Dr L. Brett Baker ARCM is an established, successful and highly respected trombone soloist, adjudicator, presenter, tutor, freelance conductor and ambassador for Michael Rath Trombones. He is currently the principal trombone player for the Black Dyke Band, where he has been a member for over two decades, earning him the title of the longest serving principal trombone player in Black Dyke’s history! His credits are numerous and impressive. He is the Chair of the International Trombone Association Research Advisory Council and an executive member of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators. He was also previously the President and Chair of the British Trombone Society.
Brett Baker hails from the beautiful area of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. At the age of ten, Brett’s father introduced him to the trombone and encouraged him to play. His early introduction to the world of brass bands saw him play for Bream Silver Band and Lydbrook Band. 1989 saw Brett join Flowers Band and the National Youth Brass Band, where for two years, he served as the principal trombone player. Successful wins came at the Cheltenham and Bath Festivals and in 1990, reaching the finals at the British Open Solo Championship.
In 1992, Brett achieved the status of being in the brass semi-final of BBC’s Young Musician of the Year. Shortly after, he began studying at Salford University. At the same time, he earnt a seat playing with Fairey Band. At Fairey, his reputation as a player of excellence grew, becoming the British Open Trombone Solo Champion in 1993, 1994 and 1995! Between 1993 and 1996, he was the trombone tutor at Salford. It was also during 1996, when Brett completed his first solo recording, entitled Bone Idyll which was very well received.
Since joining Black Dyke Band in 2000, Brett Baker has gained the accolade of playing on over 100 CDs and has made an abundance of appearances on TV and is one of the most prolific recorded trombone soloists of all time. As well as Black Dyke, Brett has guested with other big named bands such as Grimethorpe Colliery and YBS Band. No stranger to travelling, he has embarked on numerous trips, playing trombone all around the world and as far away as Australia, in wonderful venues such at the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. Brett’s spectacular contesting successes includes winning such contests as the European Championships, British Nationals, English Nationals and British Open Championships and the Yorkshire Areas on numerous occasions.
In addition to his playing commitments, he enjoys presenting workshops and lectures, particularly on solo performance techniques. He is an ardent supporter of encouraging new composing talent (commissioning many new pieces, including James McFadyen in 2005 with the trombone trio Everyday Light) and is also passionate about the education of young people, serving as a tutor for the likes of the National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland, National Youth Band of Great Britain, National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and the International Brass Band Summer School to name but a few.
Another string to his professional bow, is his work as a conductor and adjudicator. Brett Baker has conducted for the Symphonic Wind Band at Salford University and been guest conductor for the likes of the Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band. He now conducts the Yorkshire Youth and North East Midlands Youth Brass Bands. An expert in his field places Brett well as an adjudicator for such competitions as the National Solo Championships in Switzerland, the USA International Trombone Association and numerous Regional Championships to name but a few.
More recently in 2020, Brett Baker was deservedly awarded the ITA 'Presidents Award' for recognition of his long service to the ITA, his recordings and his solo performances.