Jason Baker serves as Professor of Percussion Studies at Mississippi State University and arranger/coordinator for the MSU Drumline. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Connecticut. His current performance interests focus on commissioning solo percussion music by emerging composers from the American South.
Jason performs as timpanist with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Starkville Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He has been a clinician and/or performer at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the Encontro Percussivo Festival (Recife, Brazil), College Music Society National and Southern Regional Conferences, Mississippi Bandmasters Association Convention, the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, All-West Tennessee Music Educators Convention, New York City Day of Percussion, and universities throughout the country. Jason also performs with the Brooklyn Composers' Syndicate and serves as a faculty member at the Sam Houston Summer Percussion Academy.
Jason has been published in Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene, with solo compositions and ensemble arrangements published by Drop6 Media, Tap Space Publications, Living Sound Publications, Honey Rock Publications, Ox and Lamb Publications, and Edition Svitzer. Many of his works are included on state solo and ensemble repertoire lists across the United States and have been featured at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Snare Drum Competition, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Kaohsiung Band Festival in Taiwan, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Jason has published two books, 15 Progressive Snare Drum Solos: A Pedagogical Approach to Repertoire and 33 Elementary Timpani Etudes. He has released three solo CDs, "The Noble Snare" (2005), “Three Works for Solo Snare Drum” (2013), and “Midsummer Songbook” (2016) and was the director of the MSU Percussion Ensemble’s CD, “Under a Southern Sky” (2014). Jason also serves as Associate Editor of New Literature Reviews for Percussive Notes, chair of the PAS College Pedagogy Committee, and served as president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society for nine consecutive years.
Jason was a performing member with the Glassmen, Boston Crusaders, and Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps and later served on the instructional staff of the Boston Crusaders. He is proud to be an artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, Innovative Percussion, Remo, Sabian, and Grover Pro Percussion.
Jason is an avid long-distance runner and lives in Starkville, Mississippi with his wife, Kathy, and their two children. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from MSU, where he was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honor fraternity.
For information on the percussion studio at Mississippi State, visit the studio's website.