Who is David Swenson
David Swenson, co-owner and president of Makoché Recording Company, has thirty years of professional media production experience. Projects have taken him from such remote locations as Sitting Bull’s camp in South Dakota to metropolitan studios in Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville and Minneapolis. During Swenson’s career he has been involved in the production of countless award winning albums as well as two Grammy nominated albums and the writing and production of award winning videos, soundtracks for short films and multi-media shows. He has been a member of NARAS for over ten years and participates in Grammy screening committees held in Santa Barbara, California each fall.
At the tender age of 15, Swenson began touring with local rock n’ roll bands through the upper midwest as a drummer, guitarist and singer, a period he still refers to as “The adventure of my life.” The road eventually led to a studio gig with the famous gospel producer Greg Nelson. He assumed Nelson’s studio management duties in 1979 and has been in media production ever since.
His current shop, the 3,000 square foot Makoché Recording Studio, was constructed under Swenson's direction in 1990 and is considered the region’s premier recording facility. In 1991 the respected trade publication Mix Magazine listed the studio as a “Best New Room of the Year”. Makoché is regarded as an artist friendly creative haven for both label artists and the public. Nationally known artists Tom “Bones” Malone, Martina McBride and Ken Burns (Florentine Films) are past clients.
In 1994 Swenson produced Tribal Winds for the Warner Brothers-distributed label EarthBeat!. The CD, a collection of Native American flute music, went on to become one of EarthBeat's top sellers (over 500,000 copies) and is considered a benchmark in the genre.
Swenson’s relationship with Native artists was the impetus behind the formation of the Native American record label Makoché. He and Makoché Recording Company have been featured in Billboard magazine’s special report about the Native American music business each year for the last five years. Additionally, Makoché has a sister label, Chairmaker’s Rush, which specializes in historical, folk and bluegrass recordings.
In 2006, Swenson became the host of the nationally syndicated Thomas Jefferson Hour developed by the award winning humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson. The show, produced at Makoché Studios, features Jenkinson’s Jeffersonian musings and reaches nearly 2 million Public Radio listeners each week. Thousands more download the show via itunes and through the website (www.jeffersonhour.org) developed and maintained by Makoché.
Swenson has received numerous awards for his work including: Spirit Horses (NAMMY Video of the Year), Cowboy Legacy (AFIM Indie Award Finalist) The Lakota Way (Best Spoken Word Recording by the Native American Music Association) Cheyenne Nation (43rd Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee), Veterans Songs (43rd Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee), The First Flute (2001 Best Traditional Recording by the Native American Music Association) and many others.
His first love is music and the production of all types of it, but since 2000 Swenson has devoted more and more time to visual production. He and production partner Clay Jenkinson are currently working on a biography of former North Dakota Governor Art Link scheduled for broadcast on Prairie Public this fall. - Buy The DVD