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Michael Baker

Michael Baker's Biography

For the past eighteen years, Michael Baker has worked as 'World Renowned Superstar' Whitney Houston's Music Director and drummer. Over the years, Michael has worked with many great musicians, including Aretha Franklin, Missy Elliott, Sting, Christina Aguilera, James Taylor, Elton John, Shaggy, Wycliff, Mary J. Blige, Ricky Martin, Usher, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, and many others. Michael is a world-renowned jazz drummer and has played with some of the world's top artists such as Al Jarreau, The Zawinul Syndicate, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Stanley Turrentine, Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry and the Ellington Orchestra, the classic recordings of Billy Childs, and was one of the founding members of Tribal Tech. He was the drummer in the LA version of the Broadway Musical "Sophisticated Ladies" in Los Angeles' distinguished Shubert Theater during the early 80's. During Michael's eighteen year relationship with the late Whitney Houston, he wrote and/or arranged music for HBO specials, Sports Illustrated events, and more. He produced and directed a Whitney Houston event featured in Germany, the "Soul Divas Tour," which also featured Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole. Michael also conducted Whitney Houston's comeback performance of "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" on the 2010 American Music Awards.

For many years, Michael had been associated with producer David Guest as drummer for numerous shows and benefits at Madison Square Garden, including the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special. In 2012 Michael performed with hip hop singer Ashanti at the Grammy Awards. He also performed with Sting at Carnegie Hall in his 'Save the Rain Forest' concerts, as well as concerts showcasing the late Aliyah, Taylor Dane, Simply Red, and Celine Dion. During the late eighties, Michael was part of a short lived power trio with ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers and Bassist Jerry Watts. The band was highly regarded in an interview with Guitar Player Magazine. During that period, Michael was featured in his first Modern Drummer interview.

During early 2002 when Michael was not touring with Whitney Houston, he spent a large amount of time being a part of Bruce Hornsby's Band "The Range" and was the drummer on two CD projects: "Big Swing Face" and "Here Come the Noise Makers". In 2005 Michael was asked by record mogul Clive Davis to produce Aretha Franklin's performance on the Arista Music 25th Anniversary Special featuring Boyz 2 Men.

In addition to music, Michael was the writer, producer, and artist on a controversial TV commercial called Real Lovers in 2007 by the Italian fashion company Dolce & Gabbana. Michael also worked as a writer and singer on Robert Townsend's "Five Heartbeats" movie and soundtrack and Richard Prior's "Jo Jo Dancer" with Jimmy Smith and Billy Ekstine in the early 80's.

By late 2003, Michael moved to Italy where most of his production work began, first with the great Italian vocalist Giorgia. Michael worked on "Senza Ali" (Writer/Producer), "Giorgias Greatest Hits" (Producer/Co-Writer), and "Ladra Di Ventro" (Producer). Both "Senza Ali" and "Giorgia Greatest Hits" are three-time platinum sellers. One of the highlights of producing "Senza Ali" was working with Herbie Hancock on a song written by Michael and keyboard great Ricky Peterson in 2000. In 2001 Michael conducted the Sanremo Festival's Orchestra for the hit production "De Sole D Azzuro", written by Italian superstar Zuccarro. More recently, Michael had the opportunity to work with Burt Bacharach, producing and conducting string sessions for emerging Italian pop star Karima. Michael continues to produce music for a host of world-class artists such as "Senit" and Tormento, who received critical acclaim in Italian Rolling Stone Magazine. Presently, Michael is touring in Europe with legendary Italian artist Pino Danielie.

Michael Baker's Gear
Michael Baker

Gear List

Absolute Birch NouveauBSD-0105 14" x 5.5"BBD-1524T 24" x 18" BTT-1510 10" x 10" BTT-1512 12" x 10" BTT-1514 14" x 12" BTT-1516 16" x 14" DFP-9310 Double Foot PedalDS-940 Drum StoolHS-950 Hi-hat Stand