Keith Baumann has been a professional musician and teacher for nearly 30 years. He began his musical pursuits in New York City after hearing a Flatt & Scruggs album back in 1971, leading him to buy his first banjo. He also started playing mandolin, guitar and resophonic guitar, studying with banjo masters Tony Trishcka, and Marty Cutler and finger style guitar guru Ken Perlman.
In 1983, interest in the new acoustic music scene brought Keith out to the San Francisco Bay area where he studied mandolin with Mike Marshall and Tiny Moore. He performed with several west coast bands such as Heartland which featured among its members Jim Nunally, Allison Brown, Rob Ickes and Tony Furtado. While attending the National Old Time Fiddle Contest in Weiser Idaho, Keith got a chance to meet and play with many of the great western swing musicians who were former members of the Bob Wills band. Hooked on swing music, he began performing with Western Swing Hall of Fame member Don Burnham’s Lost Weekend Band.
Keith relocated to the Chicago area in 1991 and toured nationally as a mandolinist and resophonic guitarist with the highly acclaimed Special Consensus bluegrass band. During his time with Consensus, he performed at major festivals, concert venues and workshops throughout the United States. Keith also began performing on guitar and tenor banjo with numerous area big bands, orchestras, Dixieland Jazz groups, and swing combos.
After leaving the Special Consensus, Keith began teaching at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and the Harper College music department. He also started his own Company, Uptown Rhythm Productions which provides quality live entertainment for special events and concerts.
Keith currently makes his living as a full-time performer, bandleader, educator and writer. He writes regularly for Down Beat jazz magazine and has had articles published in both Guitar Player and Flatpicking Guitar magazine. Keith has taught at several national music camps and workshops including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the Cape Cod Mandolin Camp. He also keeps an active roster of private students. In 2006 he was honored to be invited as a special guest to the Legends of Western Swing Festival in Texas.
A few of the fine artists that Keith has had the honor of performing or recording with: