"After playing with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw, I know what the trumpet is supposed to sound like. Brian is a monster." ~ Azar Lawrence
Trumpeter, Vocalist, Composer, Arranger, Instructor
Cannonball Trumpet Artist
Trumpeter Brian Swartz is a diverse musician with a wide range of influences. He has appeared on multiple Grammy® nominated and winning recordings with artists including The Dixie Chicks' Double Platinum "Taking the Long Way" which won 5 Grammy® Awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year in February 2007, John Beasley's Monk'estra which has garnered 6 Grammy® Nominations for it's 3 albums and 1 Grammy® Win for Beasley's arrangement of "Donna Lee," The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Scott Healy's Tentet and Kim Richmond's Concert Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed or recorded with The Goo Goo Dolls, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke, Saint Motel, Patti Labelle, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Ivan Lins, Tom Harrell, Brad Mehldau, Rickie Lee Jones, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The O’Jays, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Azar Lawrence, Buddy Montgomery, Joe Henry, Keb' Mo', Jackie Greene, Josie Cotton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Gerry Gibbs, Connie Han, Taylor Eigsti, Raya Yarbrough, Bob Florence, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, Francisco Aguabella, Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and many more. Since 2005, Swartz has proudly held the trumpet chair in Oingo Boingo Former Members. He is also a founding member of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective, a non-profit organization whose mission is the promotion of original jazz in Los Angeles and abroad.
Brian Swartz has released five jazz albums as a leader: "There’s Only Me" (Noir Records 2000), "Live at the Jazz Bakery" (Summit Records 2005), "Three" (Summit Records 2006) and "Portraiture" (Summit Records 2014), "To Be With You" (DistroKid 2020). As an arranger, Brian has written for his own big band, Ruthie Foster's 2021 Grammy® Nominated "Live at the Paramount," the Ron Jones Influence Orchestra and has served as staff arranger for The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, John Beasley’s Monk’estra, Oingo Boingo Former Members and the ABC TV show, "Duets." Brian's film credits include the 2012 Oscar® Winning Animated Feature "Rango," Jennifer Anniston's "The Break-Up," "The Cooler" starring William H. Macy and "Let Them All Talk" with Meryl Streep. In 2021, Brian appeared with John Beasley's Quintet on the Amazon Prime TV show 'Bosch," Season 7, Episode 1.
A photographic retrospective of the Brian Swartz Quartet at Perch in Downtown Los Angeles 2013-2020
A Musical Journey
Born December 16, 1967, Brian is a second generation trumpeter. His father, CMSgt Lawrence Swartz (1937-1992), was a 30 year trumpeter in the United States AirForce. Brian’s early exposure to music made a profound influence on him and he started playing trumpet at the age of ten in Bellevue, Nebraska. As a teenager, his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended Armijo High School. He played all through his high school years and won many honors and accolades. He graduated from Armijo in 1986 and began his music education at Solano Community College. In 1988, he moved to Los Angeles to attend California State University at Northridge and the University of Southern California where he could further hone his craft.
For five years, Brian studied with trumpet guru Bobby Shew. Bobby inspired Brian's passion for teaching and since 1997, Brian has maintained a very busy schedule of private students in the Los Angeles area and beyond. Brian also studied with John Coppola (SFO), Bill Bing (CSUN), John Thomas (USC) and LA studio legend Uan Rasey. Brian’s dedication to mastering his craft and continually building upon his knowledge has brought him to prominence in the global jazz scene.