Dolly Baker, 1922–2014

Dolly-Baker

The jazz singer was a vibrant member of the Tokyo scene from the 1960s on.

Also known as Thelma Baker Botelho, Dolly Baker began her career in the 1950s as a member of the Baker Sisters, and began making a name for herself on the New York City jazz scene during the 1950s. She moved to Japan in 1961 and sang at the American Club, international embassies, and many jazz clubs around Tokyo. She was a great friend of the late Corky Alexander, founder of Tokyo Weekender, and was one of the prominent members of the expat community. Baker moved back to Boston in 2001.

She passed away peacefully at home on April 23. She leaves behind a sister, Bobbi Baker; children Jan Gendron, Shira Marianne Gendron and Daniel Gendron; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

You can watch a video of Dolly Baker singing while on a return trip to Tokyo in 2006, performing alongside fellow jazz vocalist Yasushi Sawada.

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