Mary Ann McSweeney was born in Aptos, California. She started playing piano at the age of five and then began studying the violin at age 8. In high school she fell in love with the acoustic bass while watching Ray Brown perform at the Concord Jazz Festival. She was chosen to play at the Monterey Jazz Festival at age 16 with the All Star band fronted by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis.
McSweeney has played with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Joanne Brackeen and Lee Konitz, Gil Goldstein and Bucky Pizzarelli, and played for famous conductors, Leonard Bernstein, Lalo Schifrin, and John Williams. She has performed with Renee Rosness, Vic Juris, Ken Peplowski, Dennis Mackrel, Lewis Nash and Larry Goldings. Mary Ann performed with the Maiden Voyage and Diva Big Bands and performed with her quintet at the Sexial Jazz Festival in Portugal and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center.
Ms. McSweeney arranged for and recorded with Warner Bros. Artist, Lea Delaria. She toured Europe and performed with David Krakouer’s Klezmer Madness and three time Tony award winning vocalist Audra McDonald. Her orchestrations can be heard on Chita Rivera’s new Cd entitled “Now I Swing.” Her original music can be heard on the webisode about the making of the new show “Allegiance,” which features George Takei. Along with being full time professional bassist in New York City, McSweeney is on the faculty for the Middle School Jazz Academy at Lincoln Center and the New York Jazz Workshop. She has been working also working with the Fordham Business school in helping facilitate workshops for business students from Turkey, South Africa, China and the Europe.