Saxophonist Jan Berry Baker is a native of Alberta, Canada. In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, France, Germany, Scotland, England, Ukraine, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. She has been featured as a concerto soloist with several orchestras in Canada, Ukraine, the US, and most recently with the Sinfonica de Oaxaca in Mexico.
An advocate of new music, Baker is Co-Artistic Director and saxophonist with Atlanta-based new music ensemble Bent Frequency. She has commissioned and premiered numerous works by distinguished and cutting-edge composers and has won national and international grants to fund the creation, performance and recording of new music. The Bent Frequency Duo Project (with percussionist Stuart Gerber) has commissioned over 30 new works for saxophone and percussion in the past few years and has given countless performances of these works across the US, Mexico, and Europe.
As an orchestral saxophonist, Baker regularly performs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet and has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Chicago Chamber Players, and American Ballet Theater. She can be heard on American Orchestral Works with Grant Park Orchestra (Cedille), The Golden Ticket with the Atlanta Opera (Albany), The BF Duo Project disc Diamorpha (Centaur), Citizens of Nowhere featuring works for clarinet and saxophone (Albany), and is a featured performer on John Liberatore’s Line Drawings (Albany), and Robert Scott Thompson’s Folio, Vol.1, Folio 2, and Solace (Aucourant).
Performance highlights from this past season include an exciting season with Bent Frequency, presenting music written by women or composers of color including residencies with Sarah Hennies, Xi Wang, and George Lewis, as well as a BF Duo Project tour from Boston to Montreal featuring the music of Stockhausen. She performed in West Side Story with the Atlanta Opera and served on the faculty at the Dakota Chamber Music Festival. This season’s highlights include performances of Bernstein’s Mass with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Atlanta Opera, a guest artist recital at Miami’s FETA “Justly Tuned” series with the BF Duo Project, and an exciting season, Re-Amplify, with Bent Frequency.
As an educator, Dr. Baker is Associate Professor of Saxophone and Graduate Director at Georgia State University. She studied with Frederick Hemke, William H. Street, and Barbara Lorenz and earned a Doctor of Music degree in saxophone performance from Northwestern University. She is the Region 6 Director of the North American Saxophone Alliance, leader of the Women’s Mentoring Program and founding member of the Committee on the Status of Women in NASA, and is a Selmer Paris and Vandoren performing artist.