Kurt Swinghammer was born in Newmarket, Ont and studied at the Ontario College of Art in the mid 80’s. He has sustained dual careers as a visual artist and musician, which has been a part-time job free since 1990 when he appeared on the cover of NOW Magazine. His many diverse projects include illustrating an album cover for Stuart McLean, hand-painting stage wardrobe for The Shuffle Demons, art directing award winning music videos for Maestro Fresh Wes, creating the set for Joni Mitchell’s award winning live broadcast on MuchMUSIC, illustrating the cover of Margaret Atwood’s Murder In The Dark talking book for Coach House Press, making a caricature of Jack Layton and Olivia Chow for their annual Christmas card, designing the Jell-O Pudding Shaker Cup, giving a hot rod makeover of the Zamboni at Maple Leaf Gardens for Sam The Record Man, as well as designing the shopping bag for the chain, illustrating the children’s book My Stompin Grounds by Stompin Tom Connors, and animating music videos for Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bruce Cockburn. He has been Artist of the Week on Bravo’s Arts and Minds, and his work is in the permanent collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.
On the music side, Kurt has released a dozen CDs of original material, and as a session guitarist recorded on over 100 albums by artists including Ani Difranco and Great Big Sea. Live shows include playing with Sarah McLachlan, a recording of which appears on Lillith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music. He produced the first full-length release by Ron Sexsmith, and won NOW Magazine’s annual Reader’s Poll for Best Local Guitarist. He has composed extensively for film and TV including David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things. For the last three years he has been a member of the dance rock trio Communism, who hope to resume their weekly psychedelic light show gigs post-COVID19.