Saxophonist Jan Berry Baker is a native of Alberta, Canada. In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, France, Scotland, England, Ukraine, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. She has won top prizes in numerous competitions including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance Concerto Competition and the Johann Strauss Society competition. Baker has been featured as a concerto soloist with several orchestras in Canada and the United States and with the National Symphony of the Ukraine.
An advocate of new music, Baker is the Co-Artistic Director and saxophonist with Atlanta-based new music ensemble Bent Frequency. She has commissioned and premiered numerous works by distinguished and cutting-edge composers and has won many national and international grants to fund the creation, performance and recording of new music. Recent collaborations include composers such as Lei Liang, Jennifer Walshe and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon as well as CORE Dance Company and visual artist Craig Dongoski.
As an orchestral saxophonist, Baker regularly performs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Orchestra, and Atlanta Opera and has appeared with the Paris Opera Ballet, Chicago Chamber Players, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet and Atlanta Ballet. She can be heard on American Orchestral Works with Grant Park Symphony (Cedille Label), and on the world premiere recording of The Golden Ticket with the Atlanta Opera (Albany Records). Other recordings include Citizens of Nowhere, a CD project of works written for clarinet and saxophone (Albany Records, anticipated release fall 2013) and Robert Scott Thompson’s Folio, Vol.1 and 2 and Solace (Aucourant Records).
Performance highlights from this past season include performances with the Chicago Lyric Opera of Werther and A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Renée Fleming; performances with the Paris Opera Ballet; and world premiere recitals at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland and in Paris at the Henri Selmer Concert à la Fontaine. She collaborated with CORE Dance at the High Museum and Callenwolde Fine Arts Center, and gave multiple performances with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago’s Millennium Park. This season she will perform with Bent Frequency at the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico. The Bent Frequency Duo Project (with percussionist Stuart Gerber) has recently commissioned an entire program of works for saxophone and percussion. This program will be premiered and toured throughout the United States and Europe in 2014 and recorded for upcoming release.
As an educator, Dr. Baker is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Georgia State University. She has studied with Frederick Hemke, William Street and Barbara Lorenz and she holds a Doctor of Music degree in saxophone performance from Northwestern University. Jan Berry Baker is a Selmer Paris and Vandoren performing artist.