John Bass

 [B.M., University of Southern Mississippi; M.M., Ph.D., University of Memphis ]
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 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. The focus of his doctoral work and scholarship has centered on the improvisatory practices of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods; he has presented scholarly papers at national and international conferences and his articles have appeared in Early Music and Performance Practice Review.  Dr. Bass is also an early music performer on lute, theorbo, and baroque guitar, and appears regularly with local early music ensembles.


David Lay

 [B.M., Lambuth University; Graduate Work, University of Memphis]
David Lay has been a teacher and performer in the Memphis area for over 10 years, and an instructor at Rhodes College since 2001. He is a versatile guitarist and is comfortable in a variety of musical settings. David has performed on Historic Beale Street at B.B. King’s Blues Club, in recital at Rhodes College, and with the Memphis Symphony as a part of the “Beale Street Divas” concert. He currently performs with Magi, a contemporary music group that performs throughout the southeast. David has studied classical guitar with Tom Price at Lambuth University, Dr. Lily Afshar at The University of Memphis, and in Master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Eliot Fisk, Bill Kanengiser and John Johns. David also has studied jazz guitar with Charlton Johnson and Tim Goodwin at The University of Memphis. He formed and has directed the Rhodes’ Contemporary Music Ensemble since 2005.


John Ross

[B.M., Northern Illinois University; M.M., Illinois State University]
John Ross has been on the faculty of the Rhodes College Department of Music as a classical guitarist since 1994. He is also the active Guitar Coordinator, overseeing the guitar program. For the past eight years, Mr. Ross has been an active member of the teaching staff at the Collierville First Baptist Music Academy.

Mr. Ross received his B.M. in 1983 from Northern Illinois University and his M.M. from Illinois State University in 1993. As a classical guitarist and lutenist, Mr. Ross performs regularly in concert and public performances.

The Commercial Appeal referred to John Ross as, “... an excellent classical guitarist.”