Jazz pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett is a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate. She formed her first band, the Room to Move sextet, in 1990, and has since headlined her own group at many of the Northwest’s top jazz venues.
Nelda has recorded four CDs of her original music. Room to Move | No Time for Daydreams (1993) features sextet arrangements for trumpet, tenor and trombone. In 1998, her talent for composition was recognized by an Artist Trust Fellowship funded by the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her second release as a leader followed — Nelda Swiggett Quartet | Hands On (1999).
In 2010, Nelda released her third recording — Nelda Swiggett Trio | This Time (OA2 Records). “… a stunning project, put together by three imaginative swingers … held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett.” (JazzTimes). Nelda’s most recent CD, Blue-Eyed Painted Lady (OA2 Records 2014), features her five-piece band “Stringtet”, a collaboration between her jazz piano trio and veteran Seattle Symphony musicians on viola and cello.
Nelda’s original big band arrangements have been performed by Seattle’s nationally recognized Garfield High School Jazz Band I and the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO). Most recently, Nelda won SWOJO’s 2015 international Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers, and her big band arrangement, “Cat Dreams,” was debuted in the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival. Nelda also keeps a busy schedule as a freelance pianist, private piano teacher and clinician.