The story behind Dave Swift.

Since joining Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra in 1991, Dave Swift has established himself as one of the UK’s finest, high-profile bass players. In his career, which expands beyond three decades, Dave boasts a musician’s portfolio that seconds no other. Dave Swift has played for an array of renowned artists, from George Benson, Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton to Amy Winehouse, Adele and Paul Simon.  To view all artists with whom Swift has performed, click here.

Over the years he has performed at many prestigious events, such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Dubai International Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo, Amnesty International, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Glastonbury Music Festival, and a G8 Conference for world leaders, which included former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and President Bill Clinton. Additional performances include the Millennium Night celebration at the Millennium Dome for Her Majesty the Queen and a sell-out concert at the Sydney Opera House during their 2008 tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Previously, Swift has been the in-house bassist for Chris Evans's primetime Saturday night TV show, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, and Name That Tune on Channel 5. Since their inception, Dave Swift has performed on both the BBC TV show, Later…with Jools Holland, and the Jools Holland Show on BBC Radio 2. Where there is music, there is Dave Swift; he's recorded on many British movie soundtracks, which include: Secret Friends (Dennis Potter), MILK (Dawn French), Kevin and Perry Go Large (Harry Enfield & Cathy Burke), and Hunting Venus (Martin Clunes). More recently he recorded the soundtrack for the period drama Me & Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron, Christian McKay and Claire Danes.

Dave Swift continues to tour both in the UK and around the world. To read full bio, click here.

Featured bassist of
Double platinum selling albums
  • from George Benson

  • to Adele

  • to Amy Winehouse

  • to Eric Clapton

  • to Chaka Khan

  • to Al Jarreau

  • to Smokey Robinson

  • to Paul Simon

  • to BB King

  • to Paul McCartney


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“How did you get into music?”

Q: Do you come from a musical background?

A: Kind of. My mother had, and still does have a very nice singing voice, my dad liked music very much, opera in particular, (I never did find out why). We always had a piano in the house, although no one actually seemed to play it, I think my dad thought it was a nice bit of furniture! My two elder brothers both played acoustic guitar, mostly blues finger-picking style, but it really was just a hobby for them.

Q: Did you try to play their guitars?

A: Yes, but very badly I’m afraid. The strings were like cheese wire that cut into my fingers, and there were too many of them. I found it almost impossible to contort my fingers to fit those peculiar chord shapes. I thought it was pretty cool having guitars in the house, and brothers that could play them, but I decided to leave well alone!

Q: What music was being played in your home that you can remember when you were young?

A: For some reason, unbeknown to me, my father was keen on operatic music. I remember hearing Peggy Lee, Perry Como and Andy Williams. I also heard The New Seekers, The Carpenters, Simon & Garfunkel, and Glenn Miller. My brother’s had albums by Joni Mitchell, Cream and Jimi Hendrix, but I wasn’t quite ready for them at that time.

Q: Apart from attempting to play your brother’s guitars, what were your other early musical experiences?

A: As a young kid, I had a good singing voice and I always got picked to sing in the school choir. When I was ten I joined the local church choir and stayed there for about eight years.



As an experienced and acclaimed jazz bassist, Dave Swift anchored, with dazzling interpretations, the music of New Beginnings, the debut album by rising star, singer-pianist Thomas Solomon Gray. As a mentor to many, Swift continues to nurture the next generation of industry talent, instilling an incomparable legacy that will live on through some of today's emerging artists. Accompanying Swift on this project include the likes of award-winning musicians, Ivo Neame and Mike Outram. To find out more, click here.



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