Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

David Baker, Composer and Educator, Dies at 84

Oft-honored Indianan composed thousands of pieces, taught many jazz greats

NEA Jazz Masters Quincy Jones and David Baker
David Baker at the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters ceremony, NYC
Participants in the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters ceremony, NYC. David Baker is in the front row at far right.
Muhal Richard Abrams, David Baker and Jimmy Heath at the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters ceremony in NYC

David Baker, a composer, musician and influential force in jazz education, died March 26 at his Bloomington, Ind., home. He was 84.

Baker’s teaching career began at Missouri’s Lincoln University in 1955, but it was during his decades-long tenure at Indiana University that he made his mark in the field of jazz education. In 1966 Baker became a faculty member at IU’s Jacobs School of Music, where he created the jazz studies program, serving as its chair from 1968 to 2013. Among his pupils throughout his 65-year career at the school were Freddie Hubbard, Michael and Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine and Chris Botti.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published