is the Professor of Bass (European Classical and Jazz), Jazz History, and Combo Improvisation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chicago born, Richard Davis came to the UW in 1977 after spending twenty-three years in New York City establishing himself as one of the world’s premier bass players. Downbeat International Critic’s Poll named him Best Bassist from 1967-74. He took the same honors from that publication’s Readers’ Poll for seven consecutive years. A virtuoso, highly respected in any jazz style, he has worked with a long and stellar list of artists. He has made over a dozen albums as a leader and featured artist for various record labels, including the much praised Epistrophy and Now’s the Time (MUSE). Some of his performance/recording credits include Ben Webster, Sarah Vaughan, Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, John Lennon, Miles Davis, and a host of other notables. Mr. Davis is equally at home in the world of classical music, having played under the batons of Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, Gunther Schuller, and Leonard Bernstein. His great versatility as a bassist keeps him in constant demand for worldwide concert appearances. For over thirty years he has drawn enthusiastic audiences in Europe, Russia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the West Indies, Hong Kong, and Israel. The promotion of Richard’s 1987 album and compact disc, Persia My Dear (DISC UNION), with Sir Roland Hanna & Frederick Waits, takes the ensemble frequently to Japan, where in the past decade, his popular following has elevated him to superstardom. Richard Davis & Friends is an extraordinary All-Star Quintet led by this internationally renowned bassist. Among the “Friends” of Richard Davis are some of America’s most illustrious jazz artists. In the rhythm section, Richard is most often joined by the consummate pianist, Sir Roland Hanna and the dynamic percussionist, Ronnie Burrage, both of whom share Davis’s mastery and conception. Two of the brightest young stars in jazz today complete the ensemble: the brilliant trumpeter, Cecil Bridgewater, and the critically acclaimed tenor saxophonist, Ricky Ford. This group has recorded two recently released compact discs.
currently teaches at St. Ambrose University (IA) and served as Visiting Professor of Bass at the University of Michigan in 2011. During the 2010-2011 season, Philip was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. In addition, Philip is the Associate Principal Bass of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and regularly performs with Ensemble Dal Niente, the Flint Symphony Orchestra, and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. Philip has participated in numerous summer music festivals, including Spoleto Festival USA, Lucerne Festival Academy, Oaxaca Instrumenta Verano, Britten Pears Programme, Pacific Music Festival, Mackinac Island Music Festival, Bay View Music Festival and Aspen Music Festival. While at the University of Michigan, Philip was a fellow at the Center of World Performance Studies, which supported his study of tango performance in Buenos Aires. Philip graduated from Oberlin before completing a MM at the Yale School of Music and a DMA from the University of Michigan. He is grateful to have studied with and been mentored by Peter Dominguez and Diana Gannett.
teaches at Wheaton and Elmhurst Colleges the Music Institute of Chicago, and the Suzuki School of Elgin. Summers find her teaching at Suzuki instutes which this year include Snowmass, CO, New Orleans, and Cleveland, and Stevens Point, WI . A Board Member of the International Society of Bassist, she also edits their journal’s Child’s Play Column. As a member of the Suzuki Bass Committee she is collaborating on creating materials for the Suzuki Bass Method. Most recently she has become a Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She holds two performance degrees from Indiana University and has studied with Julius Levine, Murray Grodner, and Georg Hortnagel. Her performances have taken her throughout the United States as well as Europe and Japan.
grew up in Milwaukee playing with his father, pianist and singer Frank DeMiles. His teachers included Bernard Stepner, Clyde Russell, Willard Feldman, and Mitchell Covic. Peter went on to study with Roger Ruggeri and Richard Davis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earn his baccalaureate and masters degrees. In 1980 he was the first recipient of the Milton J. Hinton scholarship competition award and continued doctoral studies with Dr Lucas Drew at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. Eventually securing positions in both the Florida Philharmonic and Michigan State University, Peter chose MSU, served as Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies 1984-96, and was instrumental in developing their Jazz Studies program. During his Michigan years, he continued his studies with Robert Gladstone. Peter is currently Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and is on the board of the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassist and co- coordinates the foundation’s annual conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Having pursued for 40 years double bass performance practice in a variety of musical styles and appeared in venues throughout the Americas and Europe, Peter has performed with the Miami String Quartet, the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, the St. Petersburg Quartet, the Roycroft Chamber Players, The Fontana Chamber Players and as principal bass with the American Sinfonietta (10 years), Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra (12 years), Jackson Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, and as section bassist with the Miami Chamber Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Peter has also appeared in Jazz performances with Benny Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Jon Hendricks, J.J. Johnson, John Lewis, Mark Murphy, Woody Shaw and Ira Sullivan. His CD entitled ‘How About This” features drummer Billy Hart and pianist Rick Germanson. More information can be found at peterdominguezmusic,com
now Professor Emerita of Bass at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, moved to Michigan in the Summer of 2001. Previously, she was Professor of Bass at University of Iowa after years of teaching and performing on the east coast. Other appointments include the faculties of Yale University School of Music and the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, the Oberlin College Conservatory in Ohio, and the University of South Florida in Tampa. For many years she held the position of principal double bass at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Diana Gannett first studied the double bass with Dr. Eldon Obrecht of the University of Iowa, where she earned her baccalaureate degree. She also studied with Stuart Sankey at Aspen Music Festival and with virtuoso Gary Karr at Yale. While at Yale, she earned degrees as both a master and a doctor in musical arts, the first Yale doctorate awarded in double bass. Her students have been winners in many solo competitions (ISB, ASTA, EMF, Aspen and various regional competitions) and have also won positions in many fine professional orchestras. She is a past President of the International Society of Bassists (ISB) and hosted the 1999 International Convention at the University of Iowa. As chamber musician she has performed with the artists of the Guarneri, Emerson, Laurentian and Stanford Quartets and the Borodin Trio. Her frequent solo appearances include many contemporary premieres and solo improvisations as well as traditional repertoire. She is recorded on Irida records, has a solo CD, “Ladybass”, a duo CD with David Murray “Duetti Dolce”, and has three more CDs soon to be released on iTunes. Diana has a passion for innovative bass construction and has worked as an instrument builder with luthier Carleen Hutchins of the Catgut Acoustical Society. Mrs. Hutchins built the instrument on which Dr. Gannett performs and Diana has completed building a copy of that instrument.
is an active performer, teacher, and clinician. He is currently in his 30th season as a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In addition to teaching a studio of private bass students, he has directed the annual Troy Bass Workshop, sponsored by Michigan ASTA, since 1984. He has been on the Education Committee of the Detroit Symphony for many years, and has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists. He taught on the faculty of the National String Workshop and the American String Workshop and has given presentations at conventions for ASTA, the International Society of Bassists and the Midwestern Conference in Michigan. Larry is a strong advocate for music education, particularly in the public schools. He presents numerous clinics for music students, and has taken a very active roll in getting symphony members involved with the public school music programs in his community. In 1997 he received the Friend of Education award from the teachers of the Farmington Public Schools. In 2001 he was selected the Michigan String Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Chapter of ASTA and has twice received the Distinguished Service to the Arts award from the Farmington Hills Council for the Arts for his work as a teacher and advocate for the arts. Recently he was a recipient of the Leadership in Individual and Social Responsibility Award presented by Olivet College.
was one of the preeminent session bassists of the late ’60s and early ’70s, working with an impressive cross-section of the era’s finest soul, jazz, and blues artists. Gerald Joseph Stenhouse Jemmott grew up in New York City and began playing the bass when he discovered Paul Chambers at age ten; by age 12, he was already skilled enough to perform in public, and studied Charles Mingus intensely. He got his big break when he was discovered by R&B/jazz saxophonist King Curtis, and played on his first recording sessions in 1966, including Nina Simone’s The Blues album. Thanks to his Atlantic Records connection through Curtis, Jemmott soon found work backing other Atlantic soul stars, like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Rascals, Clarence Carter, Don Covay, and Roberta Flack. But that was just the tip of the iceberg; Jemmott also recorded with blues legends like B.B. King, Freddie King, Otis Rush, and Champion Jack Dupree over the next decade, and backed jazz stars like Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Shirley Scott, Houston Person, George Benson, Archie Shepp, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Mann, Eddie Palmieri, and Richard “Groove” Holmes. Around 1975, Jemmott’s session activity started to tail off; in the years that followed, he worked in both film and theater as an arranger and conductor, and produced several instructional books and videos on the art of bass playing (including one in tandem with Jaco Pastorius). In more recent years, Jemmott recorded two albums for the Japanese P-Vine label, Caught in the Low Beam (a tribute to his favorite influences) and The New York View, while continuing his activities as an educator. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
is nationally recognized as a clinician teaching the Young Bassist. Currently President of the International Society of Bassists, he was chair of their 2011 international convention in San Francisco. He has directed the Young Bassist Program at previous conventions. In addition to his work at the Richard Davis Workshop, he is also a clinician at the Golden Gate Bass Camp, the Troy Bass Workshop in Michigan, the Colorado Suzuki Institute and the Elgin Suzuki Workshop in Illinois. Mr. Kennedy is Principal Bass of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra, and was formerly Associate Principal Bass of the Honolulu Symphony. He is the orchestra director at Warner Middle School in Farmington, is music director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra and has an active private studio. John Kennedy holds his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in String Bass Performance from the University of Michigan, and studied with Larry Hurst, Robert Gladstone, Jeff Bradetich and Diana Gannett. John lives outside of Detroit with his 3 cats, and has two grown daughters.
has performed in numerous orchestras in New York City, the southeast, the mid-west and has performed with notable jazz and improvising musicians such as Sam Brown, Joe Tekula, Harold Seletsky, Umalpurim Siveraman, Patrick Marks, John Clark, Joe Morello, John Campbell, Carl Fontana, Dave Burrell, Jimmy Guiffre, David Baker, Harvey Phillips, Turk Van Lake, Wycliffe Gordon and the Orchid Ensemble and Nashville country music producer Byron Gallimore. Koehler is also an active performer in the electronic music medium on MIDI Electric Double Bass, having performed annually at the College Music Society – Technology Symposiums. Dr. Koehler is a frequent clinician (ISB, Richard David Festival, etc.); and, is a writer on bass pedagogy, and a reviewer of new music for string bass and string orchestra for the American String Teacher. Dr. Koehler has a number of transcriptions and original compositions for solo double bass which are available through Schorer Publications. One of his early research interests in string education involves the application of biofeedback to study physiology and to aid the reduction of excess muscle tension in string playing. He has illustrated double bass techniques and made editorial contributions in the two editions of Robert Klotman’s string education textbook entitled Teaching Strings. Koehler earned his doctorate at Indiana University. His double bass teachers include: Murray Grodner, David Izenson, Philip Albright, Ernest Szugyi, and Neal Mason.
was born in Canada and began studies on the double bass at age 12. He worked in high school with Gary Karr and continued college education with Mr. Karr at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT. During summers, David attended the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, A F of M String Congress, and both Tanglewood and Aspen as a Fellowship recipient. Upon graduation he received the Outstanding Performer award from the Hartt School, and later that year was a top prize winner in the Canada Music Competition. In 1981, David was winner of the Aspen Bass Concerto Competition. In 1988, he won the International Society of Bassists Competition in Los Angeles and was presented by the Society in a Carnegie Hall debut in 1990. David has given solo recitals in various parts of Canada and the United States, including Halifax, Hartford, New York, Amarillo, New Orleans, Interlochen, Dallas, and Houston. He has been soloist with orchestras in Colorado, Hartford, Halifax, Amarillo, and Edmonton, and in October of 1992 gave the world premiere of “Yohanan,” a concerto by Robert Rohe, in Saint John, Canada. His debut recording, released in 1993, has been heard on radio across Canada and the United States, and in Europe. David’s recent performances and masterclasses have taken place in Israel, Greeley (Colorado), and San Antonio. He plays principal bass at the Bear Valley Music Festival in California David Murray is currently *Professor of Bass at Butler University in Indianapolis (Jordan College of Fine Arts), and principal bass of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera (University of Illinois-Urbana) and the Bear Valley Festival Orchestra (California). He was Instructor of Bass at West Texas A&M University for 12 years where he also lectured in classes of music appreciation, taught music theory, and was principal bass of the Amarillo Symphony. In addition, he has performed often with the Orchestra of Santa Fe, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and has given master classes and clinics around the country at such places as Yale University and the Manhattan School of Music. In January 1996, he was invited to be the only American faculty member at the Sorak Festival in South Korea, where he returned in 1997 to give classes and performances. David is a member of the *Bad Boyz of Bass bass quartet. He is past President of the International Society of Bassists. David performs in a music video of his famous version of “B.B. Wolf” (available for sale at the Richard Davis Clinic), as is his duo CD, Duetti Dolci, with bassist Diana Gannett. His newest CD of sonatas by Franck and Shostakovitch was released in Fall 2012.
is Associate Professor of Double Bass at Baylor University. He is an active and versatile performer as a soloist, and as a chamber, early music, and orchestral musician, as well as being in demand as a double bass clinician.He has been invited to teach and perform at clinics and universities including, Penn State University, Northwestern University, SUNY-Stony Brook, James Madison University, Golden Gate Bass Camp, Colorado Suzuki Institute, American Festival for the Arts, Shenandoah Conservatory Performing Arts Festival, the Texas Double Bass Symposium, the Midwest Double Bass Symposium, and the annual Richard Davis Double Bass Conference. As a soloist, Dr. Ostlund has performed in recitals throughout the United States. He has appeared in featured performances at International Society of Bassists Conventions, with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, in live radio broadcasts, and has premiered works for solo double bass. Ensembles that Dr. Ostlund has played with include the Detroit Symphony, the Washington Bach Consort, the Washington National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Context, the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Ballet, the San Antonio Symphony, the National Philharmonic, Le Synfonietta de Paris, the Madison Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Virginia Symphony. Currently, he is Principal Double Bassist of the Waco Symphony Orchestra.Dr. Ostlund received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Master’s degree and his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Rice University, where he is the first and only double bassist to receive a DMA from esteemed performer and pedagogue Paul Ellison. His other teachers include Richard Davis, David Walter, and François Rabbath. Before arriving at Baylor University, Dr. Ostlund held faculty appointments at West Texas A&M University and Shenandoah Conservatory.
Bette and Dean Premo
have attended every Richard Davis Conference since the beginning (15 years). In 1995 Bette and Dean established the conference’s Siblings Orchestra and has led this eclectic and talented ensemble since then (with substantial help in recent years from Laura Augustine and this year from Judy Harrington). Bette and Dean, and their children, Evan (age 23) and Laurel (age 20) are White Water. From their home in Michigan’s U.P., this family band performs folk and traditional music throughout the Great Lakes states. Evan is a veteran of eleven Richard Davis Conferences (ten as a student). He’s now finishing degrees in bass performance and composition at the University of Michigan School of Music. Laurel is attending UM School in the Performing Arts Technology program. Laurel and Evan have been part of White Water since 1993. When Evan is away, White Water plays as a trio with Laurel leading the band with her fine musicianship with violin, guitar, tenor banjo, cittern, mandolin, resonator guitar, and voice. Evan provides double bass and bass vocals. Bette sings and plays a variety of instruments too. Dean sings many of the lead vocals and plays guitar. White Water’s ninth album (Steep Side of the Hill) was completed in 2005. Laurel just completed a CD of her music entitled Innertwine. Evan and his musical partner soprano Mary Bonhag have formed Duo Borealis and just released their first CD recording. Bette and Dean have played music together for nearly 30 years and have hosted the popular Second Sunday Folk Dance series since 1985 and now the Fortune Lake Festival since 2004. Drs. Bette and Dean own and operate White Water Associates, a laboratory and science consulting firm.
was born in Milwaukee in 1975. He began playing the violin as part of a public school Suzuki string program at age 4. After playing violin for 8 years, he quit and played sports for a few years.During his junior year in high school, Andy wanted to play the violin again, but a broken wrist suffered while playing football limited the range of movement for the turning of his left arm, so the wise orchestra director of his high school, Ronald Melby (who had also been one of his violin teachers), drove to Andy’s house and dropped off a bass.During the summer before his senior year in high school, Andy began private lessons with Milwaukee Symphony bassist Laura Snyder, his first teacher. She spent the next 7 months helping him prepare for auditions for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and college music school, teaching him how to read music, and making fun of his red hair. Andy then spent 5 years studying with Richard Davis at UW Madison, also playing in the Madison Symphony and many jazz, pop, and Brazilian music bands. He also met his wife Rachel in piano class, where they had to play a duet. In an eerie sign of things to come, Rachel completely carried the show. After graduation, they moved to Houston, TX where Andy got his graduate degree studying with Paul Ellison at Rice University, and Rachel taught bilingual pre-kindergarten for the Houston Independent School District. In 2001, Andy Raciti won a job with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Edo DeWaart in Australia, performing in the beautiful Sydney Opera House. In 2004 Andy won the audition for associate principal in the SSO. While in Sydney, he performed with many of the worlds’ greatest conductors and musicians, including Lorin Maazel, Charles DuToit, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emmanuel Ax, Sabine Meyer, Bryn Terfel, Barbara Bonney, and many others. Beginning in early 2006, within a span of 6 months, Andy won the audition for assistant principal in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he and Rachel had a baby boy named Miles, and the they made the 30 hour trip to move back to Wisconsin with a 3 month old baby, bass in flight case, and as many clothes as they could fit in the allowable luggage. Andy now plays in the MSO in the same section as his first teacher, who still makes fun of his red hair
is a forty-five year veteran jazz bassist with over 400 recordings in his discography. His musical prowess can be found perfectly comfortable in an array of performance settings. Rufus Reid is equally known as an exceptional educator teaching clinics and workshops all over the world. His book and DVD, THE EVOLVING BASSIST, is recognized as the industry standard as the definitive bass method. In January, 2013, Quiet Pride, 20 piece large ensemble debuted a five movement work inspired by the sculptures of artist, Elizabeth Catlett, at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Atlanta, GA. The music, Quiet Pride, The Elizabeth Catlett Project, was recorded in September 2012, and will be released on CD by Motéma Music in September 2013. HUES OF A DIFFERENT BLUE, is Rufus Reid’s OUT FRONT Trio’s latest and second Motéma Music recording released in April, 2011. Motéma Music, in 2010, released, Rufus Reid Trio – OUT FRONT, recording to critical acclaim. June 2010, Rufus Reid was awarded the prestigious MacDowell Colony Fellowship. THE JOHN SIMON GUGGENHEIM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION awarded Rufus a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship for composition. The resulting three-movement work, MASS TRANSIT, was debuted by the Idyllwild Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra in Idyllwild, CA, and Los Angeles, CA, on May 7 & 8, 2011, conducted by Peter Askim. In New York City, on June 7, 2011, the American Composers Orchestra, conducted by George Manahan, performed the third movement of MASS TRANSIT, in the Miller Theater at Columbia University. For more information you are invited to visit his new web site: www.rufusreid.com and the Official Rufus Reid FaceBook page.
is professor of double bass at The Ohio State University. He is principal bass of the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and is a former member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the United States Navy Band in Washington, D. C. Before joining the faculty at The Ohio State University, Robinson served concurrently of the faculties of Howard University, Montgomery College, Prince Georges College, and the Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music. He is an active clinician and has served on the board of directors of the International Society of Bassists. A student of Philip Albright, Oscar Zimmerman and Homer Mensch, he has performed under such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Pablo Casals and Leonard Bernstein. He served as editor for the double bass book in the Hal Leonard comprehensive string method series, Essential Elements for Strings. He is a former New Products Editor for the International Society of Bassists and former editor of the Double Bass Forum for the American String Teacher. In March, Robinson presented a clinic and conducted master classes at the American String Teachers National Conference in Detroit, Michigan. He has performed, conducted a variety of workshops, or delivered presentations in Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Brazil, and throughout the US
is a Chicago based upright and electric bassist. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He moved to Chicago from Austin, Texas where he performed and recorded for 3 years and attended Texas State University (Jazz and Orchestral studies.) He played in Austin as a member of Elana James and The Hot Club of Cowtown, The Dave Biller Combo, The Seth Walker Band, Whit Smith’s Hot Jazz Caravan and others. He now plays in Chicago with Joel Paterson and The Modern Sounds, Sanctified Grumblers, The Fat Babies and Alfonso Ponticelli. Sample has toured the world and the U.S. many times over with with his former band, Cave Catt Sammy and with Elana James. His travels have taken him to Canada, Norway, Spain, England, Holland, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Mexico, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Armenia and The Republic the Georgia, not to mention most U.S. states. He also toured the U.S. with Elana James (Bob Dylans former fiddle player) opening for Dylan in 2006. Beau has recorded with many artists in Austin and in Chicago including; Carl Sonny Leyland, The Hot Club of Cowtown, Cave Catt Sammy, Johnny Gimble, Dave Biller, Elana James, Joel Paterson, The Del Morroccos, The Modern Sounds, Billy Boy Arnold and Janis Martin.
currently resides in Winchester, Virginia and teaches bassists at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy and throughout the Washington D.C. metro area. Previous to moving to Virginia she innagurated the Double Bass studio of the Indiana University String Academy and is currently collobarating on a DVD project with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner. She is an internationally acclaimed pedagogue who speciallizes in pre-college string education with numerous publications to her credit.Her arrangements and compositions for bass ensemble have been performed worldwide and her first CDROM of bass ensembles entitled Music for Double Bass Ensemble, Vol. I: 30 Christmas Carols for “Same Level” and “Mixed Level” Double Bass Ensemble was released in 2005. She is currently in the process of publishing over 100 works for bass ensemble. An active lecturer, clinician and traveling “911 – bass teacher,” she is a regular clinician at the Richard Davis Bass Weekend in Madison, WI and the Golden Gate Bass Camp in San Francisco, CA. Previously, she has been on the faculties of Indiana University String Academy, Amarillo College, Odessa College and Texas Tech University Orchestra Camp and was founder of the Amarillo Bass Base, a bass ensemble which held an international reputation. As a performer she has been a jazz bassist her entire professional life and was a member of the Amarillo Symphony for 34 years, where she served as Assistant Principal for 25 years. As an Educator, Ms. Wyrick has given lectures and clinics for the International Society of Bassists, Texas Music Educators Association, the American String Teachers Association and the Manchester Bass Week. Inez Wyrick has also published several articles in the United States and abroad on her particular style and system of Double-Bass pedagogy. Her students teach and hold professional positions in ensembles and educational institutions worldwide. In 2001 she was the honored recipient of the “Young Bassists Ambassador” award from the International Society of Bassists
Bassist Donovan Stokes enjoys a varied career of performing, composing, writing and teaching. Stokes is currently Professor of classical and jazz bass at Shenandoah University-Conservatory where he teaches bass, coaches chamber music, directs the Bass Ensemble and acts as head of the String Area. He is a member of the board of directors for the International Society of Bassists, President Elect and Editor of the Bass Forum for the Virginia String Teachers Association, former member of the National Editorial Committee for American String Teachers Association and founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit Bass Coalition and their Annual Bass Workshop.
Although known for his use of amplification, EFX and loopers, his 2006 acoustic recording Gadaha garnered two JPF Music Award nominations and rankings, for Best Album and Best Instrumental Song. Described as a musician who “paints primary colours and subtle shades to considerable effect” (The Double Bassist), Stokes is also noted for his “eye-popping display of technical wizardry and showmanship” (Madison Jazz) who brings “the bass into yet another dimension of capabilities.” (Gary Karr). He also writes a bi-weekly column related to bass and performance atnotreble.com.
As a chamber musician he has had the honor of collaborating with wonderful musicians including the Fry Street Quartet, Agua Va!, members of the Audubon Quartet, Stuart Malina, Blanka Bednarz, Eriko Sato, John O’Connor , David Oui and Seymour Lipkin. As a composer he has enjoyed recent commissions from Barry Green, Blanka Bednarz, The International Society of Bassists Young Bass Division, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and Jerry Fuller, among others. He offers a range of online instruction in upright bass, alternative strings, chamber music and composition and has created an Upright Slap Bass Instructional Video available exclusively online. He also plays Jazz, Gypsy Jazz and Americana styles, having appeared with the Four Star Combo, members of The Woodshedders and the Greg Ruby Quartet, among others.
Dr. Stokes earned degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.M.) and Indiana University in Bloomington (M.M. and D.M.), where his major bass instructors were Lawrence Hurst, and Edgar Meyer. He studied fiddle styles with Crystal Ploughman and Mark O’Connor, string pedagogy with Lawrence Hurst, Helga Winold, Inez Wyrick and Mimi Zweig, and composition with Michael Alec Rose, Michael Kurek and Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn. He is also the world’s leading expert in the life and work of bassist Rodion Azarkhin.
Beth Wilson, piano accompanist, has been at all 21 bass conferences so far! She received a B.A. in piano performance from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), and an M.A. in fine arts education from Truman State University (Kirksville, Missouri). She has played in the back-up band for the Ink Spots and the Diamonds, and was recently in the pit orchestra for the touring company of “Wicked”. Last October, Beth played “Young Apollo” with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra for their Masterworks Series. As a collaborative pianist, she has accompanied Recently she accompanied the national winner of the MTNA Studio Teacher Fellowship Award, trumpeter Ansel Norris (NTC and Neil Silva winner) and Bernhard Scully (Canadian Brass), and most if not all of the RDYB Bass Clinicians! During the summer, she is on staff at the UW Summer Music Clinic. Currently she is employed at Madison Country Day School, a K-12 college prep school. Her teaching responsibilites include 18 piano students, 7th/8th grade jazz band, and choral and solo accompanying. She has studied piano with Dr. John Strauss (Luther College), Dr. Frederic Kirchberger (Truman State University), and Ankie Foell (Madison, WI). Beth’s bass player son Jared will be attending his 7th bass conference this year!
“Clinicians in the Wings”
Russel Blake, Michael Klinghoffer, Barry Green, Eva Brauninger, John Clayton, Rolf Erdahl, Ross Gilliland, Merideth Lewis, Evan Premo, Christian McBride, Jacqueline Pickett, Helen Stevenson, Kristen Korb, Barry Green, Michael Klinghoffer, Jerry Fuller, Victor Miranda, Jerry Jemmott, Betsy Soukup, Chris Maxwell, Christine Riotto, Brian Melk, Blake Hinson, Ben Ferris, Kenny Jones, Chuck Rainey, Hans Sturm, Tine Asmundsen, Gillian Martwick, Jeff Spaniola.