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Nelda Swiggett

Pianist Nelda Swiggett is an active performer and composer on the Seattle music scene. Whether swinging hard with her jazz trio, grooving to salsa and Afro-Cuban rhythms at the Latin club, or laying down soulful gospel riffs at her local church, you can count on Nelda’s strong musicality and creative rhythmic sense.

Nelda entered the University of Washington as a classical piano performance major and a serious downhill ski racer -- an unlikely combination that ended abruptly with a major ski accident and two months of traction in a hospital bed at Harborview. Piano was out of the question, but a guitar and flute helped wile away the hours. One day, an internist on his rounds picked up her flute and began to improvise. He brought in recordings of jazz rhythm sections that he could play along with, and her hospital room became a jazz venue for passing doctors, nurses and patients. Soon Nelda was learning to improvise herself.

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“Nelda Swiggett . . . can comp sparsely like Monk and then solo with Tynerian ringing fire . . . ” -- Cadence Magazine

“Inspired arranging . . . infectious rhythms . . .” -- Earshot Jazz Magazine

“Swiggett impressed the selection panel with her unquestionable talent for tight arrangements and natural ability to compose big band music.” -- Artist Trust Journal

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