Michael baker biography
In the role of Music Director and Drummer for Whitney Houston for 18 years, Michael Baker, has a long and distinguished resume playing, producing, arranging, has multi-platinum productions and is a world-renowned drummer. He has performed with some of the world's top recording artists, Annie Lennox on her "Nostalgia" video's and live performances, which included the 2015 Grammy awards, featuring Annie Lennox and Hozier performing "Take Me to Church" and "I've Got A Spell On You".
Over the years Michael has recorded with or performed with the following artists; Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Missy Elliott, Sting, Andy Summers, Christina Aguilera, James Taylor, Elton John, Shaggy, Usher, Wyclef, Ashanti, Gerald Albright, Mary J., Blige, Celine Dion, Ricky Martin, Brandy, Duncan Sheik, Candy Dulfer, Bruce Hornsby, Aaliyah, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Ben Vereen, Gregory Hines, as well as Italian superstars; Pino Daniele, Mario Biondi, Giorgia, Zuccaro and Jazz artists such as Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Branford Marsalis, The Zawinul Syndicate, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Kirk Whalum, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Childs, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Lyle, Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry, The Ellington Orchestra and many others.
Michael was the drummer in the LA version of the Broadway Musical "Sophisticated Ladies" in Los Angeles' distinguished Shubert Theater during the early 80's. During Michael's eighteen year relationship with the late Whitney Houston, he wrote and/or arranged music for HBO specials, Sports Illustrated events, and more. He produced and directed a Whitney Houston event featured in Germany, the "Soul Divas Tour," which also featured Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole.
For many years, Michael has been associated with producer David Gest as drummer for numerous shows and benefits at Madison Square Garden, including the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special. In 2012 Michael performed with hip hop singer Ashanti at the Grammy Awards. He has also performed with Sting at Carnegie Hall in his 'Save the RainForest' concerts, as well as concerts showcasing Taylor Dayne, Simply Red, and Celine Dion, the late Aaliyah. Michael was part of a power trio with ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers and bassist Jerry Watts.
During the 2009 American Music Awards Michael was the arranger and can be seen conducting Whitney Houston's segment of "Didn't Know My Own Strength" where Whitney accepts her Lifetime Achievement award for her career in the pop music history.
Under the direction of Clive Davis, Michael has been the Music Director and Arranger for the Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houstons'
segment of Arista's 25th Anniversary Special, filming Aretha in New York and Whitney in Los Angeles. Michael and his arranging partner, Adi Yeshaya, created many of the arrangements for Aretha Franklin's live shows, as well as on her last CD "So Damn Happy" for Arista.
The start of Michael's producing career came 1999 in Italy with the great Italian vocalist Giorgia. producing three of Giorgia’s CDs, called, “Senza Ali” (Writer/Producer), “Giorgia's Greatest Hits” (Producer/Co-Writer), and “Ladra Di Vento” (Producer). After which , he also worked on touring concerts and DVD performances with Giorgia (all with the BMG/Sony label). It should be noted that the production of the CD “Senza Ali” also involved Herbie Hancock on a song written by himself, Keyboard great Ricky Peterson and Peter Anderson and Giorgia called " Il Mare" Sconosciuto". Michael can also be seen conducting the segment of "Giorgia" at the 2001 San Remo festival in Italy performing a song which later became and Italian standard " Di Sole D'Azzurro" in which he programmed, arranged and produced.
In 2007 Michael went on to produce Italian rap artist "Tormento" for the Sony Music label, the CD was entitled "Alibi".
In 2009 Michael had the opportunity to co-produce with Burt Bacharach, for an emerging Italian pop star for Sony Music Karima Ammar.
and in 2010 writing and producing yet another Italian up and comer called "Senit " on the Warner Label.
To date, Michael's production credits include in 2015, Little Faith , a Los Angeles faith based group on the rise, Emma Nilsson, in 2015 an up and coming singer songwriter from Sweden and Jay Hollen, another up and coming artist in 2015.
Film and TV: Credits include Robert Townsends, Five Heartbeats film in whiich Michael along with his then wife, Aisha Baker, were two of the songwriter's for the films old style Motown sound, as well as a vocalist in the film in 1988, in addition to another Robert Townsend film called Meteor Man. He has also written and performed on Commercials such as the Dolce and Gabbana called ”For Real Lovers” .
Michael attended North Texas State University and is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Drum Heads, Ableton Live, and Rob Papen.