David Baker, American jazz musician, Died at 84

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David Nathaniel Baker Jr. was born on December 21, 1931 and died on March 26, 2016.

He was an American symphonic jazz composer.

He worked at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington.

Baker has over 65 recordings, 70 books, and 400 articles to his credit.

Baker succeeded in the Indianapolis jazz scene of the time, serving as a mentor of sorts to Indianapolis-born trumpeter Freddie Hubbard.

He was originally a talented trombonist, he was forced to abandon that instrument after a jaw injury left him unable to play (although he played on the George Russell Sextet album Ezz-thetics after sustaining the injury).

After the injury, he learned to play cello, a rare instrument in the jazz world.

Baker was nominated for the 1973 Pulitzer Prize. He has also been nominated for a Grammy Award (1979).

David Baker was honored three times by Down Beat magazine: as a trombonist, for lifetime achievement, and most recently, in 1994, as the third inductee to their jazz Education Hall of Fame.

David Baker 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).

David Baker passed away at 84 yrs old.