Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Jeff Baker began his career in front of a crowd of ten thousand, as one of the youngest vocalists to ever win the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival ?Vocal Solo Competition?. Only 16 years old at the time, his first truly ?big? performance was backed by the Lionel Hampton Trio!
In 1997, Baker accepted a scholarship from Willamette University to sing with the Internationally Renowned vocal jazz ensemble, The Willamette Singers, a group which has performed at international conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and the International Association of Jazz Educators. While attending Willamette University, Baker received multiple awards and honors for his unbelievable skill as a jazz vocalist. In 1998, Baker formed the jazz Quintet ?One Way to Where.? Comprised of talented, young jazz musicians, OWTW quickly became one of the most popular jazz groups in the Northwest, and recorded it?s first album, ?Straightforward? during the summer of 2000.
Since the completion of his under graduate degree, Baker has been recognized as one of the up and coming young vocal talents in the nation! In March of 2002, Baker was among the talent showcased at the Gene Harris Jazz Festival ?Club Night?. Other artists booked for the festival included, Kevin Eubanks, Eric Marienthal, Jeff Hamilton, Curtis Stigers, and The New York Voices. Beginning in 1999, Baker was the only vocalist to open for the Annual Gene Harris Block Party, a downtown jazz concert honoring the late jazz great Gene Harris. In June of 2002, Baker had the opportunity to open for Grammy Award Winning Jazz Trumpeter, Alan Vizzutti and in 2003, Baker opened for jazz legend Dave Frishberg at Jazz in the Canyon.
Jeff Baker didn?t slow down in 2004! His first release for the Origin Records, OA2 Label Baker Sings Chet, a musical tribute to the late trumpeter and singer Chet Baker, received accolades across the country and was played on over 100 jazz stations nationally, propelling Jeff into the Top 50 on the JazzWeek International Chart, With the success of the album, Jeff made his international debut in May, performing at the World renowned Green Dolphin Jazz Club? in Cape Town, South Africa. Upon returning to the States in June 2004, Jeff performed among the openers for Grammy Nominated Vocalist, Karrin Allyson, and, at an engagement at Catalina's Bar and Grill, in Hollywood, CA.
On January 25th, 2005, Jeff Baker released his second CD for OA2 records, Monologue! Arranged by former Nneena Freelon musical director Bill Anschell and featuring saxophonist Brent Jensen, drummer John Bishop, and bassist Doug Miller, Monologue is a very personal, unpretentious, and eclectic set of music.
REAL. JAZZ. COOL