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Duck Baker, Jazz musician, set to play in Kelso

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  February 25, 2012 | 0 Comments
American musician Duck Baker will be in Kelso on March 2

American musician Duck Baker will be in Kelso on March 2

The excellent and highly regarded Duck Baker will bring his finger-style guitar talent to Kelso on Friday, March 2.

From Richmond, Virginia, Duck is unique among jazz guitarists in that his repertoire spans the entire history of the music from ragtime through swing to modern masters like Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols to free improvisation.

His devotion to American music also encompasses more traditional forms like blues, gospel, and Appalachian music and its Scots-Irish ancestry. This catholicism has been likened to Europeans who perform the classical repertoire from renaissance through to modern music.

Duck was born Richard R. Baker IV in 1949 and spent his early years playing in rock and blues. He then became interested in acoustic blues and focused on listening to local ragtime pianist Buck Evans – who became a major influence on Baker’s work.

In the early 1970s Duck headed to the west coast and secured a record contract with Kicking Mule records. His first record, There’s Something for Everyone in America, was released to strong acclaim. He then joined a bluegrass band and immersed himself in the local swing jazz scene, forming a duo with guitarist Thom Keats and performing with San Francisco Bay area luminaries such as Burt Bales and Robin Hodes.

He has released many CDs, including Irish and Scottish music and, more recently, his own compositions. Baker now leads a trio with guitarist Bob Wilson and fiddler Tony Marcus.

Duck Baker will perform at the ACE Centre in Kelso. Doors open 7.30pm, and the Kelso Folk Club will host an open mic session before the gig.

Admission is £8 on the door (£5 concessions, which includes paid-up club members). The event will feature informal seating with tables, café open for soft drinks coffee and snacks. Bring your own wine/beer.

Duck will give a 90-minute workshop the next day, Saturday March 3, at the ACE Centre starting at 10.30am. The cost is £15 payable on the day, or booked through Pet Sounds, Woodmarket, Kelso. Duck’s workshops are suitable for all acoustic guitar players. Concessionary places are available at the workshop by prior arrangement for younger members of the club.

For both events contact the David Kilpatrick of the Kelso Folk Club at


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