In an age of many tasteless acts and crude performances, Kristin Korb is a breath of fresh air. She continuously pushes the boundaries of music and feminism in a timeless way, while still paying homage to modern fashion.
Kristin, a Montana native who got her start in small bars, has turned out to be one of L.A.’s most popular bass players. Originally she was a guitar player – but when a choir instructor didn’t let her play guitar in her group, Kristin decided to pick up the electric bass instead. In her junior year of high school, she switched to acoustic bass so that she could pursue in it college. Though she had no intent of doing so, Kristin fell in love with the upright and thus found her career. Some of her early influences include Philly Jo Jones, Art Blakey and Barbara Mandrel.
After attending University of California at San Diego, Kristin began her professional career. Early in her career she met bassist Ray Brown, who became her mentor, as well as a dear friend. Under his influence, Kristin began to solidify her goals and expectations as a musician. Without a doubt, Brown’s support and encouragement truly pushed Kristin to get where she is today. She says, “His approach to music was organic and passionate. I will always be grateful for the brief time I had with him.”
Listening to Kristin’s playing, it becomes clear that Brown’s influence was more than just psychological. When she first moved to LA, the young artist often felt overlooked as a female in the scene. After walking into a few specific gigs, Kristin said she could almost hear the voices of her colleagues saying, “Oh, this is going to be a long and painful night.” But before long, Kristin developed a reputation as a solid bassist and as a result, earned the respect of her peers. When asked about her experience, Kristin told me what she feels is the key to being a successful female musician. “It is really important to know who you are and be strong in that.”
The confidence that Kristin carries from being a gifted, competent and attractive female allows her to be one of the most creative jazz minds in the industry. In the works are plans for a few new albums; on one of the albums she plans to mix classics from the Great American Songbook with Afro-Peruvian and Brazilian flavors. Also, she plans to record a plethora of pre-bop era tunes with a modern twist. She explains, “There are some great melodies and stories that I’ve been learning and exploring. I think it would be fun to record some of them and share them with a new generation.” With all the changes in the record industry – including the decline of sales and popularity of digital copies – the releases of her next albums may be very exclusive. Still, Kristin is excited and optimistic to share her new ideas in the fall of 2011.
The energy surrounding Kristin Korb is incredible; her charm and charisma make her truly one of a kind. When she’s not on the road with her basses (“Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome” and her spare, “Fling”) she spends her time teaching at Azusa Pacific and University of Southern California. For more on Kristin, her upcoming albums, and tour dates near you, be sure to check out kristinkorb.com!