Info about March 17 concert in Madrona

The Alaska Suite features a five-piece chamber jazz ensemble performing the original music of Seattle pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett.  But this is not just a concert. The performance engages the power of artistic expression — live music, spoken words, images and poetry — to connect audiences deeply and emotionally to the scientific realities of climate change. Ultimately a story of hope, the performance leaves audiences inspired to take action.

Listen to Nelda’s podcast interview about the Alaska Suite on Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network.

Why Alaska? While the earth has warmed on average about 2° F since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the Arctic is warming nearly twice as fast.  The impacts of climate change are significant and alarming in Alaska right now, and this should be a wake up call for all of us.


The Alaska Suite debuted at Seattle First Baptist Church on Earth Day 2017. As of January 2019, it has been performed 15 times, touching nearly 1000 people with its message of hope and call to action.  Recent performances fundraised a combined total of over $10K for climate legislation, the Alaska Wilderness League, and future Alaska Suite performances.

… wonderfully inspiring… The content was informative without being preachy, the music was magical…
— Gail M.

“… spliced with a dialogue about climate science and solutions. It touches the emotional edges of our understanding and invites action from a deeper place.”
Louise Stonington

Continue reading “Impact”

Documenting the Alaska Suite

Fall 2018 was busy!

In addition to many successful performances, we recorded the Alaska Suite music at David Lange Studios in September 2018. Please sign up on the Alaska Suite mailing list to hear when the CD is available.

Inspired by a live performance, producer and videographer Bill Lange decided to create a 30-minute documentary about the Alaska Suite. A large camera crew videotaped an Alaska Suite performance in the Chapel Performance Space in Seattle in November 2018. This footage and more from the recording studio and personal interviews will be edited in the coming months.

Here are some preview excerpts from the CD recording:


Nelda Swiggett – compositions, piano, voice
Julian Smedley – violin
Clif Swiggett – trombone, bongos, voice
Chris Symer – bass
Adam Kessler – drums
Jill McGrath – poetry


Nelda and her father

Nelda Swiggett (piano, compositions, narrative, curated images) is a Seattle native, and spent her childhood hiking, climbing and skiing the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Her father Jack Christiansen was a passionate explorer of the wilderness. From a young age, Nelda followed him deep into the heart of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, mostly off trail route finding with map and compass. Her love for the natural world started early and over time strengthened into a sense of urgency and personal responsibility to protect it. Continue reading “Biography”