Accordion diva brings trio to cultural center

Jetty Swart will perform as part of the Jet Black Pearl Trio at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, located at 540 NE Highway 101. (Courtesy photo)

Concert set for Sunday, Feb. 24

It all started 25 years ago in the back of a thrift store in Prague, where Jetty Swart stumbled upon a fancy accordion. She smuggled it back home and stared at it for a couple of weeks before she realized that now she had to learn how to play it, and write songs. And sing them. Since then, the Dutch-born Swart has become the World Wild Accordion Diva, playing from the streets of New York to theaters and festivals in France, to the Lincoln City Cultural Center.

The LCCC, located at 540 NE Highway 101 in Lincoln City, will present the Jet Black Pearl Trio at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

After finding her accordion, Swart moved far away from her skeptical Dutch friends and family and started playing in the streets of New York while working on an internship in graphic design. She then moved to the south of France, where she began busking in the streets while learning to speak, write and sing her new songs in French. She found that the natives liked her silly songs and strange accent, and as the band “Yeti” found herself booked in theaters, festivals and stages big and small.

It was in France that she met “The Amazing Bubble Man, “ and moved with him to Portland. She now sings in English, but she’s kept her strange accent and her faithful fancy accordion. With her Jet Black Pearl Trio (Tom Goicoechea on drums and Bill Athens on bass) she sings, raps and beat boxes about slugs in love, criminal gurus and hallucinating butterflies. She also accompanies the Amazing Bubble Man when he performs his bubble show around the world – in fact, she has been on the LCCC stage with him twice before during the annual Festival of Illusions.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door, $10 for youth, with a $2 discount for LCCC members. To purchase, head to or drop by the LCCC Information Center, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). For more information, call 541-994-9994.