No Time for Daydreams
Pianist Nelda Swiggett is an active performer and composer on the Pacific Northwest music scene. Nelda formed and led the Room to Move Sextet from 1990 until 1997. Room to Move appeared at many of Seattle's leading clubs, concerts and festivals, including Bumbershoot, Dimitrious's Jazz Alley, and a KPLU Summer Jazz Cruise, among others. The sextet performed many of Nelda's original compositions, as well as tunes by bassist Rick Leppanen and drummer Chris Monroe. Other band members included Dean Mochizuki on tenor sax, Brad Smith on trumpet, and Clif Swiggett on trombone. The band's CD recording, No Time for Daydreams, received extensive airplay on Seattle's jazz stations as well as national and international airplay. "Inspired arranging . . . infectious rhythms . . ." -- Earshot Jazz Magazine Biography of Nelda Swiggett Nelda grew up near Seattle, Washington, and at age seven, began her formal musical training with a year of accordian lessons from her older sister. Finally, at eight, she began to study what would become her true love, the piano. Years of classical piano lessons ensued, with the addition of flute in 6th grade concert band. 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 her 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. In 1990, Nelda formed the Room to Move Sextet, with a three-horn front line featuring trumpet, tenor sax, and her new husband, Clif Swiggett, on trombone. The band's CD recording of original compositions, No Time for Daydreams, received extensive airplay on Seattle's jazz stations as well as national and international airplay. In 1998, her talent for composition was recognized by an Artist Trust Fellowship from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her second release as a leader followed - Nelda Swiggett | Hands On. In 2000, Nelda became intrigued by the rich instrumentation of the big band orchestra, and has since arranged several of her original compositions for the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra. In 2001, Nelda joined one of the Northwest's top salsa bands, Cambalache, and immersed herself in the rhythms of salsa, Afro-Cuban, and Peruvian music. As self-anointed "montuno queen," Nelda toured extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Beyond her creative work, Nelda enjoys sharing the love of music and life with her two young sons, Dylan and Jack, and her private students, to whom she imparts as best she can the secrets and joys of making music.