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Jenny Oaks Baker combines classical with rock tunes

Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:37 p.m. MDT

LEHI — Jenny Oaks Baker told the audience at the world premiere concert for her newest CD at the Thanksgiving Point Show Barn in Lehi on April 11 that she'd never heard of Led Zeppelin before she started putting together her latest album "Classic: The Rock Album."

That didn't stop her from performing a heartfelt, energetic number combining "Kashmir" from Led Zeppelin with "Presto" from Four Seasons.

Her violin was on fire and Baker was into the music. She introduced 10 unique numbers arranged by Kurt Bestor specifically for the new album and played with the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra that included musicians from Highland, Alpine and Lehi (conducted by John Pew).

Baker never wavered as she played difficult passages and ventured into the stratosphere with her strings playing songs such as "Scarborough Fair" and "Pinball Wizard."

The Liverpool Suite included seven Beatles favorites: "Love is All You Need," "Michelle," "Eleanor Rigby," "Help!," "The Fool on the Hill," "The Long and Winding Road" and "Let It Be."

Her encore number was a soulful rendition of "Yesterday" performed with Bestor on the piano.

Bestor said he finished the arrangements in December and Baker learned them in January, recorded them in February and is flawlessly performing them in concert now.

He said he arranged the songs with Baker's talent and versatility in mind.

Baker complimented Bestor on the arranging and said her favorites include the R.E.M. epic "Everybody Hurts" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses.

Each of the numbers, however, were luscious and achingly beautiful.

The combination of strings and rock was a sweet mix.

It's safe to say Baker and Bestor have successfully merged the two genres.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@deseretnews.com

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