The O’Connor Band is a family band in the great bluegrass and country traditions, but one that happens to have one of the greatest instrumentalists of his generation in the lineup. The O’Connor Band was founded by Mark O’Connor, the virtuoso violinist whose career has encompassed country, bluegrass, jazz, and classical as he’s worked with Stéphane Grappelli, David Grisman, Béla Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Itzhak Perlman, Chet Atkins, Yo-Yo Ma, and many more. In 2014, Mark married Maggie O’Connor (formerly Maggie Dixon), herself a gifted violinist who began playing at the age of 7 and studied with Herbert Greenberg at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, receiving a Masters of Music degree in violin performance.
Maggie soon began collaborating with Mark, performing with him on the road, and they recorded an album together, 2015’s Duo. Meanwhile, Mark’s son from his first marriage, Forrest O’Connor, had dabbled in music, playing mandolin and guitar, before enrolling at Harvard to study business. But Forrest continued playing mandolin as a hobby during time off from his studies. After working with a tech startup for a while, he decided to return to Nashville in 2014 and take a shot at a career in music. He proved his mettle by winning the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship a few months after leaving Massachusetts. When Forrest relocated to Nashville, he brought along his fiancée, Kate Lee, another talented musician who had been performing vocals and on fiddle since the age of 12.
Lee’s résumé included backing such country stars as Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, and Lady Antebellum, and writing songs with Pat Alger. Forrest and Kate had been playing shows together as a duo, and when Forrest was invited to play alongside his father and step-mother, Kate tagged along. Guitarist Joe Smart and bassist Geoff Saunders joined in to fill out the group’s sound, and the O’Connor Band was born. The group, whose sound is a canny mixture of bluegrass, folk, country, and pop, began playing out at major bluegrass festivals in 2015, and the following year, they released their debut album through Rounder Records, Coming Home.
The O’Connor Band Featuring Mark O’Connor is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.