Korum Bischoff, 2001 Amy Award winner
Although the Amy Award recognizes a young, emerging artist, at age 25, Korum Bischoff has already accomplished more than some artists decades older. As David Lewis, president of the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Board stated, “Korum is young but he’s got great spirit. Not only is he practicing his art as a percussionist, but he has brought others into his circle. He’s a natural leader.”
As the Amy Anderson Emerging Artist Award recipient, Korum will receive a $3,000 cash award from the endowment established by Dave and Caren Anderson in memory of their daughter Amy.
Bischoff’s projects include Ruby Darby, which he calls a funk-folk band, and an ensemble called The Sweet Science. He has played at Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. He just returned from Ruby Darby’s Alaska tour and he will be back in Alaska again in August with Sweet Science. On Bainbridge, he organized the live music series at Pegasus Coffee House, and was assistant producer for By Boat or By Bridge, a CD compilation of Bainbridge artists. In addition, when Bischoff’s mentor, jazz musician Richard Thompson fell ill, Bischoff stepped in to lead Thompson’s ensemble groups.
Korum was exposed to music at a young age by his percussionist father who ran a recording studio. The family happily traded Sacramento for Bainbridge when Bischoff was 13, after they were introduced to the Island through an uncle who lives here. Korum demonstrates a strong commitment to community – although that quality was not an Amy Award criterion. At a time in life when young artists are typically planning their escape to a metropolis, Bischoff speaks of his Bainbridge roots. He is a founding member of the Island Music Teachers Guild, a nonprofit Island music school that created a community for music educators.
Like other artists, Bischoff would like to earn his living playing music. Despite his commitment to Bainbridge Island and the Seattle area, Korum realizes the need to start breaking out of Seattle. The award will help him pay for a computer he recently acquired to use as a promotional and to help in his exploration of new styles of music, while still continuing to perform with his regular bands. He also has a strong desire is to continue to support and promote local musicians.
According to Caren and David Anderson and Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council members, Korum Bischoff’s selection, strongly endorsed by the arts community, makes a fine debut for the new award.