Andrea Baker

 

Featured Inductee

Andrea Baker is a critically acclaimed singer and multi-instrumentalist. Noted jazz critic, Leonard Feather, has compared Andrea to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and Jazz Improv Magazine called her a female Sinatra. Don Heckman of the LA Times proclaimed her a musician's singer. Her many CD's have likewise garnered rave reviews and have received nationwide airplay on jazz stations including heavy play from Chuck Niles of KJZZ. Veteran singer, Johnny Mathis, endorsed her latest CD, Candles in the Wind calling her a vocal "gem." A recent appearance in Kansas City brought her the highest praise from Downbeat critic, Chuck Berg. Andrea is guest vocalist on the newly released DVD, Steve Wilkerson; Live and in Session. In addition to her vocal prowess, Andrea is an accomplished guitarist, bassist, pianist, composer and arranger. She was production advisor on The Art of Jazz Saxophone for Hal Leonard Corporation and produced two critically acclaimed CD's for her husband, veteran saxophonist, Steve Wilkerson - Shaw 'Nuff (proclaimed a top pick by Jazz Journal International and featured in a major article in Downbeat Magazine) and It's a Blues Sorta Thing with organist, Joey DeFranceso for which she penned the title track.

Andrea is also an esteemed jazz educator. In 2006 she was named Director of Jazz Studies for Pasadena City College where she heads up a large and diversified department. As director of the acclaimed Studio Jazz Ensemble, Andrea has led the ensemble on five CD's, one with saxophone icon, Gary Foster. She has presented the band in appearances throughout the city at top rated jazz spots including the Playboy Jazz Festival and the Jazz Bakery. Andrea also directs the PCC Jazz/Rock Big Band, teaches jazz improvisation, jazz history and jazz voice. Andrea earned a Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Tulsa where she sang with their award winning jazz ensemble and also won the coveted vocal award. Her Masters in Vocal Performance is from Pittsburg State University in Kansas where she studied with Margaret Thuenemann.

A professional musician since age fourteen, Andrea has performed with many top names in jazz including the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Frank Capp Juggernaut Band, the Ray Anthony Orchestra, the Billy May Orchestra, the Jack Sheldon Big Band, and with guitar legend, Barney Kessel. She has sung for Crystal Cruise Lines and the NAMM show. Equally at home with vocal or instrumental jazz, Andrea travels as an artist/clinician and also adjudicates.

In 2005 Andrea was inducted into the prestigious Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame for her many jazz endeavors.

D.C. Minner was born January 28, 1935. He was raised in Rentiesville by his grand mother, Lura Drennan, who ran a corn whiskey house while he grew up. “There was no electricity anywhere around, so she would have the guys come over with their acoustic guitars. That was my first time hearing live music.” said Minner.

Minner moved away when he joined the service. After he returned, he took up bass and worked out of Oklahoma City with Larry Johnson and the New Breeds. With this band, he performed behind O. V. Wright, Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Floyd, Bo Diddley and many more.

He moved to California in the late ’60s and had a band with Tony Mathews in Hollywood. Then he moved to the bay area, retired from bass, studied Yogananda, took up guitar and ran into his future wife, Selby. She was playing acoustic guitar and singing blues at clubs in Berkeley and San Francisco. With a desire to learn the electric bass, Selby became D.C.’s apprentice, and they left the bay area in 1977.

D.C., Selby and Blues on the Move toured non-stop for 12 years, and then returned to D.C.’s home place. They re-opened the Cozy Corner as the Down Home Blues Club in 1988, and it quickly became an after hours club. In 1991,
the Minners founded the Dusk ’til Dawn Blues Festival as a way to bring their fans and musician friends together from across the country.

The couple has received the Handy in Blues Education award, for their Blues in the Schools work, the Keeping the Blues Alive Award and in 1999 Minner was also inducted into The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. However, his proudest accomplishment was having his hometown rename part of the road that runs alongside the club in his honor. D.C. and Selby currently reside in Rentiesville, Okla., on D.C. Minner Street.

- See more at: http://omhof.com/inductee/d-c-minner/#sthash.HEPioTk5.dp

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