Robert Baca is Professor of Trumpet and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is the conductor of Jazz Ensembles I &II, which have produced eighteen CD's, received the Down Beat Award for Large Jazz Ensemble six times and was twice nominated for a Grammy Award. The Jazz Studies program was cited in the New York Times as "one of the most well-regarded jazz studies programs in the country." Mr. Baca is also founder and artistic director of Eau Claire Jazz Inc., which organizes one of the largest jazz festivals in the country. In 2013 he received the first, "Career Excellence in Teaching Award" presented by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
His background includes countless performances in both classical and commercial areas. Mr. Baca has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and the Phillip Brunelle "Plymouth Music Series Orchestra" as well as a past member of the popular radio ensemble for Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion." He has toured with Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Blood Sweat and Tears and numerous others. He has performed over fifty Broadway shows and hundreds of recording sessions in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. As a soloist, he has performed in China, London, Costa Rica and Europe as well as the United States.
Mr. Baca is a past executive board member for the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) as the United States Representative as well as an advisory board member for the Edwin Franko Goldman Band.
As a teacher, Mr. Baca loves to work with students of all ages. Recently, he conducted the National High School Honors Jazz Ensemble for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) at their national convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Other teaching highlights included serving as a faculty member of Conn-Selmer Institute with Tim Lautzenheiser and a clinician/guest artist for numerous trumpet/band/orchestra events as well as a conductor for many all-state honors jazz ensembles. Many of Mr. Baca's students are currently making a living performing and teaching.
- MUSI 163/363 Applied Trumpet/Cornet
- MUSI 186/386 Jazz Ensemble
- MUSI 259/459 Jazz Combo
- MUSI 339 Jazz Arranging
- MUSI 341 Jazz Improvisation
- B.M.E, Indiana University
- M.M., Indiana University