Community Musician: Andy Baker
Delivering Community and Education Projects Throughout the South and South West
Andy Baker has always enjoyed a wide range of music, and played bass guitar in pub-rock bands as often as he could while he was still at school in the late 1960s. He went on to study the double bass at the Royal Academy of Music where he won prizes for Chamber Music and Performance. After leaving the RAM he joined the London Festival Ballet Orchestra and freelanced extensively, playing with many of the leading London orchestras.
He then joined the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra, where he played double bass and bass guitar on hundreds of radio broadcasts. In 1978 he joined the Bournemouth Sinfonietta with whom he toured and played until 1996. During this time he developed a great interest in Community Music and worked extensively developing this type of work in schools and communities all over the country. He wrote and was Musical Director for three Rock Musicals for a Dorset-based Youth Theatre Group he helped create, and carried on in the role of MD for 10 years.
As a bass player he has recorded extensively, playing alongside artists as diverse as Westlife, Abdullah Ibrahim, John Surman, Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers, David Bedford, Jimmy Webb, David (Tonewall) Jackson, Sandu Sahai and Clannad, and in 1995 performed for 350 million viewers in the Eurovision Song Contest. As a Community Musician he has led hundreds of creative music projects in schools, colleges, old people’s homes, youth clubs and prisons, working alongside dancers, pop, rock and jazz musicians, cartoonists, environmentalists, chainsaw artists and theatre directors. He has performed in concert halls, living rooms, prison chapels, quarry pits, remote Atlantic Islands, garden sheds and hospitals. He is also regular tutor at the Dartington International Summer School.
As well as working in this country, Andy has delivered projects in France, Germany, Romania, Spain and Ireland.