Heidi Swedberg: 3 Questions Interview with Jim D’Ville
Heidi Swedberg of Sukey Jump Music talks about her emotional connection with the ukulele in this 3 Questions Interview recorded at the West Coast Ukulele Retreat in Pacific Grove, CA 05/12/13.
Heidi Swedberg was born in Hawaii, the youngest in a family of of four girls where music was a regular part of family life. Singing at church, in the car or around the piano are her most treasured memories. When she was 5 years old the Easter Bunny left ukuleles for all four Swedberg girls, and she has played one ever since. Her family relocated to New Mexico, where she grew up in suburban Albuquerque. Her love of literature led her to acting, and she studied at the University of New Mexico before moving to Kentucky to study as an acting apprentice and costume intern at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. While there, she was cast in her first film, Norman Jewison’s “In Country”, launching a 20+ year career in film and television. Having children re-focused her life. Singing and playing ukulele with them brought her so much joy that she found herself drifting away from auditions and into the classroom. Teaching led to recording which led to performing. Collaborating with Daniel Ward opened vast musical doorways. Heidi enjoys sharing music with all ages. She especially loves performing in schools, museums and libraries, which she considers the saviours of the universe.
Daniel Ward was born in the atomic city of Los Alamos NM, where his father was a scientist and classical music conductor. Growing up in New Mexico meant being exposed to a wide variety of musical styles, including Mexican mariachi, Spanish flamenco, world music and jazz. By the time Daniel completed his degree in classical guitar and composition, he was also playing electric jazz, flamenco guitar with dancers, percussion, trumpet, lute and world beat music.
As a guitarist, he toured with Dance España, Maria Benitez, Yjastros, and went around the world with Ottmar Liebert. He has toured with numerous other groups, playing everything from soft jazz to hard rock. His recording After the Storm showcases his composition and guitar work, and is available on his website or iTunes.
In 2009 he moved to Hollywood CA, where his partner Heidi Swedberg introduced him to the ukulele. He fell in love with the instrument, and all of the music inside him found a new home on the four strings. Together they have recorded two CDs for families, PLAY and My Cup of Tea, and co-authored the method book Color-Along Ukulele.
Since then, he has become a premier ukulele performer and clinician known for his command of Latin and world styles, with an expressive right hand that delivers beauty, speed and force. He has been a featured performer and workshop instructor at festivals across the United States and abroad and enjoys contributing lessons to both Ukulele Magazine and Acoustic Guitar Magazine. His CD El Ukulele is an adventure in what the ukulele can do.
Daniel is known as a teacher who can break down complicated forms and techniques in ways that enable players of all levels to absorb and enjoy the material. He is a well-rounded musician, who loves working with children and adults. As a performer and a teacher, Daniel believes the ukulele holds an important place in music and music education for all ages. Learn more about Daniel, access his video lessons and find his catalogue at his website, danielward.net.