Jazz gets a hard edge | VailDaily.com

Jazz gets a hard edge

Jennifer Gersbach
Special to the DailyAnthony James Baker plays for Eagle's ShowDown Town

The Beatles, The Stones, Eric Clapton, Jimmie Paige, and Jeff Beck – what do these names have in common? Aside from having British roots and renowned music, these musicians were, and still are, the inspiration to up-and-coming solo guitar artist Anthony James Baker.

Born in England, Baker grew up listening to the greats while learning to play the guitar and also taking time to create his own unique style.

He’s lived in Colorado for 12 years now but prior to that he resided in L.A., where he really started to see an increase in opportunity.

He admitted that playing in England as a young musician didn’t provide the opportunity that a musician needs and that moving to the states opened up an avenue for him to get out there and perform.

“I was living in California – in the heart of L.A.,” he said. “I was surrounded and influenced by great musicians and then I began playing in clubs that were actually equipped for bands, unlike the clubs in England.”

And with the chance to get out and be heard Anthony relished the thought of being able to do what he loves for a living, but admitted that paying the bills was sometimes a little difficult – a dilemma he remedied by giving guitar lessons to youngsters and long-time musicians alike.

Now, after nearly 30 years of playing with various bands as well as some internationally famous artists, Baker has recently branched off and has begun to go solo. He said playing alone is really starting to take off and that with the success of his inclusion in many different festivals across Colorado, like the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and the Breckenridge Arts Festival, he hopes to find a manager soon and begin a full-fledged tour – a goal he is looking forward to achieving within the next year.

“Music is my life blood, it’s my soul,” he said. “And it is very rewarding.”

Tonight is the second event in the Show Down Town Concert Series that runs from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. every Thursday in July.

playing a mixture of what Baker calls smooth jazz with a harder edge.

“We’ll be playing a mixture of some funky stuff and some bluesy stuff with a few cover songs as well,” he said.

And with his instrumental blend of jazz/rock/Latin and blues combined with nice weather and Eagle’s home-town feel, the concert should be fun for the whole family. Children’s activities for this week include spin and sand art. Concessions will be available and the show is free to all.

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