Presenting Mark Baker -- With over 20 years in performing under his belt, saxophonist/arranger/ composer Mark Baker has cultivated a quality of music that resonates through a person's soul and touches their senses. His music possesses an inviting lyrical quality music that tells harmonious stories displaying a variation of emotions including sounds of gladness and exhilaration to more poignant and contemplative melodies. In his music, Mark strives to maintain his own distinctive style while spanning a broad emotional range. His versatility in essence comes from being inspired by Jazz, R&B, Funk, Blues, and Rock tunes. Mark remembers fondly of listening to bands such as the Bar-Kays and Con Funk Shun while growing up. In fact, one of his dreams as a young musician was to play live in front of 13,000 people (the capacity of coliseums at that period). That dream was realized years later as he performed solo for 40,000 people at the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival.
The Beginning -- Mark's musical training on the saxophone began in 1978 under the tutelage of Lonnie Neely in Memphis, Tennessee. He got his start playing gospel music in church in 1981. During his high school career, he received numerous awards that showed his potential as a musician to be very promising. After graduating from Southside High School in 1983, Mark's journey then led him to spend four years in the United States Navy. He became most serious about pursuing music later but never stopped playing the sax for enjoyment.
The Entertainer -- In 2003, Mark began to DJ at hotspots around the city and received so many requests, that he eventually made this leisure pursuit a permanent part of his repertoire. Mark lends his DJ talents to all types of music from R&B, Jazz, Blues, Country and the latest hits. He has performed at corporate events for fortune 500 companies, weddings, birthdays and numerous other events. On occasion, Mark also brings his saxophone to parties where he is the DJ, captivating the social gatherers and distinguishing himself as a multitalented performer. "This alone," says Mark "is one of the best things that have ever happened to me."
Mark’s CDs -- In May 2004, Mark released his first CD titled "Ride the Tide While It's High", featuring his own compositions and arrangements. In 2007, he released a follow-up CD titled "Ride the Tide While It's High: Part II The Final Episode” with some R&B, Jazz and a little something for everyone of all ages. Then, in 2010 “The Holidays With Mark Baker” was released featuring “What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas” and Mark’s rendition of the classic “Silent Night”
Mark’s Accomplishments -- Mark has had the good fortune to play with the Bar-Kays in concert on featured songs such as "Attitudes" and "Anticipation" as well as Ruby Wilson (the Queen of Beale Street) in Montreal, Canada. Mark has opened up for other great artists; Jonathon Butler, Boney James, Kem, and Bobby Womack. He was also asked by Will Downing personally to perform at the Grand Casino in Tunica, Mississippi and in concert for the Gerald Levert/Will Downing concert at the FedEx Forum. He has also performed on local and national albums as a solo artist including the Gospel groups Divine Providence and Perfection. Mark has also put his special touch on a Celebrity Golf Tournament in honor of the late NFL Football Great Walter Payton. He has played the national anthem at several sold out Memphis Grizzlies NBA home games and the Memphis Redbirds baseball games. In addition to playing celebrity events, he has performed with a number of local community choirs, small groups and organizations. Mark is well known in his hometown from his performances at local events and night clubs and local media coverage including the Commercial Appeal and WREG News Channel 3. Mark also showed his skills in Wicked Ways, a hit play making a touring stop at the Orpheum Theatre. He has performed at special events nationally and locally, including events for Mayor M. Pratt of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mayor W. W. Herenton of Memphis, Tennessee and Mayor A. C. Wharton of Shelby County, Tennessee.
Today -- Mark lives in Memphis, Tennessee, and currently plays at St. Stevens Baptist Church and Greater Mount Calvary Church on a regular basis.
See the “Contact Mark” page on this website for Mark’s contact info. Please contact Mark early for bookings if your special event, wedding, anniversary, professional networking soiree, birthday party, personal serenade or celebrity event needs a live saxophone player/DJ.