The David N. Baker Jazz Composition Scholarship is presented annually to a full-time junior, senior, or graduate Jazz Studies candidate at the Indiana University (IU) Jacobs School of Music. Established in 2015 through the generosity of BMI Foundation Advisory Panelist Robbin Ahrold, the award commemorates the iconic achievements of the late composer, performer, educator, and IU Jazz Studies program founder, David N. Baker. Recipients are chosen based on academic and artistic record. Candidates must demonstrate excellence in writing significant original work in the jazz idiom.
David N. Baker performed as a trombonist with Lionel Hampton, J.J. Johnson, and George Russell. He also studied the cello, igniting a lifelong interest in classical composition and pedagogy. Baker is credited with more than 2,000 compositions (including jazz, orchestral, and chamber works), 500 commissions, 65 recordings, and 70 books, and has been honored with Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY nominations and numerous awards, including an Emmy Award, NEA Jazz Masters Award, and Living Legend Award from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He served as director and president of multiple jazz institutions, including the International Association of Jazz Educators, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and National Jazz Service Organization.
The $2,500 scholarship was presented for the very first time on April 23, 2016 to trumpeter Joey Kendrick at Jacobs School of Music’s annual Jazz Celebration concert.
By invitation only, no applications accepted.