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)


Pianist and vocalist Nelda Swiggett is an active performer on the Seattle music scene. She formed her first band in 1990, and has since performed at many of the Northwest’s leading clubs, concerts and festivals, including the Earshot Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, and a KPLU-FM Summer Jazz Cruise, among others. Nelda’s original compositions are a unique blend of her diverse musical influences. She started at the University of Washington as a classical piano performance major, and left with a deep passion for jazz. She performed for several years on Seattle’s thriving late night salsa scene, then got up early on Sunday mornings to lay down soulful gospel riffs at her local church. Nelda’s first ever favorite jazz recording artist was jazz singer legend Sarah Vaughn, and she has enjoyed adding more and more of her own vocals to her arrangements over the years. Visit Music to hear excerpts from Nelda’s four CDs of original music.

This Time coverNelda Swiggett Trio
Nelda has worked steadily with top tier Seattle musicians Chris Symer (bass) and Byron Vannoy (drums) since 2006. Their 2010 CD of Nelda’s 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 three very fine horn players and soloists — Travis Ranny (tenor saxophone), Michael Van Bebber (trumpet) and Clif Swiggett (trombone). Michael Glynn (bass) and Max Wood (drums) round out the rhythm section. Check out Nelda’s calendar for her upcoming performances!

hands on coverNo Time for Daydreams & Hands On
Nelda continues to receive rave emails from fans iroomtomove covern far flung places who have discovered one of her first two CDs. In 1990, Nelda formed the Room to Move Sextet, with a three-horn front line 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.