Guitarist Jeff Swanson relocated to Chicago in 2010 and quickly made his unique voice and open mind a valued part of the city’s diverse music scene. A strong player in many disciplines, he has been featured at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, Chicago Gospel Festival as well as some of the best local and national venues (The Green Mill, Constellation, City Winery, The Hideout, Cliff Bell’s, Dazzle, Merriman’s Playhouse).
As a composer his first works were featured in the New York/Chicago based trio, Whirlpool. Featuring Caroline Davis and Charles Rumback, the group's first record This World and One More was released on Ears&Eyes Records in 2013. In 2015 the group released Dancing on the Inside, featuring Ron Miles on cornet.
His original music has been paired along side saxophonist Artie Black's music in the co-led group Living Bridge. The group’s first self-titled album was released in February of 2016 on Ears&Eyes Records.
Jeff’s newest project (Jeff Swanson Group) presents his first outing as a leader. His original music is featured amongst an exciting quartet with piano, bass, drums and guitar. His early influences in the classical and electronic traditions come forward in this project exploring the realms of interlocking ostinati, polyrhythm, deep melodies and ocean-like textures to produce a unique take on the traditional jazz quartet.
His adaptability and creativity as a sideman has lead him to perform and record with many of the city and nation’s best including Dustin Laurenzi’s Natural Language, Juan Pastor’s Chinchano, Quentin Coaxum Quintet, Doug Rosenberg’s Better Than TV, Marquis Hill, Matt Ulery, Greg Ward, Sam Trump, Nick Mazzarella, and Christopher McBride.
As an educator Jeff has been a clinician at university’s and schools across the US including Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, University of Colorado Boulder, Northern Illinois University, and Denver Schools of the Arts. In addition to teaching while traveling, Jeff also maintains a private studio of students in Chicago.