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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Chet Baker


CHET BAKER (trumpeter, vocalist, flugelhornist, bandleader) was born on December 23, 1929 in Yale, Oklahoma and died May 13, 1988 in Amsterdam. Baker’s movie star good looks and poignant voice made him icon of the West Coast “cool”. Baker came of age in California during the bebop period and after being chosen by Charlie Parker for a number of West Coast engagements joined the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952. Baker’s vocal on “My Funny Valentine” brought him instant success but in spite of early promise began his tragic history of drug abuse, affecting his playing and reliability. Leading his own groups and producing many recordings, he resided in Europe in the latter part of his career with occasional performances in the U.S.