Saxophonist Jan Berry Baker is a native of Alberta, Canada. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed throughout North America, France, 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. An advocate of new music, she is the Co-Artistic Director and saxophonist with Bent Frequency and has commissioned and premiered works by numerous composers, including Robert Scott Thompson, Carolyn O’Brien, Jennifer Walshe, Perry Goldstein, Jason Freeman, Joel Puckett, John A. Lennon, M. William Karlins, William Bolcom, Mischa Zupko, Mark Engebretson, and Nick Demos. As an orchestral saxophonist, she regularly performs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic and the Atlanta Opera and has been featured as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Canada, the United States and most recently with the National Symphony of the Ukraine. She can be heard on American Orchestral Works with Grant Park Symphony (Cedille Label), the world premiere recording of The Golden Ticket with the Atlanta Opera (Albany Records) and on Robert Scott Thompson’s Folio, Vol.1 and 2 (Aucourant Records). She has been broadcast in recital on CBC and NPR and is currently recording Citizens of Nowhere, a CD project of works written for clarinet and saxophone (Albany Records).
Performance highlights from this past season include performances of Werther and A Streecar Named Desire with the Chicago Lyric Opera, performances with the Paris Opera Ballet, and multiple performances with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago’s Millennium Park. She gave world premiere performances of works by Carolyn O'Brien, Robert Scott Thompson, Nick Demos, and Perry Goldstein. She performed in recitals at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland and in Paris at the Henri Selmer Concert à la Fontaine. This concert season brings performances at the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico and many US and European perfomances with Stuart Gerber, percussion.
As an educator, Dr. Baker is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Georgia State University. Previous teaching engagements include Artist-Affiliate at Emory University, Artist-Teacher at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, lecturer at Northwestern University and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta. She was also the sabbatical replacement for Fred Hemke at Northwestern University in 2004. Her principal teachers include Frederick L. Hemke, William H. Street, and Barbara Lorenz and she holds a Doctor of Music degree in saxophone performance from Northwestern University. Jan Baker is an endorsed Selmer and Vandoren performing artist.