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About Victor Baker Guitars
Victor Baker began playing guitar in 1980 when he stole his sister’s cheap acoustic out of her room. He began picking out tunes and melodies that he heard, and soon was completely hooked. He also had a tendency to tear apart and reassemble every guitar he came across. Through his teens he studied guitar which included heavy doses of jazz theory and ear training, and served as a launching pad for his relocation to Boston. Vic attended Berklee on partial scholarship (he performed a crazy stunt-like 8 finger tapping Bach invention for a professor), and finished up in the early 90’s with a BA in professional music. During school he earned extra cash by playing local gigs and doing guitar repairs. After Berklee, he moved to Philadelphia and immediately became active as both an instructor and performer in the local music scene. He also went on tour with a well known 50’s group and traveled to most cities east of the Mississippi. In 1993 he studied privately with jazz legend Pat Martino and switched up to playing jazz full time.
In 1995 Victor took the plunge and moved to New York City, and spent a great deal of time as a street musician. He became a member of the city’s Music Under New York program, and played hundreds of underground gigs in the city’s bustling subway system. He performed with many well known (as well as lesser recognized but equally gifted) people, and was part of the 1995 NYC JVC Jazz festival. Vic thinks that, even though he had a degree in music at this point, his true training occurred right in the subway of NYC during this period. He also performed as both a leader and sideman in many of New York’s jazz clubs including the 55 Bar, Birdland, Detour, K’av’eh’az, Smalls, Cornelia St. Cafe and Visiones (sadly many of which are now defunct).
In the late 1990’s Victor returned to Philadelphia to slow down and regroup. He immediately re-entered the local scene and became prolific as an instructor and performer. But it was at this time that Vic started his journey onto an unexpected path: guitar making. Originally taken on purely as a hobby, Vic was floored by the art of luthiery and fell completely in love with the craft. He proceeded to read every book and publication possible in order to teach himself the trade, and was soon taking orders from local players. Vic really broke out in 2001 when, on a whim, he placed a guitar on Ebay, and immediately was commissioned for 8 guitars. This led to a buildup of recognition and an extremely busy building period that lasted until 2008. At this point after assembling well over 200 instruments, Vic’s guitars were in the hands of players around the world. These busy guitar shop years were a juggling act between building guitars and staying in the playing game as much as possible.
In late 2008, Vic was sidelined by a reoccuring injury to his elbow (caused by the grindwork of sanding and shaping the guitars) and was forced to take it easy. He had to limit 2008’s output but as of late 2009 he is healed up and back in commission. Right now Victor is thoroughly enjoying a full schedule of building, gigging, composing, recording and playing with his group. In January 2010 he took the plunge and relocated to NYC, and set up a new workshop in Brooklyn.
Vic is continually expanding his deep involvement and his life’s work with the guitar, composing new music, building special instruments, and playing live. He hopes be able to continually share his talents and creations to a wider audience through one or all of his many endeavours.
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