The diverse musician played his first gig in the third grade, an acoustic guitar recital in which he performed “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.” It’s a memory that he and lifelong friends still joke about, high-water pants and all. In 1979, when Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was released, Chris, then in ninth grade, picked up the bass guitar.
The Washington, D.C., native first began playing go-go music, but when he was introduced to Led Zeppelin, Chris developed an affinity for rock and roll. Added to the list of genres he dabbles in are folk, R&B and funk.
Mighty Big Richard (MBR) and Egyptian Acid Rock (EAR), Chris’ previous bands, were rooted in high-energy funk rock. He has opened up for Switchfoot and Jason Mraz, and played bass with punk rock band Pennywise. In the process, he has traveled all over the United States playing renowned venues like The Fillmore and The Orpheum Theatre. Chris’ musical journey has also taken him to France, Norway, Brazil, Canada and Kenya.
A consummate musician with four decades of experience behind him, Chris Swann is currently lending his talents to the Tom Curren Band. With the legendary surfer-turned-musician at the helm, the band has been busy promoting its 11-track release titled In Plain View, featuring the single “Summerland Road.”
Chris and Tom’s relationship developed in 1992, as Chris had just graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a degree in electronic engineering. Chris had his sights set on moving to California’s Silicon Valley to pursue one of his other passions, but that all changed when he was asked to play bass with Tom’s band on a small tour. He hasn’t looked back since taking that career-altering step.
He put out a solo project as Black Swann, and when he’s not touring with the Tom Curren Band, Chris is composing scores. Most notably, his music was featured Rip Curl’s surf documentary, The Search, and A Date With Anna, following tennis player Anna Kournikova’s calendar shoot in Mexico, distributed by Lionsgate and ESPN.
Music aside, Chris enjoys surfing, swimming, skydiving, rock climbing and riding his unicycle around San Diego, where he resides with his wife, Elaine.