Wade Baker has always had a love for music. As a child, Wade began singing in the choir at his church, developing his ear and concept of sound. Throughout his pre-teen years, in addition to the many athletic endeavors he pursued, Baker would perform in plays and musicals, furthering his drive and passion for performance. When Baker began playing the trumpet at age 12 it was love at first toot. Wade would sit at his stereo for hours, listening to the popular songs on the radio and figuring them out one note at a time. Little did he know the importance of this early “ear training.”
Wade Baker’s high energy performances use no set formula at all. Instead he offers an eclectic and intelligent blend of abilities, styles and enthusiasms uniquely crafted to his liking. “I feel like I’ve tried to mix a bunch of styles together to produce a new sound.” In his playing can be heard influences and accents ranging from jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, soul singer D’angelo, Motown legend James Jamerson and too many others to mention. What Baker takes from all of this is a sense of craft and above all, great depth & love for the music. That’s what makes him so soulful. Well, that and his warm tone and instinctual musicality.
Wade Baker received his Undergraduate Degree (B.S. with a concentration in Jazz Studies) from the University of Indianapolis in 2006 and was immediately accepted on scholarship to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music the following fall. Baker is 1 semester short of attaining his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from C.C.M. Wade has studied Jazz Improvisation with Harry Miedema, Mark Buselli, Brent Wallarab, Phil DeGreg & Kim Pensyl. His classical trumpet training has been from: Bill Adam, Pat Keeley, Tim Smith, Ed Cord, John Rommel, Karl Sievers, Allen Miller, Lenny Foy, Greg Wing & Brad Weil. Wade has played in the big bands of: University of Indianapolis (Guest soloist), Jasper High School (Guest Soloist), C.C.M. Jazz Lab Band (soloist chair), as well as many other engagements.
Baker’s versatility makes him fit comfortably playing with many different types of artists. He has played Bass Guitar at several of the country’s leading blues festivals (International Blues Challenge, Bluebonnet Blues Festival, Bean Blossom Blues Festival, Cincinnati Blues Festival, Crossroads Festival, St. Mary’s Blues Festival) in addition to the many Jazz Festivals he has been a part of playing his trumpet (University of Louisville Jazz Festival, University of Indianapolis Jazz Festival, Butler Jazz Festival, Ball State Jazz Festival, Indiana State Jazz Festival, etc.
Baker has also collaborated with R&B/Hip-Hop artist Moe Z M.D. in producing his new record which is due out later this year as well as Marla Thomas, an up and coming R&B star in her own right. He already has a professional’s discipline and commitment and places no limit on his ambition. Wade explains it best by saying, “The kind of artist I’d like to evolve into is a person who can do anything on the band stand, someone who is irreplaceable,” he says. “My ambition is to do this whole music thing as well as I possibly can and to have people really like my music, but more importantly have people really like me. I want to be a true entertainer. I want people to leave my shows wanting more and I’m more than willing to give it to them.”
You can see Wade performing locally with several ensembles in the Cincinnati area. A listing of the bands are: The Jon Justice Band (Cincinnati), Eclipse (Cincinnati), The Blue Birds Big Band (Cincinnati), The Wade Baker Collective (Cincinnati/Indianapolis), Cinci Groove Collaboration (Cincinnati), Super Massive (Cincinnati), Fathead Davis’ Blues Band (Cincinnati).