Telluride Jazz Fest: Veronica Swift, Her Star Is Rising Fast!

Telluride Jazz Fest: Veronica Swift, Her Star Is Rising Fast!

Telluride Jazz Festival, August 9-11, 2019, still has tickets on sale. Go here for details. 

Veronica Swift returns in triumph to the Telluride Jazz Festival to perform on Saturday, August 10, 1:30 p.m. on the Main Stage and again, later that evening at The Liberty, 10 a.m.

Please scroll down for more and check out her podcast.

Veronica Swift, rapidly rising star, returns to Telluride Jazz. The event helped shape her career.

What’s in a name?

In this particular case it accurately describes a fact of her young life, the rapid velocity that underlies the career of vocalist Veronica Swift, a lady on a fast track to superstardom.

Arguments can be made that the versatility of Sarah Vaughan makes her the best. Some say no one can or will ever match Ella Fitzgerald’s tone (or her scat abilities). Others might add that Billie Holiday is not only the greatest female jazz singer in history, but also one of the greatest female vocalists ever.

The list of the best modern female jazz singers expands to include the always wonderful Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Esperanza Spalding, arguably even Norah Jones.

And, when singer-educator-author Stephanie Nakasian and the late great bebop pianist Hod O’Brien produced their little girl another star was born. A baby girl who was suckled on jazz.

“I would be sleeping in green rooms in the bass case or in back of the bar with a coloring book, not paying attention to anything,” Veronica told Jazz Times.

A baby girl, now a young woman, Telluride can claim as an adoptive daughter.

By the time she was 10, Veronica Swift was gracing Telluride’s Fred Shellman stage with Dave Adam’s Young Razzcals Jazz Project and saxophonist Richie Cole.

In 2011, she sang a duet with Jazz Fest’s Guest of Honor, Paquito d’Rivera.

By 2016, Veronica headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival, her 10th appearance in our box canyon– but her first as a featured performer, appearing that time with the Eric Gunnison Trio.

Veronica Swift returns in triumph to the Telluride Jazz Festival to strut her stuff on Saturday, August 10, 1:30 p.m. on the. Main Stage and again, later that evening, at The Liberty, 10 a.m.

Veronica Swift, red hot.

In April 2017, Veronica started a residency at New York’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club. By 2018, she was touring with her trio (Emmet Cohen Trio), as well as with the Benny Green Trio, Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Chris Bottii. She also appeared at Jazz Showcase, Monterey and Montreal Jazz Festivals, two runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center, plus stops in Shanghai, China, and Marians’ Jazz Showroom in Bern, Switzerland.

Hailing from Charlottesville, VA . and now residing in New York City, Veronica also managed to find the time to write a rock opera, which she has notably described as “Lady Gaga meets Marilyn Manson.” She also had a cameo in in a low-budget zombie movie. But most importantly, Veronica Swift has established herself as one of America’s greatest modern jazz vocalists – who also learned to play piano and trumpet at the same time she began to sing.

Singing in her high-school choir – and with Bob Montogmery’s Telluride Jazz Allstars – taught Veronica about blending and voice-leading; playing trumpet in a jazz band taught her about improvisation.

In 2015, as a vocalist, Veronica won second place in the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Competition, a major milestone.

“Listen to Veronica Swift scat and you’d swear she’s channeling Ella. Cool, calm, confident, and elegant onstage, the 25-year-old can slide seamlessly from a difficult syncopated rhythm to a wistful love song to a fresh arrangement of an old standard…,” reported Jazz Times in a recent interview.

But Ella was not Veronica’s primary influence. That honor goes to Anita O’Day, but not just because of her voice, more for her personal style. Veronica has said O’Day transformed herself into “one of the boys.” She was one of the first to wear a suit at her gigs.

On stage, Veronica Swift is known to perform everything from the Great American Songbook to bebop, Sinatra, and originals in the vocalese manner of the great Jon Hendricks, also once (or more) a featured performer at Telluride Jazz.

This year as a featured act at Telluride Jazz who knows which Veronica will show up. The young star is known to tweak her set list for every new show. What does not change, however, is her ability to hypnotize her audience with songs that appeal to all demographics. Veronica Swift is an equal opportunity razzle-dazzler.

To learn more about Veronica Swift’s life and work listen to her podcast:

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