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Tristan Swihart Headshot, mallets, percussion, drum, music, smile.jpg

Tristan Swihart is a percussionist, performer, and educator based in Madison, WI. He has performed across the United States as a soloist and with the Empire Film and Media Ensemble, Ossia New Music Ensemble, Eastman Percussion Ensemble, Eastman Wind Ensemble, and Eastman Philharmonic.  He has also been a part of multiple commissions and world premieres with composers such as Andrew Patzig and Victor LaBozzetta.


Tristan is a co-founder and member of pax duo, a percussion project based in Goshen, IN and Madison, WI.  Along with collaborator Micah Detweiler, Tristan aims to break preconceptions of contemporary percussion through collaboration and new creation.  pax duo has performed over twenty concerts and clinics during their premier 2021-2022 tour season and recently released Bloom Suite, by Elliot Cole

As an educator, Tristan has taught numerous Junior and Senior High School percussionists as a private instructor.  He currently teaches privately in Madison, WI. Tristan is also an experienced marching band instructor, teaching drum lines and front ensembles since 2017 throughout Indiana and Wisconsin. Tristan has also been a teaching assistant at the Birch Creek Music Academy for Percussion and Steel Band where he helped coach high schoolers from across the US in Western and Brazilian percussion techniques.  


Apart from performing and teaching, Tristan is an experienced music entrepreneur and arts administrator. In this capacity, he interned with the Chicago based, Grammy Award-winning, Third Coast Percussion.  More recently he served as the intern of operations with ROCmusic, a non-profit that provides free music lessons and instruments to the youth of Rochester, NY.  Tristan also runs a percussion instrument rental company.


Tristan received a Bachelor of Music degree and Arts Leadership certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Professor Michael Burritt as well as adjunct professors Brian Kushmaul, Chip Ross, Jim Ross, and Rich Thompson.  Tristan previously studied with Micah Detweiler. 


In addition to his contemporary and classical music background from Eastman, Tristan also studies Brazilian percussion with master drummer Jorge Alabê in both Brazil and the US and has performed with Grupo Samba Rio based in Oakland, California. 

This video was the very first project released by pax duo, a percussion duo that I started with my good friend and collaborator Micah Detweiler.  While Bloom Suite, by Elliot Cole, was written for guitar, clarinet, and cello, this version is a pax duo adaptation for marimba and vibraphone. 

It was so great collaborating with NuNrml Productions on this video.  We owe our director/producer, Tyrus Tucker, a huge thank you for his amazing talent.  The video was recorded in an old Studebaker car factory in South Bend, IN, which is ran by EM EN Studios.

NuNrml Productions Crew:

Tyrus Tucker: Director/Producer, Audio Engineer, Cam Op⁠

Collin Gruntman: Director of Photography⁠

Simon Hurst: Audio Assist, Production Assist ⁠

Olivia Copsey: Production Assist, Type/Font Design, Still Photography⁠

Johntre' C. Vaughn: BTS Film

by Elliot Cole

Recent Projects

"in Blue"

by Victor Labozzetta III

in Blue is a piece that my friend, Victor LaBozzetta III, wrote for me to play on my senior recital.  I love Victor’s compositions. His percussion writing always inspires me as a performer, and the way he writes for the marimba in this piece works so well for the instrument. I’m looking forward to continuing to perform this piece in the future.


Recording this piece was a lot of fun, and it was an awesome way to finish up my time at Eastman.  I absolutely could not have done this without the help of my awesome friends Chris and Justin, who helped produce the recording and video.  It’s always a pleasure to work with these guys!


Video by Christopher Amick

Audio by Justin Lamb

This piece is available to purchase on Victor’s Website.  I encourage anyone interested in this piece to check out his other works as well.

"Bloom Suite"


For any booking related questions or other, contact me via email.  

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