Jazz Guitarist and teacher from the Kansas City area
Brian Baggett is a well established jazz guitarist and jazz educator working in the Kansas City area. He
began his study of the guitar at age 12 with classical guitarist Jeff Gibbons. Brian took to the guitar quickly
and was playing gigs by the age of 14. While still in high school Brian won a scholarship from the Topeka
Jazz Workshop. He attended Washburn University on the Payless Shoe Source Jazz Scholarship and
studied extensively with Dr. Chuck Tumlinson (currently the jazz director at Cal. State, Fullerton). Brian
Baggett also attended the University of Kansas and has studied privately with guitar masters Danny
Embrey, Reggie Wooten and Rod Fleeman. These early years also saw Brian leading his own fusion/rock
band Einstein Electric. This band shared the stage with the Jerry Garcia Band and Galactic among others.
In 2003, Brian landed on the historic Kansas City jazz scene when he was featured on Bill McKemy’s
Duende (Pitch weekly’s best jazz album of 2002). This led to many sideman club dates with Kansas
City’s finest bandleaders and his current spot in OJT (Organ Jazz Trio). Led by Hammond B3 organist
Ken Lovern, this group plays regularly at the American Jazz Museum’s Blue Room and has hosted New
Years Eve at Jardine’s on the Plaza. In 2011 OJT+B Performed at the KC Rhythm and Ribs Festival. OJT
performs regularly with vocalists Bukeka Shoals and David Basse “The voice of Kansas City”. As
educators, OJT has presented at the Midwestern Music Camp and in 2007 presented “The History of the
Hammond B3 organ” at the Kansas City Public Library and KC Community College. OJT also performs
regularly on Kansas Public Radio.
Playing over 100 gigs a year, Brian Baggett’s continued presence on the KC jazz scene prompted JAM
magazine to feature him in their “Guitar‘s Galore” cover story. This issue was dedicated to great guitarists
from Kansas City. In 2009, Brian Baggett was a special guest on “12th Street Jump” a radio show
broadcast live on KCUR from the historic Mutual Musicians Foundation in Kansas City. He was featured
on two shows paying tribute to Charlie Christian and John Scofield. In August of 2011, Brian was a guest
reviewer in JAM magazine for Pat Metheny’s album “What it’s all about”. Brian also appears in the PBS
special “Kansas City Jazz & Blues - Past, Present and Future”.
A guitar teacher since 1994, Brian has been teaching some of the area’s most promising jazz guitar players.
He has been a guest artist/clinician at the University of Kansas, Washburn University, Truman State
University and The Americana Music Academy. He is a faculty member for the KU Jazz Workshop with
Dan Gailey since 2006. Brian’s program has produced award winning guitarists three years in a row. In
2010, Brian Baggett became the jazz guitar professor at Ottawa University with Jazz Director Todd
Wilkinson. This innovative program is quickly becoming a jazz education destination. The Ottawa faculty
combo gives several concerts and clinics annually in Kansas City area high schools and institutes. In 2011
Brian hosted the Central Heights Guitar Summit at Ottawa University and was a guest lecturer for the
Ottawa Jazz Forum. In November 2011 the OU faculty did a KMEA Master Class tour covering NE
Kansas. In 2012, Brian expanded his teaching skills by starting the Thursday Morning Music Program at
The Lawrence Montessori School working with children 12 weeks to 6 years old.
Brian Baggett still continues to make fusion/rock music with his band DOJO. “DOJO is a special place for
me where I focus on tone, communication and energy. It is also the main outlet for my own compositions”.
In 2006, DOJO’s second album “Live at the Jazzhaus” gained Brian international exposure when he was
featured in Guitar Player Magazine. Mike Varney endorsed his playing in the legendary Spotlight column.
DOJO’s third release “Studiojo” further established Brian as a fusion guitarist with great reviews and
endorsements from Abstract Logix, Guitar Channel and other outlets. DOJO had the pleasure in 2006 and
2010 of playing with guitar master Steve Vai’s understudies Dave Weiner and Rob Balducci on “a Night of
Pure Guitar”. DOJO also appears at music festivals like Wakarusa, Music for the Masses and Brewgrass.
Recent highlights for Brian include working in the Medeski, Martin and Wood tribute project Sequel
where he plays the role of John Scofield. Sequel features members of Cosmopolitics and Jacob Fred jazz
Odyssey. In the summer of 2011, Brian completed his first method book for jazz guitar. “The Keys to
Unlocking the Fretboard” is Brian’s unique approach to private guitar instruction in book form. Brian says
“This book is a combination of things that worked for me as a student of guitar and things that have worked
for teaching guitar. There is nothing in the book that did not help me become a better player. All of the
possible things to practice can be overwhelming. I think “The Keys” can help the student focus on a few
important tasks at a time and make progress on a strong foundation”. Brian also just completed a new trio
album due for a 2012 release that features bassist Bill McKemy and drummer Josh Adams. “It’s all
standards. Songs I love to play. This record is my tribute to Jim Hall and all the other players that inspire
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because I like technical music with feeling
I was first exposed to jazz in high school
The first jazz record i bought was Sonny Rollins "The Bridge" featuring Jim Hall.
Listen to miles Davis Kind of Blue