Brian Swartz & The Gnu Sextet

Portraiture - Brian Swartz & The Gnu Sex

Brian Swartz's band, The Gnu Sextet, was formed in 2005 when Swartz began hosting a weekly jam session at the Hollywood Hotel (formerly the Ramada Inn). The Gnu Sextet was house band for the jazz jam session and would play a one hour set before the jam started. The band consisted of Swartz on trumpet and flugelhorn and featured his original instrumental jazz compositions. The jam session soon became a staple of the Los Angeles jazz scene and it went on to last until about 2010.


For most of the jam session's tenure, Swartz led his adventurous sextet each week which became highly skilled at interpreting his latest compositions. The personnel of the Gnu Sextet fluctuated, but gradually the core group of players were Matt Otto or Robby Marshall on Tenor Sax, Marty Sullivan on trombone, Andy Langham on piano, J.P. Maramba on bass and Jens Kuross on drums. Swartz recorded this band in 2008 at the height of it's power and in 2015 that recording was released as "Portraiture" on Summit Records. One of the songs from that album, "Down with Downs," was the Grand Prize Winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition in 2009.

Swartz has continued to lead the Gnu Sextet as a canvas on which he features his original jazz compositions. The band's distinctive sound ranges from burning straight ahead jazz, to soul-wrenching ballads, to the edge of the avant garde. The band's style crosses genres and breaks down the barriers of what is considered jazz.

If you are interested in booking Brian Swartz & The Gnu Sextet at your event or venue, contact Brian Swartz directly at