From jazz to classical to world music – for me they are all one style, one language.
Matt leads a diversified career in double bass and baryton performance, having achieved recognition worldwide for his work in classical, jazz, folk, and theatrical performance in over 20 countries. He has had critical acclaim from concerts in publications such as The Strad, Gramaphone, Fanfare, American Record Guide, The Times, Guardian, Jazz in Europe, and Bass World, among many others. Matt is the professor of double bass at Berklee Valencia and was the founder of the jazz double bass department at the Conservatorio Superior de Valencia. Matt has played with the jazz greats such as Bob Mintzer, Terri Lyne Carrington, Mike Mainieri, Jorge Pardo, Dave Samuels, Mike Mossman, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Clark Terry, Claudio Ragazzi, and Victor Mendoza. In 2008, Matt won first prize with his duo at the UPV Jazz competition in Valencia, Spain and currently works with his own jazz projects JPMB, Bron, Duo Baker/Bailly, and Duo Baker/Zambelli in addition to other ensembles.
Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Matthew Baker began his professional career on the double bass at the early age of 13 with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, first as section and later as principal double bass. He has been a student of Gary Karr, James VanDemark, William Ritchie, Corin Long, Duncan McTier, Jiri Hudec, and Rodney Slatford among others. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK.
“Matt Baker, a jack-of-all-high-level trades working in the fields of jazz, world, folk, and classical music contributes a forceful, melodic, and versatile phrasing and exceptional use of the bow”
The Flophouse Magazine
“Matt Baker exhibited a beautiful sound from the double bass and alternated between virtuosic use of both the bow and pizzicato.”
Joaquin Guzman, ABC
“Diverse, unique, and extraordinary talent”
Rob Nairn, Bass World
As a folk musician, Matt has recorded and toured with many of the contemporary legends of Celtic music such as Chris Stout, Catriona McKay, Fionan DeBarra, Mairi McInnes, and Luke Daniels. He also ventured further into the realm of world music with his formation of Diablito Tango, the award winning tango trio based in Valencia, Spain as well as the experimental folk/world ensemble, Trio Mandarina.
From 2001 until his move to Spain in 2006, Matt toured the US, Europe, and Far East as a member of the theatrical string septet, ‘Gogmagogs’, formed by reknowned British theatre director Lucy Bailey.
As a chamber and orchestral classical musician, Matt currently works with the Orquesta de Communidad de Valencia ‘Palau de les Arts’, the opera house founded by Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta. He also co-founder of the chamber groups ‘Elan Quintet’ which has through 3 award winning CDs premiered numerous quintets on Naxos Records of the romantic composer George Onslow, and the ‘Valencia Baryton Project’ which is showcasing his work as one of the few performers in the world of the baryton. Through recitals throughout North America and Europe Matt is continually working to promote and develop the repertoire of chamber music involving the both the double bass and the baryton. Matt has performed as a guest soloist with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta de Peñiscola, premiering the solo double bass work “Toccata for Matt” written by valenciano composer Andrés Valero, as well as performing classic solo double bass repertoire by composers such as Bottesini and Paganini. He has also appeared as guest soloist with the Banda Municipal of Barcelona, Banda Municipal of Bilbao, Banda Muncipal de Cullera, as well as with Spanish Brass and with the string quartet ‘Koutet’. Matt has played with the London Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Matt is an Ambassador for Schertler Electronics for both his work on double bass and baryton and endorser for Velvet Strings and Wiedoeft Rosin.
“Toccata for Matt” by valenciano composer Andrés Valero Castells is a short work for double bass solo and chamber orchestra commissioned in 2015 and premiered by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra in 2016. Combining classical double bass solo with flamenco “cajon” performed on the instrument as well as clapping and traditional flamenco rhythms “Toccata for Matt” has had a very warm reception both in Spain and the USA. Contact me or Piles Ediciones for information on programming this great new addition to the double bass repertoire.