Jacob Swedlow Talks Jazz (and more) on Listening Lyrics. Aired Friday July 17, 2020

Jacob Swedlow is a talented and beautiful human being. In a far-ranging interview he shares with us his music, and how Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter storm affected him -- all of it influencing his own being and his creativity.

The best I can do is let Jacob talk a little about himself:

"My name is Jacob Swedlow, and I am a drummer, composer, vibraphonist, and teacher from Sacramento. After being exposed to Black American music at a young age, I have developed a deep passion for the history, culture, and innovation of the music, as well as the urge to play it! After my first few professional performances, I realized that this was the path for me.

"Since then, I have had some great opportunities to travel the world, perform, and record my music with many great musicians. While in high school, my various bands were accepted to many prestigious festivals, such as the Next Generation Jazz Festival (Monterey), the Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival (New York), and the Charles Mingus jazz Festival (also New York). I was invited to participate in the prestigious Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony (Lake Tahoe), where I was one of five drummers. Throughout my musical career, I have also taken on several students, of different ages and levels. I have had students take lessons on a variety of subjects including: drums, mallet/pitched percussion, piano, music theory, and composition.

"I am a recent graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where I had the opportunity to learn from legendary musicians such as Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, and Jay Ashby. While attending Oberlin, I have auditioned, and have been accepted, to such highly prestigious, all-expenses paid programs such as the the Generations in Jazz Master class (Frauenfeld, Switzerland), as well as the Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

"If it weren’t for the Black Americans who have created the music we all love and profit from, there would be no festivals, programs, or performances for me to participate in. I am constantly studying the history of Black music in America, as well as the innovators who have created it. In these times, it is more important than ever for white musicians to stand up and fight for the Black lives that are being harmed."

From Pieter: If you enjoyed this program, please hit the like button on the Listening Lyrics Facebook page. If you're interested in appearing on the show, hit me up at promotions@kdrt.org.This episode was recorded in my home studio, using a MacBook Air, Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones, Yedi BLUE microphone, Zoom (for the interview), Garageband, and iMovie (to process the MP4 Zoom file to an audio MP3 file).

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