Born in Wolverhampton, Dave Swift’s introduction to music was influenced by his two older brothers, who both played guitar. Motivated to be a musician, Swift, aged 14, decided on the trombone. During his formative years Swift took to all types of musics in a variety of ensembles.
Swift’s musical literacy and playing ability developed quickly during his adolescent years. Endeared by the high demand for bass players in local bands at the time, Dave took to the bass guitar. Unable to find a teacher, Swift taught himself both acoustic and electric bass to an exceptional standard and turned professional at the age of 18.
Credit to his excellent sight-reading skills and ability to play any style of music, Dave became an in demand session bassist after moving to London in 1988. Within a few years Swift was playing on film soundtracks, TV adverts and radio jingles in addition to travelling the world as an in-house bassists for luxury cruise ships. Swift continued work as a session musician, building both an elaborate repertoire of jazz, blues and pop and strong improvisatory prowess.
In 1991 he auditioned for a position to play with Jools Holland. Impressed by Swift’s versatility and ability, Holland awarded him the position there and then. Taking over the formidable roll from the renowned bassist Pino Palladino, Dave Swift has since been Jools Holland’s full time bass player.
Since joining Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, 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 and Chaka Khan to Eric Clapton 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, Name That Tune on Channel 5 and for the Johnny Vaughan Tonight series on BBC3. 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 in the UK and across the world. To view Swift’s touring schedule, click here.