Bischoff wins his first 'Amy'

"Although the award Korum Bischoff will receive May 1 recognizes young talent, the percussionist has already accomplished more at 25 than some artists decades older.Korum is young but he's got great spirit, Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities board president David Lewis said. Not only is he practicing his art as a percussionist, but, by so doing, has brought others into his circle. He's a natural leader.Bischoff will receive the new Amy Anderson Emerging Artist Award - a cash award established by Dave and Caren Anderson in memory of their daughter - for his wide range of accomplishments. Among Bischoff's projects are 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. It was very successful, Bischoff said. Audiences up there were so receptive and generous. I took $40 with me, and came home with $5. Bischoff will tour there 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. When Bischoff's mentor, jazz musician Richard Thompson fell ill, Bischoff stepped in to lead Thompson's ensemble groups. He is a founding member of the Island Music Teachers Guild, a non-profit island music school that created a community for music educators. One is struck by Bischoff's 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 Bainbridge roots. I felt indebted to the community here, Bischoff said. Bischoff spent his early years in California, living on a 37-foot boat. He was exposed to music at a young age; his percussionist father 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. Despite his commitment to home, Bischoff is ambitious enough to find the Seattle music scene confining.We need to start breaking out of Seattle, he said. There's only one style that's popular there, and it's too restrictive.Like other artists, Bischoff would like to earn more playing music. The award will help him pay for a computer he recently acquired as a promotional and artistic tool.At this point in my career, I plan to continue performing with my regular bands, he said, while exploring new styles of music. My other desire is to continue to support and promote local musicians.The Amy Award, a tribute to the memory of promising young artist Amy Anderson, will be made each year to a Bainbridge Island nominee under 35 who has produced work that demonstrates commitment and creativity.Caren Anderson and Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council members met often over a year and half to ensure that the proposed endowment would best serve the targeted population of young artists. Bischoff's selection, endorsed by many in the arts community, they say makes a fine debut.The first annual Amy Award will be presented by the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council 6:30 p.m. May 1 at Wing Point Country Club. Tickets are $27/BIAHC members and $30/non-members. Call 842-7901. "

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