Michael Baker Music

Michael Baker Biography

For the past thirteen years, Michael Baker has worked as ‘World Renowned Superstar' Whitney Houston's Music Director and drummer. Over the years Michael has worked with many stars including, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Missy Elliott, Sting, Christina Aguilera, James Taylor, Elton John, Shaggy, Wycliff, Mary J. Blige, Ricky Martin, Usher, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, and many others (see credit list). Michael is a world-renowned jazz drummer and played with some of the world's top artists, such as Al Jarreau, The Zawinul Syndicate, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Childs, Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry and the Ellington Orchestra. He was the drummer in the Broadway Musical, "Sophisticated Ladies" in the distinguished Los Angeles' Shubert Theater.

Michael and his arranging partner, Adi Yeshaya, have collaborated for many years on arranging assignments for both Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. They have written many arrangements for live shows as well as arrangements for Aretha's CD, "So Damn Happy" for Arista Records.
Under the direction of Clive Davis, Michael was the Music Director and arranger for the Aretha Franklin segment of Arista's 25th Anniversary Special. Michael has also arranged for award shows, featuring Whitney Houston for the  Grammys, HBO specials, and Sports Illustrated events. He produced and directed a Whitney Houston event featured in Germany, the "Soul Divas Tour", which also featured Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole. Michael and Adi wrote two show-openers for Whitney Houston tours; the 2004 tour and the 2010 "Nothing But Love" World Tour.

For many years, Michael has been associated with producer David Guest as drummer for numerous shows and benefits at Madison Square Garden , including the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special. In 2002, Michael performed with ‘Hip Hop' singer Ashanti at the Grammy Awards Show. He also performed with Sting at Carnegie Hall in his ‘Save the Rain Forest' concerts; a UNICEF concert showcasing the late Aliyah, Taylor Dane, Simply Red, and Celine Dionne; and in the late eighties, Michael was part of a short lived power trio with ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers and Bassist Jerry Watts.

In addition to music, in 2004, Michael was a writer, producer and artist on a controversial TV commercial featuring a watch advertisement. Michael also worked as a writer and singer on Robert Townsend's Five Heartbeats movie and soundtrack, Richard Prior's "Jo Jo Dancer" with Jimmy Smith and Billy Ekstine, and the movie Johnny Dangerously . He also produced a new version of Alegria for Circ Du Sole.

Most of Michael's current production work has been done in Italy with the great Italian vocalist, Giorgia. Michael produced three of her CDs; "Senza Ali" (Writer/Producer), "Giorgias Greatest Hits" (Producer/Co-Writer), and "Ladra Di Ventro" (Producer). Both "Senza Ali" and "Ladra Di Vonta" are three-time platinum winners.
One of the highlights of producing "Senza Ali" was working with Herbie Hancock on a song written by Michael, Ricky Peterson and Peter Anderson. Giorgia called “Innamorati” a “classic”!
While doing production for the Senza Ali CD in 2000, Michael conducted the Sanremo Festival's Orchestra for the big hit production "De Sole D Azzuro", written by Italian superstar, Zuccarro. More recently, Michael had the opportunity to work together with Burt Bacharach, while producing for emerging Italian pop star, Karima. Michael continues to produce music for a host of world-class artists around the globe.

Michael continues touring performances with Whitney Houston, who just finished up her 2010 "Nothing But Love" World Tour. 

**You are listening to an excerpt from Giorgia's "Il Mare Sconosciuto", from her 3x platinum album, "Senza Ali", written and produced by Michael Baker, featuring Herbie Hancock.