Bassist Korb touching down in Laguna

When Laguna Beach Live! hosts a fundraiser Wednesday for its music education program, it will get a considerable boost: a visit from the next president.

The next president of bass players, that is.

Kristin Korb, whose jazz trio will perform at the Aliso Creek Inn, was recently named the president-elect of the International Society of Bassists. For the next two years, Korb will serve as artistic director for a group that comprises about 3,000 members in 40 countries — certainly the biggest constituency the Montana native has ever had.

"Just the student music club when I was in college," Korb said when asked if she had ever been president of anything before. "But I don't think that's quite the same thing. I was president of the choir in high school, but that's a long time ago."

Korb, a board member for the society since 1999, recently became more international herself: She got married two years ago and moved to Denmark. Before then, she was a regular face for half a dozen years with Laguna Beach Live!, which works to bring professional music to the community, and next week's show will mark her first visit back since moving to Europe.

And if her soon-to-be-president clout makes her a hotter ticket item, all the better for the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Proceeds from the Aliso Creek Inn performance, which also features drummer Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Bruce Forman, will go toward expanding the program that Laguna Beach Live! started at the club in September.

The club's program, according to Laguna Beach Live! President Cindy Prewitt, ranges from performances by visiting musicians to "instrument petting zoos" in which students can try out different parts of the orchestra. With Wednesday's proceeds, Prewitt hopes to expand the after-school program to three days a week.

On a typical day, she said, the club draws 300 or more students whose musical backgrounds vary.

"Some of the kids have no music [experience], and some have already taken an instrument," Prewitt said. "It's a wide range of introducing them to performance to concert manners to instruments they may not know of to their own instrument."

The show Wednesday will celebrate more than the Boys & Girls Clubs: Korb's trio recently put out a new album, "What's Your Story?", and the Laguna Beach Live! gig will be the only Orange County stop on its release tour. The album features one original as well as covers of "Them There Eyes," "I Wanna Be Loved" and other songs that shaped the bandleader's musical taste years ago.

So what first drew Korb, who started as an electric bassist in junior high before switching to upright in high school, to the instrument?

"For me, the bass has always been my love since I first discovered what it was," said Korb, who counts Ray Brown and Charles Mingus among her influences. "It's the heartbeat. It's the thing that maintains the harmonic structure. It brings everybody together."

Once her presidential duties start, Korb will have her hands full organizing the International Society's bi-annual convention in June in Rochester, N.Y. The seven-day event includes concerts, master classes, youth events, competitions and more.

In the meantime, though, she's looking forward to playing in a town that's welcomed her so many times.

"It's really going to be a concert about fun, banter across the bandstand," Korb said. "It's going to be a lot of fun for everybody, and not just people who know they're jazz fans."

If You Go

Who: Kristin Korb with Bruce Forman and Jeff Hamilton

Where: Aliso Creek Inn, 31106 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Cost: $30; special $100 VIP package includes premier seating, a visit with the artist and a bottle of wine

Information: (949) 715-9713 or

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