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Veronica Swift: The Real Deal

Roseanna Vitro’s interview with the gifted young singer who talks about learning her craft as vocalist and musician

Veronica Swift
Veronica Swift

Veronica Swift’s raw talent was derived from the perfect blend of nature and nurture. She’s the daughter of pianist Hod O’Brien and jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian. Veronica was drenched in good jazz from birth and she’s a natural, a beautiful young woman with heart and soul and drive, whose tenure at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music deeply enhanced her skills. In 2015, a pivotal year, she became a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, received her degree, and moved to New York City.

Upon settling in Manhattan, Veronica appeared weekly at Birdland Jazz Club, embraced by club owner Gianni Valenti. Her skyward trajectory led to touring with Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis, and a new album on Mack Avenue Records called Confessions. She has recently experienced the highs of success and the lows of tragedy: industry-wide recognition, coupled with the loss of her beloved father.

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Roseanna Vitro

Roseanna Vitro is a jazz vocalist who has released 14 albums on the Concord, Telarc, Challenge, and Motéma labels—achieving a Grammy nomination in 2010 for The Music of Randy Newman—and has toured as a featured artist on every continent but Antarctica, including two tours as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. Also an educator, she taught college-level courses for New Jersey City University, SUNY Purchase, and NJPAC over the course of 20 years. As a jazz advocate, she has produced records for fellow musicians, chaired seminars, lectured and presented clinics globally, and regularly interviews other singers for JazzTimes; a full list of her JT columns is here. Contact her at RoseannaVitro.com.