Critically-acclaimed vocalist, and award-winning educator Jeff Baker has developed a jazz curriculum and voice program that has earned students 10 ‘Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards,’ over 100 Top honors at festivals and competitions throughout the United States, five million dollars in college scholarships, and placement in the very best college arts programs in the country including: Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, North Texas State, Portland State, USC, and the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. Baker is currently on the faculty at Portland State University, and is the Co-Founder and Director of the Jazz Forward Competition.
Jeff Baker always told me, “Once my students don’t need me anymore I’ve done my job”.
Jeff was a teacher who I looked up to both as a teacher and as an individual, he taught me to be independent. He honed my singing skills with a practiced hand. We focus on learning the fundamentals of jazz including modes, chord structures and bebop scales…(I was obsessed with transcribing). We did ear training and improvisation exercises EVERYDAY! Jeff Baker shaped the way I approach both music and life. He gave me a deep insight into the inner working of the jazz idiom while always promoting the love of the art form. If it was not for Jeff Baker, none of my accomplishments would have been possible.
Sekayi Anika Sumbureru, 2012 Downbeat Award Winner
Jeff Baker has been, and continues to be an incredible teacher, mentor, and friend to me. I can’t stress how much his presence hasimpacted my life in the best of ways. I am continually thankful for the ways he has opened my mind, heart, and soul to a profoundly beautiful new world of music.
Harris Long, 2014 Downbeat Award Winner
Jeff is really great to work with! He sets the bar high for his vocalists while mapping out ways to achieve our individual goals. He has not only encouraged me to do my best, but he continually raises the bar in my individual lessons. He’s a great mentor and an awesome teacher!
Kanda Mbenza Ngoma, Portland State University
‘MERSEREAU AWARD’ Recipient 2015
I studied vocal jazz with Jeff Baker for a total of three years. During those three years, I learned how to transcribe, improvise, make lead sheets, and countless other skills that prepared me for the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as festivals and competitions I have participated in. Jeff is a masterful teacher and vocalist who understands how to inspire his students to work hard, and always seek out new things to learn. I never realized how high the bar was set because he believed in me so much that I had no reason to doubt myself. He’s not only a teacher, but a mentor and friend.
Farayi Sophia Malek, 2013 Downbeat Award Winner