About

NINJAZZ RECORDS is an independent jazz record label consisting of a small group of highly creative and original musicians seeking to associate with a community larger than what they could achieve within their own circle of influence. Through joining with a collective of like-minded people, NINJAZZ artists can advance to sharing their music with greater audiences.

Co-founders Ricky Sweum and Tim Willcox grew up together in Eugene, Oregon, USA. They initially met in the Shasta Middle School Jazz Band, under the tutelage of the great music educator, Joe Ingram. Both Ricky and Tim fell in love with music and decided to make it their life’s work. Early exposure to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Michael Brecker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and countless others led both youngsters to thoroughly investigate the jazz lineage. Much time was spent together in front of a stereo, “geeking out” to the latest Michael Brecker albums, watching jazz videos, and pretty much just being complete jazz nerds. The two lads eventually ended up together at South Eugene High School playing in the now infamous South Eugene Jazz Quintet with Jason Palmer, Toby Koenigsberg, and Daniel Stotz. Ricky and Tim both attended William Paterson University in New Jersey, albeit for a short period of time together.

Ricky eventually moved to New York for ten years, then landed the lead tenor position in the Air Force’s prestigious jazz big band, The Falconaires. Tim stayed around New York and New Jersey playing with many acclaimed jazz musicians, eventually settling in Portland in 2002. The two scarcely saw or heard from each other for over a decade. In 2009, the two met up again in Portland, OR and decided that it was a perfect time to form a jazz record label, as the idea had been floating around in their individual minds. The main idea behind starting the label was that the community formed by the unique artists on the label would lead to greater exposure within the music world for all artists involved in the label. Another unique aspect of the label would be that fans of the music would have access to more than just recorded music; videos, pictures, PDF’s of the compositions, interviews, and transcriptions are among the items that customers can download along with album.

The pair quickly learned that running a record label, if you are to do it right, is a huge undertaking. After pouring countless hours into getting the label off the ground, the first two albums released on NINJAZZ: Tim’s “Superjazzers Vol. 1” and Ricky’s “More Than Imaginable” have been well received and have garnered airplay nation-wide. Since then, a cast of several leading jazz artists in the Pacific Northwest scene have joined the NINJAZZ label. Be on the lookout for more exciting releases soon!

NINJAZZ RECORDS is not currently accepting unsolicited demos. However, when we promote a project, we will run a national and international campaign to get the word out on your music. We will do an old-fashioned mail-out to our select list of radio DJs, reviewers, etc… We will help you develop special items to make available in our artists “unique content” packages for sale on our website. NINJAZZ RECORDS will only take a percentage of sales that come directly through our website; all other sales such as iTunes, Amazon, your personal website, etc., will go solely to the artist. For a CD campaign, NINJAZZ RECORDS will receive a small one-time administration fee from the artist.