Michael Baker Percussion Award


Michael Baker, is a 1975 Duluth Central High School graduate. From his humble roots in Duluth Michael went on to become a drummer to some of pop’s biggest stars and was Whitney Houston’s music director for two decades.In the role of Music Director and Drummer for Whitney Houston for 18 years, Michael, has a long and distinguished resume playing, producing, arranging, has multi-platinum productions and is a world-renowned drummer.  He has performed with some of the world’s top recording artists, Annie Lennox on her “Nostalgia” video’s and live performances, which included the 2015 Grammy awards, featuring  Annie Lennox and Hozier performing “Take Me to Church” and “I’ve Got A Spell On You”.

Over the years Michael has recorded with or performed with the following artists; Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Missy Elliott, Sting, Andy Summers, Christina Aguilera, James Taylor, Elton John, Shaggy, Usher, Wyclef, Ashanti, Gerald Albright, Mary J., Blige, Celine Dion, Ricky Martin, Brandy, Duncan Sheik, Candy Dulfer, Bruce Hornsby, Aaliyah, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Ben Vereen, Gregory Hines, as well as Italian superstars; Pino Daniele, Mario Biondi, Giorgia, Zuccaro and Jazz artists such as Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Branford Marsalis, The Zawinul Syndicate, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Kirk Whalum, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Childs, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Lyle, Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry, The Ellington Orchestra and many others.

It is with great pride we introduce this new Bluebird Grant to honor of one of Duluth’s most accomplished native sons and one of the world’s premier drummers, Michael Baker