Victor Baker began playing guitar in 1980 when he stole his sister’s cheap acoustic out of her room. He also had a tendency to tear apart and reassemble every guitar he came across.
Vic has performed as both a leader and sideman in the NYC JVC Jazz Festival and 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).
Better known for the highly regarded jazz guitars that he makes in his New York City workshop, luthier Victor Baker is also an accomplish guitarist, very prolific modern jazz composer and active performer. A self described life long jazz guitar nut, when he isn't building an instrument he is writing, preparing and playing his original music. The long overdue disc, UP (2014) is his first official effort at finally documenting the playing side of his career. Stylistically his music is creative modern jazz, and features interesting complex meters and feels but always written as a framework for strong melody, vibe and catchy themes. Vic's playing is fiery at times but he is not a gunslinger player, and prefers to play melodically with strong phrasing and connected lines to better serve the music. This album documents Victor's current band in New York, a fairly recent collaboration of fine players who already have a cohesive sound and energy together. The vibe ranges from driving and intense to very subtle and sublime, with strong performances by all. Already a fine showing, this group's freshman effort peeks and hints at some very exciting things to come.
Victor is, as most of our builders are, first musicians!
In 2000, Victor started his journey into 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. Since then, Vic has built over 400 custom guitars. His Number 400 is in our showroom.
Vic recently completed a commission to build a limited “Master Builder” series of vintage D’Angelico reproductions. Using measurements and scans of vintage instruments and lots of research, he was able to recreate some of John D’Angelico’s prized archtop guitars. Unveiled at the 2016 NAMM Guitar Show, the “Master Builders” received many accolades.
Combining his vast guitar playing knowledge with his luthiery skills, Vic makes guitars with beautiful design, great sound and playability.