Composer and saxophonist, Wil Swindler currently resides near Denver, Colorado, where he leads Wil Swindler's Elevenet, the modern bop quintet GoodRattle, and serves as musical director for vocalist Barron Steffen. He is a performer and contributing composer with Raincheck, the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the 9th+Lincoln Orchestra, the Colorado Jazz Orchestra, Manny Lopez's Latin Jazz Project, and the Legacy Jazz Orchestra. He also performs with the Colorado Symphony, the Fort Collins Symphony, and the Boulder Philharmonic, as well as playing productions at both the Buell Theatre and the Arvada Center for the Arts. In addition to receiving IAJE's Gil Evans Fellowship for 2008, Wil has completed numerous commissions from military bands, local orchestras, and big bands around the world. His most recent commission was premiered at the 1st China Drum Summit in Beijing, China in 2013. Wil has two CDs available under his own name, Universe B (OA2 Records 2010) and Chamber Jazz Ensemble (NohJoh Music 2006), and can be heard on numerous other albums including Steve Owen's Stand Up Eight, Al Hood/Dave Hansen's You're It, and Manny Lopez's Searching Out. His most recent recording project was The Right Riot with his quintet, GoodRattle, released in 2014.
As an educator, Wil is in demand as a saxophone and jazz clinician and joined the music faculty at Colorado State University as a jazz instructor in 2009. He is currently the coordinator of Jazz Studies and director of Jazz Bands at CSU. He is a frequent adjudicator for high school and college jazz festivals around the country and maintains a private saxophone/composition studio in the Denver area. Wil has served as an adjunct saxophone teacher and Jazz Ensemble director at Denver University, instructor at the University of Northern Colorado, composition teacher for the Colorado Conservatory of the Jazz Arts, faculty at the Yellowstone Jazz Camp, as well as the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Camp, and the Rocky Mountain Summer Music Camp.
Originally from Central Texas, Wil began studying music at age five, and picked up the saxophone at age nine. He earned a B.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas in 2001 where he played in, composed for, and recorded with the 1:00 Lab Band. In 2000 he attended the Henry Mancini Institute on a full scholarship from BMI, and received a commission the following year from HMI for a piece premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. In 2001, Wil relocated to New York City, where he played with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Bill Warfield's NY Fusion Ensemble, among others. During his time in N.Y., Wil studied saxophone with Dave Pietro and composition with Michael Abene and Jim McNeely as a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. In 2003, he returned to his hometown of Austin, Texas, where he co-founded the 10-pc Chamber Jazz Ensemble and served as musical director for vocalist Kevin Ahart. Mr. Swindler has lived in Longmont, Colorado since 2006 with his wife April Johannesen, and daughter Annika.