Drummer Joey Baron was born in Richmond, VA, into what he described as a "Jewish working-class family" (Songline/Tonefield Productions). Baron was heavily influenced by the rock, jazz, and TV themes of his youth, and taught himself how to play through close listening and watching other musicians. Although he has backed artists from a range of the musical spectrum — from Tony Bennett to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, from Laurie Anderson to Al Jarreau — most of Baron's work has been in jazz. He has played with classic greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Pepper, and Stan Getz, and with the more avant-garde musicians of '80s and '90s downtown N.Y.C, like John Zorn, Tim Berne (he and Baron co-led the group Miniature), the Lounge Lizards, and Naked City. Besides his activity through the '90s with Zorn's Masada quartet (with trumpeter Dave Douglas and bassist Greg Cohen), Baron led his own group, Barondown (featuring young sax great Ellery Eskelin), which has released three albums: Crackshot, RAIsed Pleasuredot, and Tongue in Groove.