Nelda Swiggett

“…a bright palette, a sinewy execution and a powerful, assertive command… the sound is all Swiggett’s: refined and confident, open and inviting. – All About Jazz

“a tune with a view” from Nelda’s latest CD, BLUE-EYED PAINTED LADY (2014 oa2 records)


Nelda is the winner of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra‘s 3rd Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers! SWOJO received highly creative compositions from Japan, Australia, Germany and USA. Nelda’s original big band chart, “Cat Dreams,” will be performed and recorded live by special guest guitarist Mimi Fox at the Triple Door on November 4 as part of the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival.

About Nelda
The melodic originals of Seattle pianist and vocalist Nelda Swiggett draw from her long list of influences, from jazz to Afro-Cuban, to gospel, classical and more. Nelda first came onto Seattle’s jazz scene in the early 90’s, leading the popular Room to Move sextet, and performing at many of Seattle’s top jazz venues. Visit Music to hear excerpts from Nelda’s four CDs of original music. Check out Nelda’s calendar for upcoming performances.

This Time coverNelda Swiggett Trio
Nelda has performed with top tier Seattle musicians Chris Symer (bass) and Byron Vannoy (drums) since 2006. Their 2010 CD of Nelda’s original music, This Time, was released on Seattle’s award winning jazz label OA2 Records. This Time garnered strong reviews and fans for Nelda’s music around the globe.

… a stunning project, put together by three imaginative swingers … held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett.
     – JazzTimes

 Nelda Swiggett Stringtet

Stringtet color photoFor a richer, orchestral sound, the Nelda Swiggett Trio is joined by veteran Seattle Symphony musicians Rachel Swerdlow (viola) and Walter Gray (cello). Stringtet is featured on Nelda’s most recent OA2 release, Blue-Eyed Painted Lady (2014).

“Gorgeous… with a warm electricity and a fluidity of motion that just carries the listener along.”
– emusic

Nelda’s latest project, Megabopolis, is a sextet with Travis Ranney (tenor saxophone), Michael Van Bebber (trumpet), Clif Swiggett (trombone), Michael Glynn (bass) and Max Wood (drums). A departure from her recent projects, this group has a big fat sound with a plethora of outstanding soloists. Megabopolis is currently preparing for a studio recording in December 2015.

No Time for Daydreams & Hands On
hands on cover
roomtomove coverIn 1990, Nelda formed her first band, the Room to Move Sextet, featuring trumpet, tenor sax, and trombone. The band’s CD recording of original compositions, No Time for Daydreams (1993), received extensive airplay on Seattle’s jazz stations as well as national and international airplay. In 1998, her talent for composition was recognized by an Artist Trust Fellowship from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her second release as a leader followed – Nelda Swiggett | Hands On (1999).

Orange shirt smiling
Nelda’s original big band arrangements have been performed by Seattle’s nationally recognized Garfield High School Jazz Band I and the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra. She also keeps a busy schedule gigging as a freelance pianist and teaching private piano lessons.