Jarrett Bastow with International Society of Bassists Convention- LEAP Student Highlight


Jarrett Bastow is an online LEAP Master’s student currently working on his first of the two required internships. He is assisting on the administrative side of the International Society of Bassists Convention happening at Bastow’s alma mater, Ithaca College, this June. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jarrett about his experiences both in LEAP and at his current internship.

Jarrett is a man of adventure and spontaneity! He’s also a professional bassist and private teacher, playing with multiple symphonies within a five-hour radius of his home and studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Though making it as a successful symphony bassist is glamorous, Jarrett explained that one of the main reasons he became interested in LEAP is because he realized that freelancing for the rest of his life maybe wasn’t for him. In recent years Jarrett has been working as Personnel Manager and acting as a communications liaison & audition coordinator for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. This experience, he says, lead him to the field of arts administration. Jarrett recalls “I began to look at what I was good at, what was out there job wise, and I started to think ‘should I be trained in this? Should I just go out and apply for jobs like this? Then while searching for programs I found the LEAP Institute.” He explained, “I’m all about flexibility, essentially going by the seat of my pants, and I’m already so involved in my community here that I knew moving wouldn’t be an option, so the online LEAP program seemed perfect for me and once I saw that their online program had received an award, it seemed like a no-brainer.”

Jarrett received his BM in Music Performance from Ithaca College and already has one MM in Music Performance from Northwestern University. He expressed that going back was a bit nerve-racking, especially because he would be applying for something that for the first time in his life, didn’t require his instrument. But Jarrett is level headed and ready to start a new career on the other side of the instruments. He calmly explained “I’m starting over and I have to accept it, I’ve recognized I’m at a turning point and that I have to push through.”

And he sure is pushing through! Jarrett is helping to organize the International Society of Bassists Convention happening at his alma mater, Ithaca College, this summer. This year will be the convention’s 50th Anniversary so one thing he’s doing is assisting in coordinating five monthly installments featuring the convention throughout the past five decades, including finding old photos, magazine covers, old newsletters, and other clippings. He’s also assisting in creating an event app, coordinating and managing all the information for the convention, organizing the program – collecting ads, editing it, keeping the project on deadline – as well as keeping up with e-communications leading up to the event! It sounds like a lot but Jarrett expressed that “LEAP has prepared me, prepared me for the academic structure of it as well as the practical implications of what it’s like in the real world, and most importantly how to really practice time management.”