“I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it!”
It’s easy to tell that violinist Jenny Oaks Baker is all smiles over the news of her Grammy nomination — even in a quick conversation over the phone as she picked her 5-year-old up from preschool.
Baker’s latest album, “Wish Upon a Star: A Tribute to the Music of Walt Disney,” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category Wednesday night.
The Utah native is among the most accomplished violinists in America. She made her solo debut when she was only 8 years old and, as a Julliard-trained musician, she soloed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony and Utah Symphony among others. She has released 10 best-selling albums since 1998, with “Then Sings My Soul,” hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Charts.
Baker estimated that there were about 120-130 artists vying for the nomination in her category and she found herself in the top five in one night.
But she’s simply grateful for the nomination.
“I think this album is one of my very best for sure,” she said, adding that she owes much of that to Emmy-award winning Kurt Bestor’s arrangements.
She called Bestor’s arrangements “so sophisticated.”
“They’re arrangements that people want to hear over and over.”
Baker detailed Shadow Mountain Records’ campaign to get her album nominated — the nomination process was a first-time experience for the record company as well.
“This is kind of our first shot at it,” she said, “and we did it.”
“It made a big splash with the Grammy voters.” Part of that, perhaps, was the music her album highlighted.
“I think Disney speaks to people on so many levels,” Baker said. “I think it’s just really universal coming at a time when some people need some magic and hope.”
On the possibility of being awarded a Grammy, she said, “If we can get the word out even more, I think that we’ll have a really good shot at the award.”
Baker is grateful to a constantly supportive fan base and to the composers, producers and arrangers who have provided the kind of repertoire necessary to help her be successful.
This is a major turning point in Baker’s career and she feels she’s finally coming into her own as an artist.
“I know Heavenly Father gave me a gift and he wants me to share it. I’m slowly finding that path and it feels really great.”
Grammy or no Grammy, her sights are set on a greater accomplishment.
“I’m grateful my music has made a difference in so many lives. That’s really what it’s about,” she said.
For more information about Jenny Oaks Baker, visit www.jennyoaksbaker.com.
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