Duncan Swift

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Duncan Swift (21 February 1943, Rotherham, Yorkshire – 8 August 1997 Bewdley, Worcestershire) was a British jazz musician and a practitioner of the stride style of piano-playing.[1] He recorded two critically acclaimed albums for Birmingham's Big Bear Records: Out Looking For The Lion, a reference to Willie "The Lion" Smith, and The Broadwood Concert, both recordings managed by his longtime friend Jim Simpson.[2]

Duncan was a qualified classically trained musician and attained L.R.A.M., A.B.S.M., A.B.S.M. (Gen.Mus.) and G.B.S.M. (dist.). He went on to teach music at Hagley RC Secondary School, Worcestershire, as Head of Music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Also, he lectured at Kidderminster College of Further Education and later left teaching to join Kenny Ball and his Jazz Men band in 1977. He performed on television and radio in many different countries over the years.

Duncan Swift also made many other recordings with fellow musicians during the course of his career. This includes a solo piano record for Black Lion Label called The Entertainer which was marketed mainly in America and Germany in the 1970s. Also, a solo piano tape Tudor Blues performed on his own Bechstein Grand Piano at home in Bewdley. Later, he produced a cd called The Key of D is Daffodill Yellow in 1992 which was recorded at William Bird's, 'The Piano Salon' at Avening Recording Studio, for Duncan Swift's Records.

It was his wish to record another cd in the mid 1990s but unfortunately he became ill and died before he could fulfil it.

He is survived by his wife and daughter.


  1. ^ Big Bear Music Group
  2. ^ Steve Voce Obituary: Duncan Swift The Independent. 17 August 1997, Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  • Digby Fairweather, 'Duncan Swift' in Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, and Brian Priestley, The Rough Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition, Rough Guides, 2004, p. 773.
  • Richard Cook and Brian Morton, 'Duncan Swift' in The Penguin guide to jazz on CD, 6th Edition, Penguin Books Ltd, 2002, p. 1413. ISBN 0-14-051521-6