The Mike Curb Institute for Music at Rhodes College was founded in 2006 through a generous gift from the Mike Curb Family Foundation to foster awareness and understanding of the distinct musical traditions of the South and to study the effect music has had on its culture, history, and economy. Through the areas of preservation, research, leadership, and civic responsibility, the Institute provides support and opportunities for students and faculty, in partnership with the community, to experience and celebrate what Mr. Curb calls the "Tennessee Music Miracle."
John Bass, Program Manager
John Bass serves as Program Manager for the Mike Curb Institute for Music and Assistant Professor of Music. In addition to directing the Rhodes Jazz Ensemble and instructing jazz guitar students, Dr. Bass teaches classes on Memphis Music, the Music of Africa, and African American Music. He has been an active jazz guitarist in the Memphis area for over 10 years and has performed on stage with Bob Berg, Ira Sullivan, Bob Brookmeyer, Pat Bergeson, Mundell Lowe, and Kirk Whalum. He is a founding member of the Bluff City String Project, an acoustic jazz group that focuses on American and European jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. Dr. Bass holds two degrees in jazz performance from the University of Southern Mississippi (B.M.) and the University of Memphis (M.M.), and a Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Memphis. He has presented scholarly papers at national and international conferences and his articles have appeared in Early Music and Performance Practice Review. He is also a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of American Music. Dr. Bass is also an early music performer on lute, theorbo, and baroque guitar, and appears regularly with local early music ensembles.