Clif Swiggett grew up in New York playing jazz trombone as a teenager, including touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, backing up Bill Watrous, Phil Woods, and many others with the Clem DeRosa All-Star Big Band, and playing lead bone in the McDonald’s Tri-State Jazz Ensemble for three years which included performances with Dizzy Gillespie at Carnegie Hall, Gracie Mansion, the Newport and Kool Jazz Festivals, and performing live on the Merv Griffin Show.  Clif was the Student Director of the Princeton University Jazz Ensemble for four years. 

When Clif moved to Seattle in 1985 to work at Microsoft, he put his music career on hold, until one fateful Halloween night he met his future wife, Nelda, a jazz pianist and composer. The two were jamming together within hours, and have since collaborated on numerous music projects, including Room To Move, Clif & Nelda’s Little Big Band, Megabopolis, The Alaska Suite, and The Swigtones (a family band featuring the couple plus their two sons, Dylan and Jack).

Clif now performs professionally on trombone, electric bass, percussion and vocals with a variety of different Northwest bands playing a wide range of genres. Some past and present projects include Cambalache and Caribbean Roots (salsa, Afro-cuban), the Brian Waite Band (reggae, funk, rock), The Forman-Finley Band (jazz standards with vocalist Cherrie Adams), Megabopolis and The Jazz Misfits (hard bop), and most of Seattle’s top big bands.  Clif has also mentored countless aspiring jazz and funk musicians as a staff instructor at Seattle’s Jazz Night School.

“Extraordinary trombone solos by Clif Swiggett set the tone for the entire CD…” (Ken Kraintz, Touch Of Blue CD Review). 

Clif & Nelda's Little Big Band

The Jazz Misfits

More info: The Jazz Misfits

The Alaska Suite: a story of beauty, loss and hope

More info: The Alaska Suite


More info: Megabopolis

The Brian Waite Band


“The Alaska Suite” (2020) – Nelda Swiggett Quintet
“A Spot of Blue“ (2019) – The Jazz Misfits
“Spelunk-a-licious” (2019) – The Brian Waite Band 
“Battle of the Bands” (2018) – The Brian Waite Band 
“Rumble in Rock-em City” (2015) – The Brian Waite Band
“The Land That Rock Forgot” (2012) – The Brian Waite Band
“20,000 Volts Under the Sea” (2009) – The Brian Waite Band
“Can’t Sit Still” (2007) – The Brian Waite Band
“River of Life” (2005) – The Brian Waite Band
“Clasiqueando” (2004) – Cambalache 
“Music Maker” (2002) – The Brian Waite Band
“No Time for Daydreams” (1993) – The Room to Move Sextet
“Princeton University Jazz Ensemble Live” (1983)