International Society of Bassists

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The International Society of Bassists (ISB) is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization for anybody who enjoys the double bass. The society was founded in 1967 by Gary Karr as the International Institute for String Bass (IISB). After a two-year hiatus of the IISB, the International Society of Bassists was launched with Barry Green as executive director, and the society maintains that name today. From 1982-1991, the ISB enjoyed a continued steady growth under Jeff Bradetich. The ISB moved its offices to Dallas, TX in the 1990s and began an era of continued growth and professionalization of the society. The current President of the Society is Robert Nairn, double bass professor at Penn State University and the General Manager is Madeline Crouch of Don Dillon Associates. John Kennedy is President-Elect and Chair of the 2011 Convention in San Francisco. The society has about 3,000 members in about 40 countries and is steered by an international board of directors.

Every other year, the society holds a convention that consists of music competitions, workshops, recitals, lectures, and exhibits. For example, in the summer of 2005, the ISB convention was held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, under the direction of double bassist Thomas Knific, at the appropriately named Oklahoma City University Bass School of Music in 2007, and Penn State University in 2009 under the direction of Robert Nairn. Recent convention attendance routinely exceeds 1,000 attendees.

In addition to a periodic newsletter, the ISB publishes a magazine three times a year, BASS WORLD, for its members. It serves as a vital link for its membership in addition to providing a professionally managed forum for all aspects of the double bass. Several columns appear with regularity and are edited/refereed/curated by leading experts and enthusiasts in the field. The ISB has recently been branching out into New Media by experimenting with online articles like the The Online Journal of Bass Research,, a refereed electronic journal (Joëlle Morton, editor and past editor of BASS WORLD) and e-commerce with an online store featuring CDs by its members and a classified ads section.

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