There’s something for everyone this year! We listened to last year’s feedback and have taken care to select a balanced group of trombonists representing classical, jazz, music education, and styles in between. Click on the names or links below to learn more about each of our guest artists.
“The name Brett Baker has become an established, household name in the world of brass, not least for the level of commitment and focus that this outstanding musician has given to his craft.” — Professor David King
FEATURED ARTIST :: Englishman Brett Baker (B. 1973), is viewed internationally as a leading brass performer and educator. He is passionate about encouraging composers to write pioneering new repertoire being one of the most recorded brass soloist’s. Brett is Programme Leader for Musical Arts at the University of Salford (Manchester), he continues to be an ambassador for Michael Rath Brass Instruments and is Principal Trombone of the world famous Black Dyke Band. He is Festival Director of both the Singapore and Thailand Low Brass Festivals and is a Past-President of the British Trombone Society (BTS).
Brett has performed with singers such as Alison Goldfrapp and Hayley Westenra, trumpet soloist Alison Balsom and other world class trombone soloists including; Ian Bousfield, Wycliffe Gordon, Christian Lindberg and Joseph Alessi.
Originally from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire,Brett studied at the University of Salford, simultaneously joining the Fairey Band, conducted by Major Peter Parkes in 1992. He had many contest successes including an historic treble in 1993/4. At Salford he was taught by Professor David King, whilst also studying for a degree in Business Economics.
In 2000 he was invited to join the Black Dyke Band by Professor Nicholas Childs, achieving enviable contest successes. Now as well as a performance schedule of 60 concerts a year, Brett enjoys presenting workshops, specialising in solo performance and band training. His research includes trombone solo repertoire, trombone instrument design through modular assembly and the psychology of performance. Brett has produced over 30 solo albums, 8 under his own label of White River Evocations, which produces and distributes CDs. He has performed as guest soloist on a further 46 CDs. He has produced four sheet music trombone solo albums and many arrangements for trombone and piano. He regularly tours in the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand as a soloist.
As a consultant, Brett, has worked with Michael Rath Musical Instruments for over 10 years on instrument design and has assisted in production of a signature mouthpiece.
As a conductor, Brett has many associations with bands in the North of England, and has achieved contest successes with Northop, Ratby and Longridge bands. He has been guest conductor of the University of Salford Brass Band, the brass band at the Royal Northern College of Music, Thoresby Colliery, Carlton Main Frickley Colliery and the Leyland Band. In 2014 Brett conducted Tongwynlais Temperance at the National Finals of Great Britain in the Royal Albert Hall, London. Brett is currently conductor of the University of Salford Symphonic Wind Band.
As an adjudicator, Brett, has judged the International Trombone Association in the USA, the National Solo Championships in Switzerland, many Association contests, the National Finals in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia, and most Area Qualifiers for the National Championships of Great Britain.
Festival co-Host Mr. Jefferson’s Bones :: Central Virginia’s Premier Trombone Ensemble :: Mr. Jefferson’s Bones has entertained thousands since its inception in 2001. The ensemble is comprised of some of the Shenandoah Valley’s most experienced and talented trombonists and enjoys performing a wide variety of classical, sacred, popular and jazz repertoire. :: READ MJB’S BIO ::