Bassist Leslie Baker, born in Los Angeles has been involved with music from an early age. Her Father, Dick Baker was a professional pianist and vocal coach. He started her on piano and reading music at age six. By twelve on his suggestion and encouragement Leslie began playing upright bass. Very shortly after that she was performing on bass with her Dad at his gigs. Leslie plays electric and acoustic basses, sings, composes and arranges music. Her self-produced CD’s on her label Ranch Cabin Records display all these talents in a variety of settings.
Original music by Leslie, a tribute to my hometown’s history:
Red Car Directions (or how not to get lost in downtown LA)
Honored as a Living Legend of Jazz and Blues in 2017 Leslie continues to perform in a wide variety of venues. She is a currently member of the Caltech Orchestra and LA’s OWN LAPD concert and swing band, co-leader of the chamber group Transcendence and leads the Leslie Baker Band. In addition to being a busy sideperson, as a bandleader Leslie books the Leslie Baker Band and the chamber group Transcendence for special events, concerts, workshops, recordings and shows. The reviews from clients are consistently positive.
Here’s an original song for a dear departed bandleader Bobby White who I worked with at the Lighthouse Cafe Hermosa Beach performed by the Leslie Baker Band:
Drummer Man (the titi boom song)
Leslie continues since age 20 to support herself as a professional musician. Versatility and continuous growth are some attributes of Leslie’s musicianship that her large network of musician friends, teachers and co-workers have noticed. Leslie considers the great Red Callender to be her most important mentor.
Strongly influenced by Jazz and Blues, Leslie has been privileged to share time on bandstands with many great musicians including the inventor of Rock and Roll, Earl Palmer, Jazz great Billy Higgins, recordings for the legendary Willie Dixon, road gigs and recordings backing Blues giants Floyd Dixon, Bill “Honky Tonk” Doggett, Lowell Fulson, Harmonica Fats and many more.
Long tenures in the bands of Al Aarons and the L.A. Jazz Caravan (Count Basie/Studio trumpeter) and sixteen years with bluesman Floyd Dixon (songwriter Hey Bartender, Operator 210, Jump Piano/Vocals) have afforded numerous festival and recording opportunities. A particular highlight among many festivals with Floyd was the Monterey Jazz Festival. It resulted in a recording “Live at Monterey”. “Wake Up and Live” another collaboration with Floyd Dixon won the John Handy Award. Another highlight is playing in the string section for the Dave Matthews Band when they closed their 2018 tour to a sold out Hollywood Bowl. It was the 1st time the band added a whole string section. Leslie was the 1 string bass in the section.
Some wonderful singers Leslie has worked with include Barbara Morrison, Nell Carter, Linda Hopkins and Oscar Brown Jr.
There have been numerous TV and Movie appearances and recordings including Star Trek TNG, Frasier, House, Bones, Addams Family Values, Red Dragon, Walk Hard, Raising Hope and most recently The Voice backing winner Craig Wayne Boyd, Josh Grobin TV special featuring Kelly Clarkson, film recording for Van Dyke Parks and Doug Lacy.
In her effort to spread the love of Jazz and live music to young people Leslie has been on staff at Jazz America, an after school program started by Buddy Collette for middle school and high school and the Los Angeles Jazz Society Jazz in Schools program since it’s inception with Al Aarons and the Jazz Caravan, then as a part of Maestro Delbert Taylor‘s band and currently continues as the bassist in Bobby Rodriguez Jazz in Schools band.