Black History 365: Mazz Swift

Critically acclaimed as one of America’s most talented and versatile performers today, Violin/Vox/Freestyle Composition artist Mazz Swift has engaged audiences all over the world with the signature weaving of song, melody and improvisation that she calls MazzMuse.

Mazz combines elements of classical, folk, rock, jazz, free improvisational music and electronica to create a rich, unique and diverse musical experience. She is a singer, composer and Juilliard-trained violinist who plays electric and acoustic instruments and has, over the years, performed and recorded with a diverse accumulation of artists including Whitney Houston, Perry Farrell, Dee Snider, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Valerie June, DJ Logic, William Parker, Butch Morris, Jason Lindner, Kanye West, and most recently as string mistress for D’Angelo’s “Vanguard Strings”.

On electric violin, acoustic violin, soulful singing and improvisation, Mazz brings music that speaks directly to your soul. Expect to be transported.

Other performance and career highlights include:

– appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Valerie June)

– tour of Africa (Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal) as cultural ambassador for the US Department of State (Matuto)

– travel to Suriname as a cultural ambassador for the US Department of State (The 13th Amendment?)

-featured violinist and singer in “Basetrack Live” national tour, culminating at a weeklong engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival.

– featured appearance in the popular anti-fracking documentary “Dear Governor Cuomo”, in concert alongside Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin and Wood, Dan Zanes and many more

– Solo MazzMuse appearance at the National Action Network’s 20th Annual Keepers of the Dream Award Ceremony in 2011, where President Obama gave the keynote address.

– festivals in The United States, Canada, New Zealand, Western and Eastern Europe, and Russia (Valerie June, LaFrae Sci’s The 13th Amendment?, Burnt Sugar, Daughters of Nina, Tamar-kali, Budapest Bar)

– performances in all of the great halls and public arts spaces in NYC (Carnegie, Avery Fischer, Alice Tully, Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center, the Lincoln Center Atrium, Symphony Space, Live at the New York Public Library, BAM Next Wave Festival at the Harvey Theater, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge) as well as other well established venues around the world, including The Royal Albert Hall (London), The Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), The Palace of Arts (MŰVÉSZETEK PALOTÁJA, or MUPA – Budapest), and Bimhuis (Amsterdam)

– assisted in conducting workshops and performance with inmates at Sing Sing (NY State Correctional Facility, a Maximum Security State Penitentiary) as a Teaching Artist for Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections Program

Mazz Swift is also one of the founding faculty of the first-ever 2022 Antenna Cloud Farm Experimental Institute, taking place from August 15-28.

Conceived of and built collaboratively with artists and educators Mazz Swift and PaviElle French the 2022 ACF Experimental Institute is a multi-faceted, 2-week summer intensive, in which an accomplished group of fellows and mentoring faculty will convene here at ACF to collaborate, incubate new projects, build community, and engage in mutual learning and activation towards societal change. The Institute will also serve as a prototyping, brainstorming, and seed-planting space for the creation of a radical new music conservatory, centered on holistic approaches to artistic excellence, and built upon anti-racist and liberatory values.The Conservatory will be led by a group of prominent and forward-thinking cultural and musical leaders, and offer programming rooted in artistic excellence, personal wellness, decolonized academic study, innovative and sustainable approaches to career-building, social impact work, performance opportunities, and the creation of new work.

Ei artists will be performing at for the Stone Soup Café Harvest Supper on August 27. Join our mailing list to get last minute invites and popup concert information! Volunteer for the Experimental Institute here!