In Memoriam: David Nathaniel Baker Jr., 1931-2016

bakerDavid Baker, Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University, died on March 26 at his home in Bloomington, Indiana. He was 84 years old.

Professor Baker joined the faculty at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music in 1966. There he founded the jazz program and served as its director for 45 years from 1968 to 2013. Originally a gifted trombonist, he injured his jaw in an automobile accident and was forced to switch instruments. He then mastered the cello. Over his long career, he composed more than 2,000 works of music, produced 65 recordings, and wrote more than 400 articles.

Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University, issued a statement that read in part, “David Baker was one of the truly great figures in the history of jazz. He was deeply respected and extensively admired as a charismatic educator, innovative and virtuosic performer, prolific composer of depth and subtlety, and scholar of enormous range. He was truly an Indiana University treasure.”

Baker earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in music education at Indiana University Before joining the faculty at Indiana University, he taught at Lincoln University, a historically Black educational institution in Jefferson City, Missouri. Professor Baker served as president of the International Association for Jazz Education.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs