Kate Baker Biography
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“Kate Baker‘s artistry on the New York jazz scene has been a breath of fresh air.” Joe Lovano/Judi Silvano
“A vital part of the vocal scene in New York for many years. Kate is able to sing in many styles with total authority. And her pure and honest voice can capture an audience and transport them.” Harvie S.
“One of the most impressive performers to come along in years,” (Los Angeles Times), much in-demand vocalist, Kate Baker is a heartfelt interpreter of lyrics with “an unmistakably original voice that is smooth and hypnotic” (Boston Globe), resonating with her love of diverse musical inspirations.
A musician’s singer with a high level of musicianship, she regularly performs in a variety of settings from duo (most notably in a 20-year partnership with her late husband, legendary guitarist Vic Juris – the duo was described by the Los Angeles Times as “exciting, organic and … completely captivating.”), to small ensemble to big band. Over the years, other giants of jazz she has collaborated with include Claudio Roditi, Norman Simmons, Harvie S., Helio Alves, Steve Wilson, Houston Person, the late Richie Cole and the Alto Madness Orchestra, Dick Oatts, Dave Stryker, Dave Liebman, Todd Coolman, Rachel Z. Hakim and Duduka Da Fonseca.
For the past two decades she has been exciting audiences worldwide with a voice that bassist Harvie S. calls “beautiful and authentic,” and pianist Rachel Z. Hakim calls “irresistibly engaging and intimate … reflecting a lifetime of experiences of love, loss, and hope, and deftly showing her courageous spirit.” Z. Hakim counts herself among Ms. Baker’s many fans. “Kate’s beautiful tone and stunning vocal technique, informed by her philosophy of living as a high integrity human being, enhances her ability to connect musically with the audience and other musicians. Her pure musical heart connection inspires each of us to aim higher, love harder and pursue art fearlessly,” says Z. Hakim.
Kate has performed at venues and festivals all over the world, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Euro Meet, Carini and Pergine Spettacolo Jazz Festivals in Europe, as well as all over the Tri-State area, including the Berkshire, Tarrytown, JVC, and OSPAC Jazz Festivals, the Blue Note, Birdland, Jazz Forum, Jazz Standard, and Greenwich Village mainstay, the 55 Bar.
Her recording credits include appearances on Blue Horizon, (Steeplechase) Vic Plays Victor Young (Steeplechase) and A Second Look (Mel Bay Records), all with Vic Juris. She is also on American Classics with Richie Cole and the Alto Madness Orchestra. Two upcoming albums, I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face – a duo album with Vic Juris, to be released in the fall on 2020, on Steeplechase; and Moonscape: A Reflection Back, a CD of original music, with Vic Juris, Zach Brock, Claudio Roditi, Myra Casales, Harvie S., Adrianna Santos and Duduka Da Fonseca will be released in January 2021.
“Kate Baker is my first call to teach a workshop or class.” Shelia Jordon, NEA
“Kate Baker is a passionate singer who not only puts her heart into her performances but shares her craft as one of the best vocal instructors out there.” Dave Stryker
Widely acknowledged as a master in vocal pedagogy (she also has a special program to train voice teachers), Ms. Baker’s teaching style is an accumulation of over 25 years training and performance. Dubbed “the voice whisperer” by multiple Grammy-nominee and educator Mark Murphy, her roster includes Grammy award winners and nominees, Night at the Apollo winners, American Idol and America’s Got Talent finalists and major label jazz and pop recording artists - singers and instrumentalists. “I consider Kate Baker to be one of the best voice teachers in the field,” says “Queen of Scream” Melissa Cross. “Her teaching is methodical and the results are powerful. Kate creates artists and brings out the very best in the singer.”
A worldwide respected vocal clinician, her methods are functional and somatic in nature and include evidence-based voice science. Ever since personally overcoming a damaged voice, she has dedicated herself to the study of vocal health, specializing in the development and restoration of the voice, and has helped countless vocalists. “Kate Baker is the epitome of what stellar vocal coaches are made of. She has a way with her students that no one I have ever met has,” says one American Idol finalist. “Kate Baker has the wonderful gift of being able to identify an area of the voice that needs work and crafting individual exercises that produce profound results in her students. She is knowledgeable, effective, warm and extremely caring,” says LaTanya Hall, jazz vocalist and backup singer to Steely Dan.
Ms. Baker teaches privately and is on the faculty of the New School University of Jazz and Contemporary Music. She has conducted master classes at major institutions throughout the United States and Europe, including co-leading many master classes with singing legends Sheila Jordan and Mark Murphy, and presenting workshops and clinics on “The Art of the Duo” with Vic Juris. In addition, she is also known as a vocal producer in New York and Los Angeles with several Grammy-winning producers, including Josh Thompson, Jeff Bova, Steve Greenwell and others. Students include Thana Alexa, Cyrille Aimée, Camila Meza, Tessa Souter, Nicole Zuraitus, Jeanie Bryson, Melissa Walker, Sal “The Voice”Valentinetti..
Kate has her degree in Jazz from WPU and is currently finishing her Masters. Kate mentored under Joan Lader, Claire Alexander and Norman Simmons. Her most influentical teachers also include, Charlie Banaccas, Cecil Bridgwater, Rufus Reid, Bill Charlap and James Weidman.
“Kate Baker is a remarkable teacher who draws from a deep well of knowledge to guide her students forward. Each lesson is filled with effective tools that are easily adaptable to your practice routine. The exercises she gives are custom designed to where your voice is and they yield real results.” Donny McCaslin
“When I got into vocal trouble I didn’t know where to turn, but once Kate started to work with me I knew I was in great hands. The results were fast and lifechanging. Her knowledge of the vocal apparatus and the ability to return singers to good health is exceptional and I have been in good hands ever since.” Melissa Walker, Grammy-winning vocalist
“Kate Baker is a fantastic teacher. She brings much focus to the physical body and how it relates to the emotional self and the corresponding musical expression that can be achieved as a result of vocal health and freedom. In the 14 years I have been studying with her she has - on more than one occasion - saved my voice from a number of injuries. She prevented me from getting vocal nodules by going through my repertoire and adapting her vocal technique to the lyrics and vocal intensity that each song required and in the process taught me useful exercises that I have learned to adapt to how I physically feel at any moment in time in order to properly warm myself up before performing. She has taught me to accept where my voice is every single day because each day is different and the mind and body are ever changing. Kate is also, unlike many other vocal coaches, open to all kinds of music and all kinds of singing. There is not one specific style she forces you to learn. She urges you to find YOUR voice. “Above all, Kate is a friend to all her students and is a true spiritual guide to many of her students. She helps realize the singer within and brings out the positive energy that is in all the people she teaches. I am lucky to have found her.” Thana Alexa
“Kate Bakers teaching method is concise and easy to understand, while at the same time, gives the modern singer the possibility to achieve mastery in every vocal style. Kate is a master musician and her teaching method inspires the student to excel no matter their level or age”. Rachel Z. Hakim
“Kate Baker is a life-saver. When I was misdiagnosed with a vocal paresis, Kate put me back on track with one technique lesson, and my second opinion with the laryngologist days later affirmed her correct re-diagnosis, that I did not have a paresis. She is also one of the most generous and life-affirming people I know and I recommend her to everyone.” Tessa Souter
“Just listened to our lesson and it saved my voice for tonight’s show after two weeks of coughing. From hoarse to good! You are a goddess and I’m grateful for you”. - Nicole Zuraitis, Grammy award nominee
“I call her the ‘miracle worker’.” American Idol contestant
“She is the best singing teacher I have ever had. She is a miracle worker.” Joanne Roberts, Emmy-nominated composer and founder of the all-girl band TreBella
“Kate Baker saved my life. She is the only voice teacher I trust!” Christina Kay, four-time Apollo-winning singer songwriter
“Kate Baker does miracles with voices. Her ability to follow and understand what the voice needs in the moment is very unique and special. She is one of the most engaging teachers I have ever worked with and it was a true blessing to study with her for five years. I am forever thankful for her and her ability to connect me with my voice.” Arta Jekabsone, First Prize winner of the Montreux Shure Jazz Voice Competition