Jameson Swanagon



Degrees and Certifications:

BA, Cal Poly; MM, New England Conservatory of Music

Jameson Swanagon


In high school, music became as abundant and essential as air in Jameson's life. The sportive challenge of building fluidity and dexterity on an instrument coupled with the rich history of inspired and rebellious musical heroes, augmented by the seemingly infinite frontier of new chords, styles and scales, made a troubled adolescence a period of tremendous growth and pleasure for him. Teaching young people, and particularly teens, is a passion that was born out of this experience. Jameson taught private lessons, improvisation workshops and student ensembles for six years before joining the Mid-Peninsula faculty six years ago. As a performer he has recorded four albums of solo guitar music. The Bay Bridged described his first album as "a lesson in intricate, elegant guitar work . . .moving from melodic finger-picking to eerie avant-folk at the drop of a hat."  He is interested in keeping his music free of idioms and styles - a goal adopted from original third-stream pianist Ran Blake.  Jameson studied composition and improvisation at the New England Conservatory with Anthony Coleman and Joe Morris, where he graduated with honors in 2007.

Jameson is a regular contributor to the Oakland and San Francisco music scenes.  He has performed as a part of Ben Goldberg's Brainchild, Michael Coleman's Young Nudist, Zach Rogue's Release the Sunbird, Anthony Coleman's Retake Iowa, as well as with composer Jacob Zimmerman, songwriters Caleb Nichols and Jesse Rimler, and the rock bands Churches, Grand Lake, Some Ember, Otherness and Rad Cloud. The guitarist has appeared at most Bay Area venues including The Fillmore, Outside Lands Festival,Great American Music Hall, and Mezzanine.