IU professor David Baker’s jazz heritage honored with Indianapolis mural

An image of Indiana University music professor and jazz legend David Baker will be dedicated in Indianapolis next weekend as part of a “Jazz Masters of Indiana Avenue” mural.

One of 46 painted as part of the city’s Super Bowl XLVI beautification program, the wonderfully intricate mural was created to honor Indianapolis jazz greats and continue their legacy.

IU professor David Baker’s image is part of a mural honoring Indianapolis jazz legends.

It depicts musicians who played on Indiana Avenue when the historic district was lively with music venues during the 1950s and 1960s. Most of the musicians in the mural — including Wes Montgomery, Larry Ridley, Freddie Hubbard, J.J. Johnson, Jimmy Coe and David Young, as well as Baker — developed their skills on the avenue and went on to great success and fame. It also includes photographer Duncan Schiedt, who supplied most of the photos for the imagery.

If you’re curious, Baker is the musician on the left in this cropped photo, wearing glasses and playing the trombone. (Remember, that was his first instrument before he was injured and moved to cello.)

David Baker

The mural was painted by Pamela Bliss, an IU alum and fine arts adjunct instructor at IU East, who also painted this totally awesome mural of Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut for the city’s public art project.

The jazz mural will be dedicated at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14, on the south side of Musicians’ Repair and Sales, 332 N. Capitol Ave. Baker will speak, and the Serenade Jazz Orchestra and Indianapolis Public School All-Star Jazz Band and alumni will perform.

The dedication is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Indy Jazz Fest, Indy Jazz Foundation, The Jazz Kitchen, The Arts Council of Indianapolis, Musicians’ Repair and Sales and Capitol Grille.

For more information about the event, visit www.musiciansrepair.com.

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