Drummer and educator Chris Baker has established a sound that deftly balances ferocity with subtlety in a way that highlights the diversity of his influences. While primarily a specialist in jazz and creative improvised music, his playing is informed by an array of experiences in all genres of music that he has performed internationally for almost two decades.
At the urging of his musical family, Chris started studying music at an early age, beginning with piano and eventually falling in love with percussion. He attended The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed a degree in Percussion Performance and continued to further diversify his musical portfolio. From there, his performance career has evolved into full-time touring, recording and performing with like-minded artists in the Midwestern United States, Canada and Europe. His rock band, Dave Hammer’s Power Supply, toured the country and released four albums of considerable acclaim, and he has been featured on numerous jazz and creative improvised music recordings for the Origin, Arabesque and ears&eyes record labels.
As an educator, Chris has more than fifteen years of experience teaching private lessons, coaching ensembles, and presenting master classes. One highlight of his teaching career has been learning and implementing the principles of Venezuela’s El Sistema music education model. This pursuit has taken him to Acariqua, Venezuela as well as Innsbruck and Salzburg, Austria. Chris has also completed teaching residencies with similar programs in the US, including The Baltimore Symphony’s Orchkids Program and the Peabody Conservatory’s Tuned-In program.
Chris recently became a member of the illustrious Chicago jazz scene and has been busy lending his versatility to a variety of exciting projects. He is thrilled to be included on Ashley Summers’s upcoming release for ears&eyes Records, True North, which features world-renowned saxophonist Seamus Blake.