Oberlin

Allan Baker '00, piano


Allan Baker was born into a musical family. Originally from Cleveland Ohio, he investigated Suzuki violin at age 3 and composed his first songs at age 4, but considers his introduction to piano at age 7 to be the true start of becoming a musician. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Over the next several years, he also learned to play drums and percussion and began performing with local ensembles. He played jazz piano with Chip Stephens, and spent a year at the Cleveland School of the Arts, which led to an invitation to participate in the Cleveland Cultural Coalition's Excellence in Music Program. Through the program he met and worked with members of the Oberlin jazz faculty, notably, Wendell Logan, Kenny Davis, and Greg Bandy. He began studying with the Neal Creque (now deceased) and developed a relationship that would shape the core of his musical persona. He later resumed classical piano studies with Sandy Margolis.

Baker has participated in the other regional high school jazz ensembles, including the Ohio Jazz Orchestra for Youth. His relationships with Oberlin faculty and the developed with the Excellence in Music Project led to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he earned his degree in jazz studies in 2000.

Baker has since toured the United States and has shared stages with many performers including Curtis Fuller, Kenny Davis, Robin Eubanks, Marcus Belgrave, Steve Turre, Paul Samuels, Kip Reed and Greg Bandy. A resident of New York City, Baker's currently is composing, performing, and recording music for the radio drama “Surrounded by Monsters” as well as co-leading an experimental metal band Monster Baiter, and the poly-genre band, the Full Time Employees.

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