"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 Andrew Swift has a lot going for him." Jeff Krow, AudiophileAudition.com
After breaking the family chopsticks playing on pots and pans as a small child, Andrew Swift took up the drums at age 9, and the bass at age 11. He studied at the Australian National University with the drums as his focus, and developed a reputation as an up-and-coming drummer to watch on the Australian jazz scene before moving to New York in the late 90’s.
After moving to New York, Swift began to explore another of his musical loves, the guitar. He became immersed in the Gospel music scene, honing his guitar chops while playing at services that frequently featured Gospel music pioneers such as Edwin Hawkins, Timothy Wright, Twinkie Clark, and Karen Clark-Sheard.
Dubbed “a valuable sideman” by Bill Milkowski in JazzTimes magazine, Swift has put his skills to good use. As a drummer he has shared the stage with jazz veterans and newcomers such as George Cables, Wycliffe Gordon, Bob Stewart, Peter Bernstein, Sharel Cassity, and Michael Dease. As a guitarist he has toured internationally with R&B/soul singer Leela James, backed up Kyla Jade and Ryan Jamaal Swain, and subbed in the house band for the Apollo Theater's "Amateur Night at the Apollo". He has also recorded on guitar the Michael Dease Big Band, Bishop Eric McDaniel, Rev. Robert Lowe, and Milton Vann.
Swift can also be heard playing regularly with one of his favorite bass players and frequent musical collaborators, Reggie Young. As a core member of Young's band, Swift has performed nationally including appearances at Bass Player Magazine's Bass Player Live, Bass Bash, and Lords of the Low End.
In 2012, Swift released his debut CD as a leader, Swift Kick, which found him on drums in the good company of George Cables, Ryan Kisor, Eric Alexander, Dwayne Burno, and Wycliffe Gordon. Described by AllAboutJazz.com as “smart jazz that does not brag or indulge in over composition or arrangement”, Swift Kick reached #13 on the JazzWeek radio charts in the US, and ranked #58 on JazzWeek’s list of Top 100 Albums of 2012.
Aside from performing regularly in the clubs of New York City, Swift has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, Essence Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, and the Sydney Opera House. He currently teaches audio production at Manhattanville College, and his drumming can be heard on T.V. commercials for Select Sector SPDRs. Swift loves to cook and now that he uses drumsticks to play the drums, he often eats with chopsticks.
Andrew Swift plays Fodera Guitars, Heartbeat Percussion cymbals and Xotic effects pedals.