staff-mazz-swift

Mazz Swift

A native New Yorker, Mazz began playing the violin at age 6, studying with Elisabeth Small, Shirley Givens and Timothy Baker. She graduated from the High School of the Performing Arts, during which time she made her solo public performance debut on the stage of New York’s Alice Tully Hall, performing alongside members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. She later attended The Juilliard School of Music, studying under Stephen Clapp, but left in the middle of her 3rd year in order to pursue a more organic approach to music making.

Mazz’s diverse musical interests have led her in many directions, from classical to rock to traditional folk music from around the world, to hip hop and most recently jazz (free and com­posed). Consequently, she has recorded and performed with a wide variety of artists including Whitney Houston, Perry Farrell, Dee Snider, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, DJ Logic, William Parker, Butch Morris, many artists from the Black Rock Coalition, Jason Lindner, Kanye West, Com­mon and Jay-Z. She has performed all over the United States, Canada and Europe and has made many a prestigious appearance with her solo project MazzMuse, including a performance at the National Action Network’s 20th Annual Keepers of the Dream awards ceremony where President Barack Obama spoke; a TODAY Show, Weekend Edition appearance and a TEDx appearance during the TEDWomen Conference.

Aside from her solo performances under the name of MazzMuse, Mazz’s current projects include writing music for and playing in the string trio HEAR in NOW. She has also spent much of her time in Budapest, collaborating as guest artist with some of Hungary’s finest and most well known musicians in the project Budapest Bar. Their collaborative CD “Zene/Music”, released by Sony Hungary in November, 2010 has already gone double platinum in Hungary and is still going strong. In Mazz’s most recent trip to Budapest, she served as Musical Director and Co-Curator of the 15 piece extravaganza Fire + Fire = Gypsy Meets Black, a show that explores the musical and cultural similarities and differences between Black American music and Hungarian Gypsy music.

Mazz also sits on the artistic board of Con Vivo Music (the Jersey City-based chamber music society that brings free chamber music to Jersey City and surrounding areas) and is a proud performing member for that same organization.