Jazz composer, professor David Baker dies at 84

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (March 26, 2016) — Indiana University says jazz professor and musician David Baker has died at his home in Bloomington.

The university said Baker died Saturday at age 84. It didn’t disclose a cause of death.

Baker, who founded the school’s jazz studies program, was known in the jazz world as a performer and composer.

Baker composed more than 2,000 pieces and was nominated for a Grammy in 1979. In 2000 he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, the country’s highest jazz honor.

Baker first played trombone and later cello after an accident injured his jaw. He performed in the U.S., Japan, Australia, New Zealand and across Europe.

The Indianapolis Star reports Baker was drawn to jazz he heard in the 1940s, sneaking into clubs in his native Indianapolis.

Baker was a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis.

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