Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Swartz, Brian (Davidson)

Swartz, Brian (Davidson), trumpet; b. Wichita Falls, TX, 16 December 1967.

Father was in US Air Force so his family moved around but lived mostly in Bellevue, Nebraska until Brian was 12.  We moved to Fairfield, California where he spent my teen years until he moved to Los Angeles to attend Cal State University at Northridge in 1988. His father, Lawrence Gene Swartz, was a trumpeter for USAF 30 years (born Dec. 5, 1937 in Clarinda, Iowa, died Sept. 29, 1992). His mother, Sonya Ann Swartz (born May 14, 1938, in Bedford, Iowa) was a soprano in school and church choirs. They married July 4, 1958, in Kansas City, Missouri. Brian's siblings are Lawrence Gene Swartz II (born June 2, 1959, at Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato, CA), a keyboardist and studio owner/engineer, Tina Rae Love (born October 23, 1960, at Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato, CA) and Dale Willis Swartz (born July 12, 1963, in Honolulu, Hawaii).

From 1982-1986, Brian attended Armijo High School - Fairfield, CA - Jim Bunselmeier, music teacher. From 1982-1986, he studied trumpet privately with Clarence Mitchell and Todd Merkeley of USAF. From 1986-1988, he attended Solano Community College - Suisun, CA - Delbert Bump, music theory/improv Professor. From 1987 -1988, he studied privately in San Francisco, CA with John Coppola who taught Brian improvisation and swing. From 1988-1989, he attended Cal State University at Northridge. Professors included Joel Leach, Ladd MacIntosh and Gary Pratt.  Took trumpet lessons from William Bing. From 1990-1995, he studied trumpet privately with Bobby Shew in Los Angeles, CA. From 1995 - present, he's studied for short periods with Tony Lujan, John Thomas, and Uan Rasey. From 1996-1997, he attended USC Thornton School of Music. Professors included Shelly Berg, John Thomas.

His wife is Sonia Elizabeth Swartz (born March 14, 1957, in San Salvador, El Salvador). His daughter is Kacey Pauline Swartz (born June 11, 1998, in Hollywood, CA) and his son is Kenneth Martin Swartz (born October 14, 1999, in Hollywood, CA).

Brian has led his own group for over seven years now and has become an accomplished composer and arranger.  He can be heard on recordings with Jane Getz, Dale Fielder, Todd Hunter, Joe Henry, the Buddy Childers Big Band, Red and the Red Hots, Rebecca Kyler Downs, Teddy Thompson, Dave Sherr's Artmusic Ensemble, Josh Nelson, Raya Yarbrough and numerous other studio dates.  Brian has also performed at most of the major jazz venues in Los Angeles leading his own jazz quintet.  Brian's quintet has featured some of LA's top sideman such as saxophonists Keith Fiddmont, George Harper or Ben Clatworthy; pianists Brad Mehldau, Billy Childs, John Beasley or Bill Cunliffe; bassists Jeff Littleton or Darek Oles; and drummers Lorca Hart or Aaron Serfaty.  Recently, Brian hosted of a series at Lunaria in Century City called "The Best of LA's Trumpets" which features his quintet backing up many of LA's greatest jazz trumpeters. As a sideman, Brian has performed with Buddy Childers, Jack Sheldon, Bob Florence, Francisco Aguabella, Jane Getz, Todd Hunter, Buddy Montgomery, Carmen Lundy, Dale Fielder, Black/Note, Don Rickles, Phil Vieux, Bruce Lofgren, Bobby White, Chuck Flores, The Jazz Spot Orchestra, Rebecca Kyler Downs, Bruce Eskovitz's Jazz Orchestra, Dina Deluxe, Sandra Booker, Gretchen Parlato and Raya Yarbrough.   For six years, Brian has been a core member with the critically acclaimed Jazzantiqua, an ethnic dance company which performs extended works live with a jazz quintet.

For three years Brian was a regular member of one of LA's best swing bands, Red and the Red Hots, with whom he appeared on the "Donnie and Marie Show" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."  Brian also performed at the 1999 Playboy Jazz Festival with actor/pianist Jeff Goldblum's Miriam Schnitzer Orchestra.  Brian played and acted as contractor for the Tom Harrell Big Band which performed at the Jazz Bakery in December of 1999.  This band also performed at the 2000 Monterey Jazz Festival in September of 2000.  More recently, Brian performed at the 2001 Playboy Jazz Festival in Pasadena with Bruce Lofgren's fusion orchestra, After Burner.
For five years, Brian studied with trumpet guru Bobby Shew.  Bobby showed him the importance of passing down the tradition of trumpet playing and Brian maintains a very busy schedule of private students in the Los Angeles area.  Brian has also studied with John Coppola (SFO), Bill Bing (CSUN), and LA studio legend Uan Rasey.  Brian's dedication to mastering his craft and continually building upon his knowledge has brought him to prominence in the Los Angeles jazz scene.

There's Only Me (2000)

Contact information:
Brian Swartz
(323)429-0985 pgr/vm

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