The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

SWIM Set to Make Waves in the Industry

The vibrations of the sound are clear, “above and beneath.” Now, there is only one thing to do…swim.

That’s what Joshua Kobak has done with his band SWIM. He has swam through musical genres to create his own unique sound.

Kobak grew up playing piano and delivering newspapers in Medina, Ohio. At 16, he began to keep a journal and play the guitar. His first song soon followed. In high school, he played cover tunes for school dances with his band Ceolecanth, named after the ancient “living fossil” fish. However it wasn’t until Kobak received a keyboard as a graduation gift from his mom that he began seriously writing and arranging music.

Kobak went to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) for musical theater. At CCM, he studied acting, singing and dancing. He wrote constantly on the piano, the guitar and his sequencer. At CCM he met Katy Pfaffl and they formed SWIM.

Kobak has performed on bright stages in front of thousands and in the smallest clubs for less than a dozen. In 2000 and 2002, he toured with the Broadway show “Rent” for a year and a half as Roger/swing. When he arrived in new cities he would find himself a solo gig for the weekend. He did this in nearly 40 cities.

SWIM is a pseudonym for live, to live within the vibration of life and sound, to swim within it. The music of SWIM could be characterized as a hybrid of Jeff Buckley and Bono singing songs written/arranged by Peter Gabriel and Sting, and produced by Pink Floyd.

SWIM has been in existence since 1995. After much growth and evolution, SWIM melded into the perfect union of artists to complete “above and beneath” in 2001.

Kobak is the singer/songwriter frontman. His passionate vocals and lyrics are used as the canvas for his bandmates. Katy Pfaffl (Katy Pfaffl Band) joins SWIM as a violinist, pianist and guitarist. She adds her spirit through intense improvisation and angelic vocals. Sean Dixon (The Chesterfields) brings creativity to the drums with every song and bassist Danton Boller’s (Jazz Mandolin Project) harmony provides a solid background to Kobak and Pfaffl’s melodic vocals.

SWIM takes music to a new levels with Dan Johnson on tabla (a small hand drum of northern India) and Sebastian Guerrero on numerous South American percussion instruments.

SWIM is a band of creative artists who are committed to telling the story of Kobak’s journey in words and music. They share knowledge gained from Kobak’s experience in a way that is open, immediate and above all truthful.

To find out more about Kobak and his band SWIM and find out upcoming performances, go to

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *