Australian born / New York Jazz Pianist, Composer and Teacher Matt Baker has traveled far with his career, performing at festivals, clubs and concert halls in Australia, Europe, USA and the Pacific. He is now proud to call New York City his home, moving here in mid 2010. Matt began Classical piano at 5 years old and after passing through the grades, moved on to Jazz Piano at the age of 12. He continued Jazz throughout school, as well as studying Drums and Jazz Voice, and graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies.
Matt began teaching piano at the age of 16, and has continued teaching for almost two decades now. He has taught in many capacities including private Piano/Jazz Piano lessons within schools and homes, casual classroom music teaching, student ensemble directing, band conducting and summer music camp tuition and direction. For 11 years Matt worked with Jazz Workshop Australia as the Senior Tutor and Co-Director of their annual summer Jazz Camp. Students were aged 11-19, and the camp program entailed student ensembles, Masterclass tuition, lecturing, conducting, general supervision and program co-ordination. Matt has also taught privately at some of Sydney’s top schools, including The Hills Grammar School, and North Sydney Boys High. In New York City Matt has done a lot of private teaching in schools in Queens and Manhattan, including group music classes, classroom music teaching, and private lessons for both piano (Classical and Jazz) and voice (Jazz and popular).
As a performer, Matt Baker gained fifth place in the 2003 Montreux International Solo Jazz Piano competition and semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005. The Montreux Jazz Festival also engaged The Matt Baker Trio as their exclusive in-house band 2 years straight, where they performed 17 nights in the Montreux Festival Jazz Club, accompanying and supporting many of the festivals headlining artists. In March 2011, Baker recorded a new album in New York City featuring Gregory Hutchinson, Joe Sanders, Jeremy Pelt and Dayna Stephens. The album entitled 'Underground' features a selection of brand new original work alongside some classic jazz standards. Already he has played engagements at noted NY Jazz venues such as Smalls Jazz Club and the Zinc Bar, and has played gigs with some of New York’s top musicians including drummer Gregory Hutchinson, and an impromtu set at Smalls Jazz Club in duo with trumpet legend Roy Hargrove. A serious student of Jazz, he's spent time watching piano legend Oscar Peterson perform, as well as studying with Benny Green, James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Goldberg, Jacky Terrasson and Ella Fitzgerald's life-long accompanist Paul Smith. In Montreux 2004, Matt spent some one-on-one time with Jazz legend Herbie Hancock and Cuban pianist Michel Camilo, studying their music, concepts and approaches to modern jazz. He has performed privately for Quincy Jones and played in support act for Jazz legends Tony Bennett and Al Jarreau. Matt has now four album releases as a leader.
Mr. Matt Baker has joined the faculty of the Piano School of NYC in 2011.