October 21st, 2010

Nelda Swiggett performing with her trio at Tula’s Thursday night.

Seattle native, jazz pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett explores a variety of sounds and colors in her music – drawing from jazz, Afro-Cuban, gospel, blues, and more. She has arranged several of her original compositions for the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra and toured extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska with one of the Northwest’s top salsa bands, Cambalache. Her compositions and playing have been praised as “a bright palette, a sinewy execution and a powerful, assertive command.” (

Her latest endeavor is performing in an intimate setting with a piano trio. Lately during her performances, Swiggett also uses her voice as an instrument, in addition to singing lyrics. “That’s really new for me and I’m looking to incorporate more singing into my original music,” she said.
“I’ve composed primarily for larger ensembles in the past — including several big band arrangements. My trio is a more intimate sound, and while I may still hear several horns in my head, I have only the piano trio and my voice for instrumentation,” said Swiggett. “It is a fun and interesting challenge to explore the possibilities for presenting my original music in this small group.”
-Jessica Davis

Leave a Reply