Veronica Swift was 10 years old when she first appeared at the Telluride Jazz Festival. In 2016, a little over a decade later, she was back — this time as a headliner.
Swift will perform with prolific jazz pianist Benny Green and his trio at 8:15 p.m. Wed., Aug. 22, in the Amphitheater.
Swift was first introduced to Chautauqua last year when she performed alongside trumpeter Chris Botti, according to Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts.
“She really brought the Chautauqua audience to their feet,” Moore said.
Swift joined Botti on his tour after he heard her sing at The Django in Tribeca, according to Mercury News, who also reported that Swift almost missed her chance meeting with Botti because she was feeling low.
“Now I tell young musicians, always go out, even if you’re sad,” she told the paper.
Swift studied jazz voice at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. In 2015, she released her album Lonely Woman, which featured a variety of guests, including Emmet Cohen and Benny Bennack III.
Swift is no stranger to musical partnerships; her newest album is also a collaboration, as it features the Benny Green Trio.
When asked about Swift’s passion and talent, Green told Mercury News that she is “the greatest straight-ahead jazz talent I’ve seen emerge this century.”
“She is without doubt a pioneer for this and the generations to follow,” Green said, “speaking the language of bebop with a fire and authenticity I’d never dreamed I’d encounter with a leader who’s 31 years my junior.”
Swift enjoys performing a variety of tunes, ranging from Great American Songbook favorites to bebop and vocalese classics. According to her website, she is also “a passionate devotee” of Roaring Twenties and 1930s music.
Last January, Moore said she saw Swift perform at Birdland in New York City, where Swift is a regular.
“She is the real deal — she sings classics like an old soul but pours her youthful passion into every song,” Moore said. “Put her with the well-loved Benny Green Trio, and it’s sure to be a great night.”