Jazz Musican Andrew Swift; Rising Hype for Debut CD

Three weeks after finished his CD, which is currently being mastered, Andrew Swift is working on the cover art in time for its February 2012 release.

“One of the DJs from WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM – more mainstream jazz – is writing the liner notes for the CD,” Swift said. “A critic or a journalist will write about the music on the album, so it’s definitely been a labor of love.”

Check out Smalls Jazz Club in New York City’s Greenwich Village (183 W. 10th Street) on February 7, where Swift will be performing from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. “My street date for the recording is the Tuesday after that, which is Valentine’s Day,” he said, “and one of the new songs is dedicated to my wife.”

Swift said he “really wanted to produce an album to celebrate his love of music and good musicians. Some of the (featured) artists are pretty prominent performers in the jazz world and range in age yet have experience performing with innovators of the jazz age.”

These include American jazz tenor saxophonist and Academy Award-nominated actor Dexter Gordon; jazz composer and player Woody Shaw; and American jazz drummer and bandleader Roy Haynes.

Before moving to New York in 1998, Swift studied at the Australian National University’s Institute of the Arts and played professionally in Australia. His talent and enthusiasm for music has afforded him the opportunity of performing alongside a number of jazz musicians he grew up admiring, including pianist and composer George Cables, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and guitarist Peter Bernstein.

Composer, arranger, musician and educator, Swift also designs CD cover art and is a drummer in the Sharel Cassity Quintet, which recently completed a five-night engagement at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Matt Garrison Projection.

From September to June, he also creates magic via music and technology at Immaculate Conception School in Tuckahoe.

What do you like most about teaching – in particular, music – at ICS?

I like the educational component, particularly teaching kids about digital audio and how to manipulate it. I find it fascinating and feel there’s a lot about it that hasn’t been explored, and I find ways to get my students interested in it.

How do you incorporate technology into your music classes?

I taught music at ICS for five years and then moved into technology when the school moved from Windows to Apple software since all the (music) software was basically there. I’m also involved with music production and mixing records and decided to take these interests and skills and take them to my students, to perhaps inspire them if they had a computer with that capacity.

What prompted you to choose drums rather than another instrument?

I was in the fifth grade and had just started at a new school and noticed one of my new friends wasn’t in class after lunch one day. When he told me he was at band practice, I was amazed that playing in the band could mean missing class. I wanted in so the next day I went with him and asked if I could play in the band, and the only instrument available was the drums.

If someone asks for advice about starting a music career, what would you say?

It’s competitive in New York, yet no matter what style of music you want to become involved in there’s a community of musicians that is like-minded. Start seeing the shows of artists that you like and show an interest in that person’s music. Find jam sessions, opportunities to play; a lot (of them) come from networking. Each school has a scene, and each music school has a different focuses, so pick a school based upon the music taught or played there.

Check out more of Andrew @: http://www.andrewswiftmusic.com/andrewswiftmusic/Welcome.html

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