Born: March 26, 1974 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Saxophonist, composer, and educator, Ricky Sweum brings his passion for modern jazz to audiences and students throughout the world. He is currently working for the Air Force Band of the Pacific stationed in Anchorage, AK where he tours the United States, Japan, and Australia.
Recording for the 2009 JazzWeek Record Label of the Year, Origin Records, his CD “Pulling Your Own Strings” (2009) rose to #2 on the CMJ radio charts, #106 on the JazzWeek charts, and was chosen as KUVO-FM’s “CD of the Month”. He worked four years as the jazz director at Colorado College (2007-11) and was featured in the Random House book, “The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends and the Artists of Tomorrow” (2010).
Sweum has toured/recorded/performed with notable groups such as the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Big Band, Chie Imaizumi Jazz Orchestra, 9th+Lincoln Orchestra, Wil Swindler Elevenet, Darren Kramer Organization, and the Ken Walker Sextet.
As a military musician, Ricky has performed for millions throughout the United States at venues including Carnegie Hall, Monterey Jazz Festival, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Telluride Jazz Festival, IAJE (NYC), Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and the Macy’s Day Parade (NYC). He has also toured throughout Japan and recorded and/or performed with Sammy Nestico, Jeff Hamilton, Gordon Goodwin, The New York Voices, Byron Stripling, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Eric Marienthal.
Originally from Seattle, WA, he grew up in Eugene, OR and spent ten years as a freelance musician in New York City before joining the Air Force Band. Ricky’s military career started in 2003 for the Air Force Band of the West, San Antonio, TX. In 2005, he won a position with the premier Air Force Academy Band and relocated to Colorado Springs, CO. There he played lead tenor in the prestigious jazz big band, The Falconaires. In 2011, he moved to the Band of the Pacific in Anchorage, AK where he now leads the jazz band.
“Streaming hypnotic lines together one by one, he tells the story of a soul who must sing and does so with unadulterated beauty and intelligence” �� Cicily Janus, author of the New Face of Jazz
- Dave Liebman (jazz saxophonist and educational legend)
…a great young saxophone player with big sound and a big
- Walt Weiskopf (critically-acclaimed saxophonist and composer)
Ricky plays with a maturity and control of his instrument that
is a real
pleasure to listen to. His sound commands your attention.
- Bill Evans (Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist)
Ricky Sweum plays with one foot rooted in the tradition and
one looking to
the future. He is a wonderfully creative saxophonist and
- Gary Smulyan (six-time Grammy Award winning baritone saxophonist)
Ricky Sweum, More Than Imaginable (Ninjazz Records, 2012)
Personnel: Ricky Sweum: saxophones; Clarence Penn: drums; Edward Simon: piano; Dave Robaire: bass.
Ricky Sweum, Pulling Your Own Strings (Origin Records, 2009)
Personnel: Ricky Sweum: saxophones; Henrique De Almeida: drums; Wayne Wilkinson: guitar; Jason Crowe: bass.
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