WMU News

Nearly 1,000 bassists come to WMU campus

June 1, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Close to 1,000 bassists from around the globe are expected to strum their way into town next week when the International Society of Bassists stages its biennial convention at Western Michigan University.

The convention, June 6-11, is the largest, most comprehensive gathering of its kind. More than 900 bass players are expected to attend from more than 30 countries.

"It is a tremendous honor to bring one of the world's great musical gatherings to Kalamazoo and WMU," says Tom Knific, WMU professor of music and director of the University's Jazz Studies program. "Our past sites have been the likes of Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities,"

Knific, who serves as ISB president-elect, played a key role in bringing the convention here and says a litany of activities is planned.

More than 100 events are scheduled during the convention, while six competitions will be staged, including solo, orchestra, young bassists and jazz division, as well as a competition for makers of basses and bows. Event offerings include performances and master classes by international and local luminaries alike. They include Franco Petracchi, Ron Carter, Nico Abondolo, John Clayton, Thomas Martin, Drew Gress, Barre Phillips, Rufus Reid, Larry Gray, Mark Helias, Francois Rabbath, Knific, Mark Dresser, Rodney Whitaker, Kristin Korb, Bill Mays, Jerry Bergonzi, Tim Froncek, Brian Bromberg, Gene Bertoncini, Glen Moore, Nancy King, Sunny Wilkinson, Dennis Trembly, Daniel Marillier, Catalin Rotaru, Frank Proto, The Western Jazz Quartet and many more.

But that's not all. Ten world premieres will be presented, and a young bassists program will feature instruction by the convention's elite faculty. Afterglow sessions will be held nightly at The Union Cabaret and Grill on the Kalamazoo Mall.

The ISB was founded by the world-renowned virtuoso Gary Karr in 1967. With some 3,000 members in more than 40 countries, the ISB is an organization for those who teach, study, play, repair, build and enjoy the double bass. The ISB is a forum for communication among bassists throughout the world and across a wide variety of musical styles. Every two years the ISB holds an international convention with multiple double bass competitions, a composition contest and now a maker's competition.

Performances and fees

Members of the general public can feast on any or all of the performances. A $15 ticket for any evening June 6-11 will give the holder access to both the 8 and 9 p.m. concerts. Tickets to a choice of either of two 5 p.m. concerts, running June 7-11, are $10 each. An all-day pass is $50, and an all-week pass is $255. Reduced prices are offered to seniors and students. Most performances are in Dalton Center Recital Hall, while some 5 p.m. concerts are in Dalton Center Multimedia Room.

A list of individual performances, all in Dalton Center Recital Hall unless otherwise noted, follows. For more concert information, call (269) 387-5815.

June 6

8 p.m.--Solo competition winner's recital

9 p.m.--Jazz competition winner's concert

June 7

5 p.m.--"Siena" concert with Tom Knific

5 p.m.--Recital by Catalin Rotaru, (Multimedia Room)

8 p.m.--Recital by Dennis Trembly

9 p.m.--Glen Moore concert with Nancy King

June 8

5 p.m.--"Eclectic Bass" with Patrick Neher (Multimedia Room)

5 p.m.--Recital by Frederick Charlton of Bach's unaccompanied violin partitas

8 p.m.--Recital by Franco Petracchi with guest Nico Abondolo

9 p.m.--Duo concert with John Clayton and Gerald Clayton

June 9

5 p.m.--Recital by Stefano Sciascia

5 p.m.--Performance of "Linear Surroundings" by Rufus Reid (Multimedia Room)

8 p.m.--Recital by Daniel Marillier

9 p.m.--Brian Bromberg concert

June 10

5 p.m.--Martin Wind in concert (Multimedia Room)

5 p.m.--Recital by Christine Hoock, "Contrabajisimo"

8 p.m.--Francois Rabbath concert

June 11

3 p.m.--Kristin Korb Trio concert with Todd Johnson (Multimedia Room)

5 p.m.--Theater piece by Frank Proto (Multi-Media Room)

5 p.m.--Duo concert with Diana Gannett and Volkan Orhon

8 p.m.--Jazz concert with the Ron Carter Quartet

For more information concerning accommodations and convention registration, visit the International Society of Bassists Web site at <www.isbworldoffice.com> or call (972) 233-9107, Ext. 204.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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