Lauren Elizabeth Baba

LAUREN ELIZABETH BABA is a violinist, violist, composer, arranger, and improviser living in Los Angeles. Specializing in performing and composing creative improvised music, as well as jazz, classical, folk, avant-garde, chamber, pop, experimental, and electronic styles.

Baba is the composer, conductor, and director of her 17-piece experimental big band, theBABAorchestra. As one of the up- and-coming female big band composers and bandleaders, she has gained critical acclaim and recognition from the creative music scene. Highlights include album reviews in Downbeat Magazine, JAZZIZ Magazine, LA Weekly, All About Jazz, and March 2018 Indie Life Feature in Downbeat.

Baba has received commissions through Idaho State University (2020), Viewpoint High School (2019), West Ranch High School (2016), and for Marigold, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society through the 2018 New Note Artist Award and premiered at the 2018 Angel City Jazz Festival at Ford Theater in Los Angeles, CA; recorded on theBABAorchestra’s 2nd album Marigold.

Baba was recently awarded the 2022 Fundamental Freedoms Commission from the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers [ISJAC], which premiered at the 2022 ISJAC Jazz Symposium in Austin, Texas.

theBABAorchestra highlight performances include the Hammer Museum’s JAZZPOP Series, Angel City Jazz Festival’s Jazz Night, CalArts Wild Beast Concert Series, Cooks Chapel’s Live Jazz Nite Series, ArtShareLA, and Blue Whale. Baba’s original big band compositions have been performed by numerous high schools and colleges across the county and has been featured as guest conductor of the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra [California Jazz Conservatory]. She is currently curating a new Los Angeles music series called Big Band Nights that headlines three big bands in one night – creating a space for big band leaders to perform and share music and ideas, and to build a strong music community.

Baba received the 2012 Young Jazz Composers Award for her work 144, which appears on theBABAorchestra’s debut album Another Ride on the Elephant Slide. She has self-produced and released 2 theBABAorchestra albums under her label Thirsty Owl Records.

As a freelance musician, Baba performs and composes regularly for various original jazz and creative improv ensembles as a leader, side-musician, and in a string chamber jazz setting. Performance highlights include Angel City Jazz Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Berkeley Arts Festival, REDCAT, Blue Whale, Mr. Musichead Gallery and The Baked Potato. She is the on call musician for various folk ensembles [Balkan/Klezmer/Persian] and experimental ensembles, as well as for string quartets and new music ensembles. Baba is the current violist of Vitamin String Quartet and records regularly for various artists such as Van Dyke Parks. As a freelance performer, composer, and arranger, she appears in film scores, commercials, music videos, television, albums, and top touring acts; highlights include Hidden Figures (Motion Picture soundtrack), Adele (2017 Grammy Awards), The Weeknd (2016 Oscars), Shawn Mendes (2016 American Music Awards), Insidious 2 (Motion Picture soundtrack), ABC’s American Idol, NBC’s The Voice, and The Little Mermaid Live to Film (Hollywood Bowl). Baba has composed and arranged for several short films, commercials and movies; highlights including string quartet arrangements for Demi Lovato, Tyson Ritter [The All American Rejects], as well as being commissioned to arrange her original compositions for various elementary and high school music ensembles, including Waldorf School and Viewpoint High School. Baba is also music director, arranger, and performer for various companies as well as theater and dance productions. She is a touring violinist/keyboardist/background vocalist for indie rock pop group Japanese Breakfast.

Baba is a board member of Los Angeles Jazz Society, as well as the ISJAC “Shorts” organization, and has been an adjudicator at Reno Jazz Festival and faculty jazz string instructor at ACE Oakwood School and Stanford Jazz Workshop. She has also appeared as a guest artist for various schools and organizations, such as speaker for “Women in Jazz” Forum at California Institute of the Arts.

Baba studied improvised music on violin and viola and jazz composition at California Institute of the Arts where she received her BFA in Jazz Performance. Her teachers include Joey Sellers, Jamie Rosen, Larry Koonse, David Roitstein and Paul Novros.

Visit the Jazz Education Abroad website