Fiddle virtuoso Mark O’Connor leads a rousing exploration of early American music and its relationship to jazz, highlighting connections between the blues, bluegrass, Cajun, gospel, folk, spirituals, western swing, contemporary jazz, and more. Winner of three Grammy Awards and seven Country Music Awards, O’Connor is the preeminent entertainer and scholar of this diverse but unified musical heritage.
Tonight he will be leading the newly formed Mark O’Connor Family Band, whose debut album won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. The Nashville-based group features Maggie O’Connor and Kate Lee on fiddle and vocals, Forrest O’Connor on mandolin and vocals, Geoff Saunders on banjo and bass, and National Flatpick Guitar Champion Joe Smart. It’s one of the most exciting new groups to emerge in recent years, and special guest artists will make the evening unforgettable.
Blues numbers will be performed alongside Grammy Award–winning guitarist and vocalist Alvin Youngblood Hart, and the inimitable Lizz Wright will elevate the spirituals with her soul-stirring voice. Like much of our 2018–19 concert season, this Appel Room show celebrates essential common threads in America’s cultural heritage and musical lifeblood with authenticity and genre-crossing expertise.
Free pre-concert discussion nightly at 6pm and 8:30pm.