Jeff Baker began his career in front of a crowd of ten thousand, as one of the youngest vocalist to ever win the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Vocal Solo Competition. Only 16 years old at the time, his first truly big performance was backed by the Lionel Hampton Trio, not a bad way to start!
In 1997, Baker accepted a scholarship from Willamette University to sing with the Internationally Renowned vocal jazz ensemble, The Willamette Singers, a group which has performed at international conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and the International.
Since the completion of his tenure at Willamette, Baker has been recognized as one of the up and coming young vocal talents in the nation! In March of 2002, Baker was among the talent showcased at the Gene Harris Jazz Festival Club Night. Other artists booked for festival included, Kevin Eubanks, Eric Marienthal, Jeff Hamilton, Curtis Stigers, and The New York Voices. Beginning in 1999, and every year since, Baker has been the only vocalist to open for the Annual Gene Harris Block Party, a downtown jazz concert honor .
Baker recently completed recording his new album, Baker Sings Chet. The project is a tribute to the vocal music of Chet Baker. My Funny Valentine is a piece many associate with Chet Baker. Although this piece is part of the standard repertoire for singers, both the arrangement and Jeff Bakers haunting and smooth vocal treatment represent his ongoing desire to give a new voice to the music.