Born and raised in Golden Bay (NZ), Jake Baxendale is a Wellington-based alto saxophonist and composer. In his music, as in his life, Jake demonstrates a freedom of expression, love of nature, and a community orientated mindset heavily influenced by his upbringing.
Jake graduated from NZSM in 2011 with a Bachelor and Post Graduate Diploma in jazz performance, and played regularly with John Rae’s eclectic ensemble, The Troubles. That same year he formed with The Jac with Callum Allardice, which recorded the 2014 Jazz Album of The Year finalist Nerve and the highly acclaimed 2015 release, The Green Hour.
Jake and Callum spent a year in Berlin ijn 2013 where they meet Australian pianist Luke Sweeting. Aiming to produce a trans-Pacific sound the incorporates their shared European influences, Jake, Callum and Luke formed Antipodes.
In 2016 Jake secured the Edwin Carr scholarship towards composition lessons in New York City with Darcy James Argue, Miguel Zenon, Dave Douglas, and Jon Irabagon, and saxophone lessons with David Binney, Loren Stillman, and Michael Attias. This led to a commission from Creative New Zealand to write for a collaboration between The Jac and South Korean traditional/fusion group Black String. The project debuted at the 2017 Wellington Jazz Festival, and later toured South Korea, including a performance at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival.
His most recent projects are the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra, a weekly residency presenting music for large ensemble featuring the music of leading Wellington jazz composers; and Jazz Aotearoa, a professional association representing jazz creators, presenters, educators and audiences in Aotearoa, NZ.