Endowments & Scholarships

David N. Baker Visiting Artist Series

(est. 1998) Composer David Nathaniel Baker, Jr. (born 1931) is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, and currently holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. A virtuosic performer on multiple instruments and top in his field in several disciplines, Mr. Baker has taught and performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Japan. He is also co-conductor and co-musical director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Mr. Baker received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Indiana University and has studied with a wide range of master teachers, performers and composers including J.J. Johnson, Bobby Brookmeyer, Janos Starker, George Russell, William Russo, Bernard Heiden, and Gunther Schuller, among others. A 1973 Pulitzer Prize nominee, Mr. Baker has been nominated for a Grammy Award (1979), honored twice by Down Beat magazine (as a trombonist and for lifetime achievement), and has received the National Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame Award (1981), President's Award for Distinguished Teaching (1986) from Indiana University, the Arts Midwest Jazz Masters Award (1990), and the Governor's Arts Award of the State of Indiana (1991).

Professor Baker has been commissioned by more than 500 individuals and ensembles, including Josef Gingold, Ruggerio Ricci, Janos Starker, Harvey Phillips, Sonny Rollins, the New York Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Beaux Arts Trio, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Louisville Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Audubon String Quartet, and the International Horn Society. His compositions, tallying over 2,000 in number, range from jazz and sonatas to film scores.

A dedicated music educator as well as composer and performer, Professor Baker's involvement in music organizations has encompassed membership on the National Council on the Arts; board positions for the American Symphony Orchestra League, Arts Midwest, and the Afro-American Bicentennial Hall of Fame/Museum; and past chairs of the Jazz Advisory Panel to the Kennedy Center and the Jazz/Folk/Ethnic Panel of the NEA. He is also president of the National Jazz Service Organization, vice president of the International Association of Jazz Educators, and senior consultant for music programs for the Smithsonian Institution. He has over 50 recordings, 60 books, and 150 articles to his credit.

This fund was established to support a Jazz Clinician Series whereby artists will be invited to the Jacobs School of Music to meet with students to discuss their craft and briefly perform for the students.