Pianist/Composer Matt Baker Releases New CD Titled "Underground" (Featuring Gregory Hutchinson, Joe Sanders, Jeremy Pelt and Dayna Stephens)
"This Guy Can Play" Herbie Hancock
Baker's piano is the axis around which it all resolves, with integrity and enjoyment." Michael Foster, Canberra Times
Australian / New York Jazz Pianist and Composer, Matt Baker has traveled far with his career, performing at festivals, clubs and concert halls in Australia, Europe, USA and the Pacific. He is now proud to call New York City his home, moving there in mid 2010.
In March 2011, Baker recorded this new album in New York featuring Gregory Hutchinson, Joe Sanders, Jeremy Pelt and Dayna Stephens. The album entitled 'Underground' features a selection of brand new original work alongside some classic jazz standards in a fresh new sound for Baker, inspired from living the New York underground jazz scene: endless nights of clubs & jam sessions. He has played engagements at noted NY Jazz venues Smalls Jazz Club, Miles Café, The Zinc Bar, Tomi Jazz, The Garage and Cleopatra's Needle, and has played professionally with some of New York's top musicians including drummer Gregory Hutchinson, saxophonist Dayna Stephens and an impromptu set at Smalls Jazz Club in duo with trumpet legend Roy Hargrove. Matt's first album project in New York as an Assistant Producer was released in May 2011, and features Aaron Goldberg, Rueben Rogers, Ambrose Akinmusire, Mike Moreno and Gregory Hutchinson.
Matt Baker tied fifth place in the 2003 Montreux International Solo Jazz Piano competition and was a semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005. The Montreux Jazz Festival also engaged The Matt Baker Trio as their exclusive in-house band 2 years straight, where they performed 17 nights in the Montreux Festival Jazz Club, accompanying and supporting many of the festivals headlining artists. A serious student of Jazz, he's spent time watching piano legend Oscar Peterson perform, as well as studying with Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Goldberg, Jacky Terrasson, James Williams and Ella Fitzgerald's life-long accompanist Paul Smith.
In Montreux 2004, Matt spent some one-on-one time with Jazz legend Herbie Hancock and Latin American pianist Michel Camilo, studying their music, concepts and approaches to modern jazz. He has performed privately for Quincy Jones and played in support of Jazz legends Tony Bennett and Al Jarreau. Matt has now four albums as a leader.