Artist Details

Brian Setzer

With his guitar chops and retro-chic frontman persona, Brian Setzer helped launch two unlikely revivals during his career: rockabilly and swing. Born in Massapequa, New York, he spent most of his youth in nearby Long Island, where he received his first instrument -- the euphonium -- at age eight. He played the tuba-like instrument for ten years and dreamt of fronting a big band with horns, although the discovery of punk music during his teens expanded his tastes beyond jazz. He began devoting time to both genres; his early attempts at songwriting would take their cues from blues-rock bands like Led Zeppelin, but he'd also spend his evenings in New York jazz clubs, sneaking into places like the Village Vanguard and the Village Gate. After seeing the Mel Lewis Orchestra, he formed the idea of leading his own big band -- but doing so as a guitarist.