|Born||May 14, 1994|
|Origin||Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.|
|Associated acts||Wynton Marsalis, Benny Green|
Swift was raised in Charlottesville as part of a family of musicians. Her parents are late jazz pianist Hod O'Brien and singer Stephanie Nakasian. At the age of nine, she recorded her debut album, Veronica’s House of Jazz (2004), featuring Richie Cole playing with her fathers rhythm section. She began touring with her parents at this time as well. At age eleven, she appeared in the series Women in Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola; At the age of 13, she released her second album, It's Great to Be Alive (2007), on which saxophonist Harry Allen also played.
Swift earned her bachelor's degree in jazz voice in 2016 from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. While there, she composed a goth-rock opera entitled Vera Icon about a homicidal nun. Swift says she "needed an outlet for the anger" she felt at her father's cancer, and needed a more dramatic genre to express the emotion. Her 2015 album, Lonely Woman, includes two songs with her father at the piano and may represent the last recording by Hod O’Brien, who died in 2016. Swift placed second at the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition. Following graduation, she moved to New York City, where she played Saturday nights at the Birdland jazz club.
She also starred with Chris Botti, Benny Green, and Michael Feinstein. She toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In the opinion of Bill Milkowski, she has a perfect pitch and phrasing. In the field of jazz, Tom Lord counts ten recording sessions in which she was involved between 2004 and 2019. In 2019, she went on tour with the Benny Green Trio.
Awards and honors
- 2019: won Best New Artist and Best Vocal Release (for Confessions) in Jazz Times Readers' Poll
- Veronica's House of Jazz (SNOB, 2004), with Richie Cole, Hod O'Brien, Pete Spaar, Ronnie Free, Stephanie Nakasian
- It's Great to Be Alive! (SNOB, 2007), with Harry Allen, Hod O'Brien, Lee Hudson, Neal Miner, Jeff Brillinger, Stephanie Nakasian
- Lonely Woman (2015), with Emmet Cohen, Benny Bennack III, Daryl Johns, Matt Wigler, Scott Lowrie
- Confessions (2019)
- Jeff Rupert with Veronica Swift Let's Sail Away (Rupe, 2017), with Dan Miller, Christian Herrera, Saul Dautch, Richard Drexler, Charlie Silva, Marty Morell
- Benny Green: Then and Now (2018), with Anne Drummond, David Wong, Kenny Washington, Josh Jones
- "Veronica Swift, Stephanie Nakasian, Hod O'Brien and Jeff Rupert". Heidi's Jazz Club. 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- Milkowski, Bill (January 4, 2019). "New Jazz Artists to Watch in 2019". Paste Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- Birdland Jazz Club (November 21, 2017). "Veronica Swift: She Bop Shares Her Story". Medium. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Forman, Bill (March 6, 2019). "Veronica Swift discusses jazz legacies, vocal technique, and her rock opera about a homicidal nun". Colorado Springs Independent. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Weideman, Paul (November 9, 2018). "Jazz's new It Girl: Singer Veronica Swift". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Gilbert, Andrew (February 28, 2018). "Jazz singer Veronica Swift a fast-rising star". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Lord, Tom (November 2019). "Musician List". The Jazz Discography. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- "2019 Readers' Poll Results". Jazz Times. Braintree, Massachusetts: Madavor Media. January 30, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.