Decorated jazz vocalist Veronica Swift comes to Rockport on the heels of her recent eponymously titled album, a masterful coming-out story. She earned international acclaim at the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, and her previous albums, Confessions (2019) and This Bitter Earth (2021), sent her to the upper echelon of early 21st century jazz singers. Swift is one of the most versatile, dazzling singers to emerge in her generation.

Swift’s new project, which she describes as an exploration of “transgenre” expression, is a more artistically naked version of herself with mind paid to how conservative the mainstream jazz industry can be. This foray into new territory spans French and Italian opera, European classical music, bossa nova, blues, industrial rock, funk and vaudeville, all the while maintaining Swift’s signature virtuosic brilliance, interpretive ingenuity, bracing songwriting and keen arrangements. In addition to showcasing Swift’s originality, the album pays tribute to iconic pieces from across musical history, interpolating songs ranging from Duke Ellington and Bob Russell’s classic “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me” to Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”

“Oftentimes, I’ve experienced blowback from some of the more “purist” members of the jazz community when exploring outside the parameters of straight-ahead,” Swift said. “Early on, (well-meaning) people wanted to dress me in flowy gowns and make me this torchbearer of the Great American Songbook, but I’ve traded in the frocks for fringe bodysuits.” She forged and refined most of the material for “Veronica Swift” on the road. Much to her delight, audiences enthusiastically welcomed the new direction. “My live concerts have been the experiment by which I am seeing the readiness of the audience to embrace the full scope of who I am,” Swift said, “and it’s encouraging to know I can continue to push myself creatively and invite people into the fold along the way.”

“I remind people that any exploration of music outside of straight-ahead jazz is an addition, not a subtraction,” she continued. “I just hope this album helps people embrace every aspect of who they are, and let it guide their own self-expression.”

Please Note: For some non-classical concerts, the window behind the stage may need to be covered for acoustical purposes. We do not always know which artists will need the window closed, but at a certain level of amplification, it is necessary.

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