Name: Jason Baker
Stage name/nickname: Cornbread
Main instrument: Fiddle (piano secondly)
Main genre: Bluegrass and jazz
Other genres played: Country, swing, singer-songwriter, Americana, classical
Other instruments: Trombone, vocals
First instrument: Trombone (& vocals)
Jason Baker playing with the Brian Sutherland Trio:
Playing since: 13 years old (23 years)
Birthplace: Lakeland, raised in Fort Meade. Seventh- or eight-generation Floridian
Other musical projects: Brian Sutherland Band, Mitch Lind and the Lagerheads, Flat Land Bluegrass Band, Clemens Road, Florida Southern College Symphony Orchestra, The Bullard Brothers, Justin Grimes, Dragon Slayer Studios in Dade City, Jason Baker Trio
Frequency of performances: 3 nights a week
Desired frequency: As much as possible, really. I never get enough of it.
Number of venues played: Three hundred plus.
Strongest point when making/playing music: Connecting with other people on a musical level. Circumventing prejudices or social restrictions that people pose on themselves or other people. Music as a language is not restricted by these things, with the people on stage and the audience.
Covers, originals or both: Both.
Comments on the Lakeland music scene: It’s growing. I’ve seen a lot more growing diversity in music. A lot of venues have been added in recent years. I feel that is a positive thing. I also feel a lot more of the people in general here, in the community, are becoming more accustomed to hearing music at dinner or while having a drink. This has been real good for the live music scene. More locals have come to expect music.
Thoughts on how to get more people out to listen to live music: I think alot of it is making shows and venues and the experience. There is the vibe and the smell and all the stuff that goes along with that. A safe place, a place to relax and be inspired. I don’t think it’s easy. I think you have to continually re-invent it. I think that’s how you get people out of the house to enjoy the live entertainment. Have a sense of camaraderie of the people involved in the shows and the people coming out, the audience members.
Anything else? Check back in with me after I take marketing this next fall. Keeping up with social media and getting the word out. Establishing and being consistent with getting your word out as an artist. Seeing what your fan base is and utilizing that.
Interviewer Brian White is owner of AWhiSpa.
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