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David Baker Recipient Of 2015 Black History Month Living Legend Award
Updated February 18, 2015 8:37 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee has announced that world-renowned composer, educator and writer, David Baker, is recipient of the 2015 Black History Month Living Legend Award.

The Living Legend Award was created to recognize, honor and thank African-Americans in Bloomington who have given their time, talents and resources to make a difference in the Bloomington community and beyond. Their contributions and their lives have broken boundaries, created legacies and provided inspiration to many.

David Baker is a Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, as well as conductor and musical and artistic director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. A virtuoso performer on multiple instruments and top in his field in several disciplines, Baker has taught and performed throughout the world, including in the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan. He received both bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Indiana University and has studied with a wide range of master teachers, performers and composers, including J.J. Johnson, Janos Starker, George Russell and William Russo. A 1973 Pulitzer Prize nominee, Baker was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1979 and has been honored with prestigious awards three times by Down Beat magazine. He has more than 65 recordings, 60 books and 400 articles to his credit.

His service in music organizations is wide-ranging and includes membership on the National Council on the Arts; board positions for the American Symphony Orchestra League, Arts Midwest and the Afro-American Bicentennial Hall of Fame/Museum; past chairs of the Jazz Advisory Panel to the Kennedy Center and the Jazz/Folk/Ethnic Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and has served a number of times on the Pulitzer Prize Music Jury. He currently serves as senior consultant for music programs for the Smithsonian Institution.

Baker will join a distinguished list of past Living Legend Award recipients, including James Mumford, William and Janice Wiggins, the Rev. Marvin Chandler, George and Viola Taliaferro, Gladys DeVane, Clarence and Frances Gilliam and Retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Gene Shipp. He will be honored along with the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males' Outstanding Black Male Leaders of Tomorrow at this year's City of Bloomington Black History Month Gala on Feb. 28 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomington, 245 N. College Ave. Tickets are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater box office,114 E. Kirkwood Ave., or online at

The Black History Month Gala is part of the monthlong celebration of "Black History Month - Bloomington Style." Activities and events will occur throughout February. For a full list of events, visit For more information about Black History Month in Bloomington or the Commission on the Status of Black Males, contact Director Beverly Calender-Anderson at 812.349.3430 or visit

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