was very impressed that he played a small instrument,” said the elegant, 4-foot, 11-inch, 98 pound musician in an interview, “so he could carry my bass around!” “She seemed to be made of bass resin and barbed wire. She was unstoppable,” said her section mate Michael Kurth, who was playing next to her when she collapsed. “I honestly thought I was going to retire before she did,” he told The Washington Post on Sunday night. The ISB will honor Jane Little and her many achievements by giving first prize in its 2017 orchestral bass competition in her name.” (Bass World, Volume 39, Issue 1, 2016)

And the Grammy Goes to… (Pre-2017)

Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke

  • 2011 | Best Jazz Instrumental Album | Forever | Chick Corea, Lenny White & Stanley Clarke, artists. Bernie Kirsh, Brian Vibberts & Buck Snow, engineers/mixers. Chick Corea, Lenny White & Stanley Clarke, producers.
  • 2010 | Best Contemporary Jazz Album | The Stanley Clarke Band | The Stanley Clarke Band (Ronald Bruner Jr., Stanley Clarke, Hiromi, Ruslan Sirota), artist. Dennis MacKay & Gerry “The Gov” Brown, engineers/mixers. Lenny White, producer.
John Clayton

John Clayton

  • 2007 | Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) | I’m Gonna Live Till I Die | John Clayton, arranger.
Robert Hurst

Robert Hurst

  • 2012 | Best Pop Instrumental Album | Impressions | Chris Botti, Robert Hurst
    artists. Allen M. Sides, engineer/mixer. Bobby Colomby, producer.
  • 2012 | Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album | Kisses on the Bottom | Paul McCartney, Robert Hurst artists. Al Schmitt, engineer/mixer. Tommy LiPuma, producer.
  • 2009 | Best Classical Crossover Album | Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace | Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Hurst artists. Richard King, engineer/mixer. Steven Epstein, producer.
Christian McBride

Christian McBride

  • 2015 | Best Improvised Jazz Solo | Cherokee | Christian McBride, soloist.
  • 2014 | Best Jazz Instrumental Album| Trilogy | Chick Corea Trio (Brian Blade, Chick Corea & Christian McBride), artists. Bernie Kirsh & Brian Vibberts, engineers/mixers.
  • 2011 | Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album | The Good Feeling | Christian McBride Big Band (Christian McBride), artist. Joe Ferla, engineer/mixer.
  • 2009 | Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group | Five Peace Band – Live | Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band (Vinnie Colaiuta, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin), artists. Bernie Kirsh, Brian Vibberts & Sven Hoffman, engineers/mixers.
Edgar Meyer

Edgar Meyer

  • 2014 | Best Contemporary Instrumental Album | Bass & Mandolin | Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile, artists. Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile, producers. Richard King & Dave Sinko, engineers/mixers.
  • 2012 | Best Folk Album | The Goat Rodeo Sessions | Stuart Duncan, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile, artists. Richard King, engineer/mixer. Steven Epstein, producer.
Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding

  • 2012 | Best Jazz Vocal Album | Radio Music Society | Esperanza Spalding, artist. Joe Ferla & Fernando Lodeiro, engineers/mixers. Esperanza Spalding, producer.
  • 2012 | Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) | City of Roses | Thara Memory & Esperanza Spalding, arrangers.
  • 2010 | Best New Artist | Esperanza Spalding, artist.
Ben Williams

Ben Williams

  • 2012 | Best Jazz Instrumental Album | Unity Band | Pat Metheny Unity Band (Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams), artist. James Farber & Pete Karam, engineers/mixers
Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten

  • 2012 | Best Tropical Latin Album | Retro | Marlow Rosado Y La Riqueña (Marlow Rosado), artist. Victor “Sonny” Hernández, engineer/mixer.
  • 2008 | Best Pop Instrumental Album | Jingle All The Way | Béla Fleck & The Flecktones (Jeff Coffin, Béla Fleck, Future Man, Victor Lemont Wooten), artist. Richard Battaglia & Robert Battaglia, engineers.
  • 2008 | Best Latin Urban Album | Los Extraterrestres | Wisin y Yandel (Juan Morera, Llandel Veguilla), artist. Mario So, engineer. Ernesto Padilla & Victor Martinez, producers.

ISB Welcomes Cuban Bassists!

Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba takes a bow at Teatro Nacional for CubaDisco 2016

“Basses everywhere! At La Casa del Músico, Ranchón, Havana”

“Alan [Lewine] with bassist Yisel Correa Villalón in the casa particular where we stayed and rehearsed”

“Hanging with the Bass Section – Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba, Alfredo Averhoff second from left ([Lewine] in hat)

“In two weeks we barely scratched the surface of Havana, and the rest of the largest island in the Caribbean awaits our discovery. Most important for the ISB, we have another country and 19 new members on our roster. [Alan Lewine has] to extend the gratitude of the Cuban bassists we met for the equipment so generously donated by many ISB members, and for the memberships offered on “scholarship” to these fine musicians with so few resources. We hope to return in December for the International Jazz Festival, and bring more supplies for bassists (and ride in some more old cars), but until then, saludos cordiales and bass love to our newest ISB members.” (Bass World, Vol. 39, Issue 1)

The ISB Goes Online!

ISB Connect

ISB Connect

There’s a countdown leading up to the convention! How much time is left? This site includes: Convention Recap, News/Resources, ISB Event Hub, Store, & more!
ISB FB

ISB FB

The International Society of Bassists’ Facebook Homepage. Features: Photos & Videos & Links to The Official Store and Events.  Like us today!
George Vance Online Research Library

George Vance Online Research Library

Your source for viewing 50 years worth of magazine publications, 40 years of convention programs, 30 years of ISB Calendars & 25 years of newsletters!

Help us celebrate the ISB's 50th Anniversary

Jarrett Bastow
Jarrett Bastow

Jarrett Bastow is the ISB's intern for the spring 2017 semester as part of his degree plan for earning his Master of Arts Leadership and Administration from Colorado State University. Jarrett is the mastermind behind our popular "Blast from the Past" emails celebrating the ISB's 50th anniversary. He earned his Master in Music Performance in 2013 from Northwestern University. He is currently personnel manager of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, where he also serves as principal bass. Jarrett is also a section bass with the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Symphony Orchestra and subs for the Tulsa Opera, Shreveport (Louisiana) Symphony Orchestra, the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra and The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The ISB is fortunate to have him on its team this spring - thanks, Jarrett!