“Streaming hypnotic lines together one by one, he tells the story of a soul who must sing and does so with unadulterated beauty and intelligence”

– Cicily Janus, author of the New Face of Jazz


Ricky Sweum has brought his extreme passion for good music to millions of people by performing and teaching throughout the world. He is a multi-instrumentalist musician that specializes in jazz saxophone and composition. Ricky’s zest for teaching spans a full age spectrum, from very young to very old, and ranges from private lessons to large-scale clinics involving thousands. He has lived across the country, starting with his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, then early adult-hood in New York City, to various other U.S. states as an adult, and now in Tokyo, Japan, Ricky has left an indelibly positive influence with those he has collaborated with and to the areas he has toured to.

Ricky is an official endorsing artist of P. Mauriat saxophones, co-runs the independent jazz label, Ninjazz Records, and writes music for his publishing company, Molecular Expansion Music. His jazz CDs have received high accolades from critics and industry peers alike, and have placed in the U.S. top 100 JazzWeek and CMJ jazz radio charts.

He worked four years as the jazz director at Colorado College (2007-11) and taught an impressive studio of students, many of whom moved on to become professional musicians. In 2010, Ricky was a featured artist in the Random House book, “The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends and the Artists of Tomorrow”. Ricky has been a member of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Big Band, Chie Imaizumi Jazz Orchestra, and the USAF Falconaires.

Ricky has performed for millions throughout the world and played in every U.S. state with the exception of Hawaii (although he did live there briefly when he was young). Notable performances include Carnegie Hall, Java Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Telluride Jazz Festival, East Coast Jazz Festival, Mount Hood Jazz Festival, IAJE, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He has recorded with Clarence Penn, Edward Simon, Sammy Nestico, Gordon Goodwin, Gerry Gibbs, USAF Falconaires, Henrique De Almeida, and performed with Jeff Hamilton, Jason Marsalis, Dayna Stephens, The New York Voices, Byron Stripling, Malta, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Eric Marienthal.


More Than Imaginable

More Than Imaginable

Released on Ninjazz Records in 2012, saxophonist Ricky Sweum joins forces with the world-renowned talents of drummer Clarence Penn, pianist Edward Simon, and bassist Dave Robaire. This fiery and exciting session captures 10 uniquely varied Sweum originals. The disc showcases his penchant for modern-grooving- free-blowing vamps coupled with beautiful melodic playing reminiscent of classic ECM recordings of the 1970’s.

Ricky Sweum (tenor & soprano saxes)
Clarence Penn (drums)
Dave Robaire (bass)
Edward Simon (piano)


Pulling Your Own Strings

Pulling Your Own Strings

Released on Origin Records in 2009, Ricky Sweum’s debut showcases the saxophonist in a light of gratitude, as he pays homage to one of his musical heroes, Michael Brecker, through a set of finely-tuned originals. Showcasing his talents as a writer and creative force, Sweum leads his band in a direction that is uniquely his own.

Ricky Sweum – tenor & soprano saxophones
Wayne Wilkinson – guitar
Jason Crowe – bass
Henrique De Almeida – drums


Tapestry Ichi

Released on mp3.com in 2002, Ricky Sweum’s production and lyrical instrumentals, feature electronic grooves, layers of synthesized colors, and improvised acoustic instruments. This original music forms a tapestry of sound and sets a scene of a musical journey.

Ricky Sweum – production, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, metal flute, bansri flutes, native american flute, guatamalan flute, voice, loop triggering, keyboard


Nascent Adventures 1996

This creative jazz trio played together extensively throughout the New York City and New Jersey area while they were music students at the prestigious William Paterson University in 1995-96. Recorded May 5th, 1996 at K Studio, Brooklyn, New York by Carlos Pereira.
Mastered at Jet City Recording, Seattle, Washington.

Ricky Sweum (tenor saxophone)
Chris van Voorst van Beest (bass)
Eric Eagle (drums)


New Freedom Music


This is avant-garde jazz with strong influences of classical and rock. A recording of raw, sophisticated, energized, enticing, and improvisatory sound. Recorded June 15, 1995 at K Studio, Brooklyn, NY, by Carlos “Kain” Pereira. Mixed and mastered at K Studio by Ricky, Dan, John, and Carlos. Special thanks to Rinchenna Khardo, Eric Eagle, and the intense energy of New York City. All compositions by Ricky Sweum except, “On High St.,” by Dan Gildea, and, “An Itch,” and “Loot Ti Do,” by John W. Bollinger. “Bit O Jam” was composed by John W. Bollinger and Ricky Sweum.

Ricky Sweum (tenor saxophone)
Dan Gildea (guitar)
John W. Bollinger (drums)



    • Studio Highlights

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    • Barry's Barnacle Blues

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    • Pulling Your Own Strings

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    • Sunset Iraq

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    • You Stepped Out of a Dream

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    • Sonny Moon for Two

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    • Body and Soul

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    • Canyon Dance

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    • Birk's Works

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Ricky is a proud endorser of P. Mauriat saxophones

P. Mauriat Logo


Neck: Warburton Ultimate Sax Neck
Mouthpiece: Metal Otto Link 7 refaced by Adam Niewood
Reeds: Vandoren Java Red Box 3′s

Mouthpiece: Ted Klum VersiTone Acoustimer Hand-Finished Resin 6
Reeds: Vandoren ZZ 3′s

Mouthpiece: Vandoren V16 S6
Reeds: Rico Jazz Select 3 Soft/Medium





For information including booking and lessons please write to: rickysweum (at) me.com

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Ninjazz Records

“Ricky plays with one foot rooted in the tradition and one looking to the future. He is a wonderfully creative saxophonist and prolific composer.”
– Gary Smulyan

Saxophonist, Composer,

Educator, Prod