David Baker, Who Helped Bring Jazz Studies Into the Academy, Dies at 84 (via NY Times)

David Baker, a performer, composer and educator who helped bring jazz studies into the academy at a time when the ivory tower considered the field infra dig, died on Saturday at his home in Bloomington, Ind. He was 84.

His death was announced by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was a distinguished professor emeritus.

A trombonist and later a cellist, Mr. Baker founded Indiana’s jazz studies program — one of the first of its kind at an American university — in 1968. It remains one of the most respected among the dozens of academic jazz programs now flourishing in the United States.

As a performer, Mr. Baker played in the ensembles of Quincy Jones and George Russell. With Gunther Schuller, he founded the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in 1990, serving for many years as its artistic and musical director.

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