Primary Instrument: Drums
Chopsticks. Folks generally eat with them. Matter of fact, so does Andrew Swift. However, long before learning to eat with chopsticks, Andrew used them as makeshift drumsticks, playing on the family’s pots and pans. Unfortunately the chopsticks couldn’t stand his fervor and the lack of any other suitable drumming implements forced him into musical retirement as a small child.
Fast forward to the Fifth Grade. Andrew began at a new school that had a band program. Imagine Andrew’s delight when he discovered that playing in the school band occasionally meant missing academic class time. Never being one to adopt an irresolute attitude, he immediately spoke to the band director who said that the band could use another drummer. That was it. Andrew Swift was going to play the drums.
From that point on, Andrew participated in every musical activity possible. One day at a high school band concert, he happened to overhear an older drummer say something about a university jazz studies course. Early aspirations of a respectable career in architecture or accounting were abandoned as Andrew decided playing music would be an interesting way to make a living.
Andrew completed undergraduate and graduate studies in music performance at the Australian National University. In 1998, he moved from his native Australia to New York. Since that time, he has been fortunate enough to share the stage with many people he admires such as George Cables, Wycliffe Gordon, Bob Stewart, Peter Bernstein, Sharel Cassity, and Michael Dease amongst many others. He is currently the drummer in the Sharel Cassity Quintet and the Matt Garrison Projection, and his drumming can be heard on nationally (USA) syndicated television commercials for Select Sector SPDRs.
In addition to playing, Andrew composes, arranges, and enjoys the production side of music - especially mixing. He also dabbles in CD cover artwork design. On Sundays he plays guitar in the band at his church, and during the week he enjoys cooking for his amazing wife and kids...and eating with chopsticks.
...a talented instrumentalist to watch... Barry Bassis, New York Resident Magazine
They say you can begin to judge the talent, and character of a musician by the company that they keep. Well if that is the case, Australian transplant drummer Andrew Swift has a lot going for him. Jeff Krow, AudiophileAudition.com
Drummer Andrew Swift belongs to a new generation of jazz artists that includes trumpeter Ryan Kisor and multi-instrumentalists Sharel Cassity and Michael Dease, all of whom...are well trained and steeped in tradition. However, tradition does not own their collective souls. All compose with a bright edge of intelligence and perform in the same way. C.Michael Bailey, AllAboutJazz.com
Swift’s compositions have, for the most part, distinctive and sometimes complex melody lines with an air of excitement at fast tempos and skill and passion on the ballads. George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon
“Swift...provided potent propulsion elsewhere, and was appropriately reserved on brushes for 'Love's Lament,' the concert's sole ballad.” Chuck Obuchowski, The Hartford Courant
Cables, Burno and Swift are masterful in their support and knowing when to push. Richard Kamins, Steptempest.blogspot.com