L. Brett Baker BSc. ARCM, MA, PG Dip. PGCE
Trombone virtuoso, Principal Trombone of Black Dyke Band for 14 years, Past-President of the B.T.S. (British Trombone Society), Chairman of the I.T.A. (International Trombone Association) Awards Committee, Director of the BTS "The Trombonist" Magazine, Performance Fellow at the University of Salford, Trombone Recording Artist & Clinician for Michael Rath, Conductor, Teacher of performance, Personal Coach, Manager of White River Brass Ensemble, Events Organiser & Adjudicator....
"The name Brett Baker has become an established, household name in the world of brass, not least for the level of commitment and focus that this outstanding musician has given to his craft.” - Professor David King.
Brett Baker is viewed as one of Europe’s leading brass performers and educators. He is passionate about encouraging composers to write pioneering and challenging new solo repertoire for trombone as well as researching and promoting much of the forgotten repertoire of the past. Brett's extensive recording portfolio as an ensemble player and soloist is nothing short of remarkable having produced 40 solo albums most recently under his own record label "White River Evocations" as well as appearing as a soloist on 70 recordings.
Brett Baker has performed with celebrated singers such as Alison Goldfrapp and Hayley Westenra, as well as other world-renowned trombone soloists such Ian Bousfield, Wycliffe Gordon, Christian Lindberg and Joseph Alessi. He is currently the most recorded trombone soloist in his genre, and as well as making numerous broadcasts and TV appearances. By the age of 24 he had won every major brass band competition in the UK. Brett is a former Trombone Solo Champion of Great Britain and an Associate of the Royal College of Music, London.
Originally from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Brett Baker was encouraged to play trombone by his father at the Bream and Lydbrook brass bands. In 1989, he moved to Flowers Band and joined the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (NYBBGB), of which he was principal trombone for two years. His teachers at this time were Danny Hannaby of the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, Steve Walkley of Sun Life Band and euphonium virtuoso, Lyndon Baglin.
In 1992, Brett Baker was a Brass Finalist in BBC’s Young Musician of the Year and shortly afterwards he moved north to study at Salford University, simultaneously joining Williams Fairey Band. At Fairey, his reputation as one of the finest players of his generation was firmly established. He was British Open Trombone Solo Champion three times from 1993 to 1995 and was trombone tutor at Salford University from 1993 to 1996. He studied with Professor David King whilst also taking a course in Business Economics. His first solo recording, Bone Idyll, accompanied by Williams Fairey in 1996, gained much critical acclaim. His advisor at the time was David King and Denis Wick.
In 2000, Brett Baker began studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and was invited to join Black Dyke Band under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Childs. At ‘Dyke’, he has played on 100 recordings, and performed on three solo CDs with the band, highlights have included trips to the USA, Bermuda and Australia.
Brett Baker, has had some impressive contest successes with Fairey and Black Dyke, winning the All-England Masters twice, the Europeans and British Open three times, the English National Championships four times, and the National Championships of Great Britain five times over a twenty year period.
Pursuing a hectic playing schedule of around 100 concerts a year, Brett Baker enjoys presenting workshops specialising in the psychology of performance. He has been guest trombone tutor at The Salvation Army’s Star Lake Music Camp near New York and the National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland. He is trombone tutor of the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain, the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the International Brass Band Summer School, and has been trombone tutor of the Northern Brass Band Trust since 1992, as well as the trusts Course Director since 2000.
In 2006 Brett became Chairman and Vice-President of the British Trombone Society (BTS) then in 2010 he became President, taking an active role in the development of the "Trombonist" magazine, encouraging young player initiatives and organising a multitude of events in and around the UK. Brett is also currently Chair of the Awards committee of the International Trombone Association (ITA) after previously serving as the ITA's Secretary from 2006-2008. In 2011 Brett became a council member of the National Youth brass Band of Great Britain and trombone tutor once more at the University of Salford. In 2013 he released his latest CD "Salute to Sousa" presenting a selection of rarely heard virtuosi solos with accompanist John Wilson.
As a brass clinician Brett has toured from Brazil to the USA and from the Antipodes to Western Europe. He has given workshops and recitals at numerous educational establishments including Birmingham Conservatory, Trinity Laban College, London, Royal College of Music, London and Leeds University. During his trips abroad, he has performed at The Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington DC, The Great American brass Band Festival Danville, Kentucky, USA, The Brazilian Trombone Festival, Isle Verde Festival in Argentina, The University of Western Australia, Perth, the Sydney & Wollongong Conservatorium's in Australia, Melbourne School of Music, Australia, the New York Brass Conference USA, Cincinnatti and Cleveland Schools of Music USA, and the University of Toronto, Canada. He has been a guest soloist with bands and orchestras all over the World.
Brett Baker has been a guest player with all the leading brass bands including Grimethorpe, Foden’s and Leyland and has performed as a soloist in most major cities in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the UK. In addition to his work as a performer, he is also acquiring a burgeoning reputation as a conductor and adjudicator. Having associations with many youth bands in the North of England Brett has also achieved contest success with the Northop, Ratby and Longridge bands. Most recently Brett conducted the Royal Northern College of Music, and University of Salford Brass Bands for his Doctorate in Musical Arts during 2013, and as a Performance Fellow at the University of Salford.
As an adjudicator Brett has judged many competitions and festivals including the International Trombone Association contests in the USA and the National Solo Championships in Switzerland. Brett has also adjudicated at the Australian and New Zealand National Finals numerous Association contests and the Scottish & West of England Regional Championships.
For over 20 years, Brett has been keen to promote new music for the trombone, commissioning over one hundred works from leading brass composers, Brett lives in Cheshire with his wife Sarah.
"Brett Baker is one of an increasingly rare breed; not only a consummate musician and performer, but also someone who appreciates the fact that to really succeed you must invest in the wider picture and future of what you do. His seemingly boundless enthusiasm and drive for enriching the world of every trombonist through new commissions, teaching, work with the International Trombone Association and British Trombone Society and countless other projects is as much a testament to his love for the trombone as is his dedication to his musical craft.” Chris Beaumont, Director of Michael Rath Brass Instruments.