From jazz to classical to world music – for me they are all one style, one language.
Matt leads a diversified career in double bass 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 and recordings in publications such as The Strad, Gramophone, Fanfare, Amercian Record Guide, The Times, Guardian, The Sunday Herald, Jazz in Europe, Irish Times, Chamber Music Magazine, ABC (Spain), and Cuadernos de Jazz (Spain). Matt is the professor of double bass at Berklee Valencia and was the founder of the jazz bass department at the Consevatorio Superior de Valencia. He has played with the jazz greats such as Bob Mintzer, Terri Lyne Carrington, Mike Mainieri, Jorge Pardo, Dave Samuels, Mike Mossman, Steve Brown, 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 jazz ensembles, Bron, JPMB and Duo Baker/Zambelli amongst other projects.
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.
“the diverse, unique and extraordinary talent of Matthew Baker”
Bass World (ISB)
“Matt Baker exhibited a beautiful sound from the double bass and alternated between virtuosic use of both the bow and pizzicato.”
Joaquin Guzman, ABC
“Pounding the side of his double bass, clapping and stomping his feet, he pulled his instrument out of the back of the orchestra and into the front….it was a rousing work”
Bruce Miller, Sioux City Journal
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 the founder of the chamber group ‘Elan Quintet’, signed by Naxos Records for a cycle of the George Onslow string quintets as well as ‘Ensemble La Seu’ and the cello and double bass duos ‘Bass Instinct’ and ‘Duo Maski’. Through their recitals throughout North America and Europe is continually working to promote and develop the repertoire of chamber music involving the double bass. Matt has performed as a guest soloist with the Sioux City Symphony and Orquesta de Peñiscola, premiering the solo double bass and orchestra work of Andres Valero Castells ‘Toccata for Matt’ as well as performing other works of the double bass repertoire by composers such as Bottesini and Paganini. He has also been a 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.
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.
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
Beyond the double bass, Matt Baker also plays the baryton a 18th century instrument used extensively in the chamber music of Haydn in the court of Prince Esterhazy. He has formed his own ensemble, the Valencia Baryton Project, to explore this music as well as music of the baroque era.
“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.