Songs and Stories #11: The Mark O’Connor Interview

Click to hear podcast #11 (time = 25:027, size = 29.3 mb)

This week, I had the rare opportunity of talking with violinst-composer Mark O’Connor. A classically-trained musician, he’s been at the front of contemporary acoustic music for a long time:

  • He worked as a Nashville session player for several years, backing up players like The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Earle, and Lyle Lovett.
  • He was part of the new acoustic movement in the 80s, working with folks like Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas, which resulted in the classic “Strength In Numbers” CD.
  • He, along with Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma, combined American mountain music with chamber and jazz influences, documenting this in the Appalachian Journey recordings.

This month, audiences get a chance to see all sides of O’Connor: He’s in Santa Cruz, California this week for the debut of his first original symphony. On August 13, he’s presenting his Appalachian trio at the Aspen Music Festival. He’s finished his annual fiddle camps and at the end of the month will be presenting a subset of that at the the Fall Strawberry Music Festival. We talked about that between rehearsals this week at the Santa Cruz Civic.

Here are some links to go with the show. I mention these in the podcast:

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