Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum
201 South Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

About this event

Doors Open at 7:00 PM, Concert at 7:30
Gerry O’Connor is from Dundalk, Co. Louth, where he grew up in a family of musicians, dancers and singers, all taught at home by his mother, Rose. His father Peter was himself a singer whose seven uncles all played music. From an early age Gerry was involved Irish music, winning numerous All Ireland awards in a range of duets, trios and céilí band titles. Playing with Michael Coleman’s contemporary John Joe Gardiner in the 1970s shaped Gerry’s style in the form of the fluid, lyrical fiddle-playing of the great Sligo masters.
Gerry O’Connor has played and recorded with Lá Lúgh (Eithne Ní Uallacháin, Sony Music) and Skylark (Len Graham, Gary O’Briain & Máirtín O’Connor), recording four CDs on the Claddagh label. He has toured and recorded with members of all the legendary traditional music ensembles, including Planxty, Bothy Band, De Danann, Boys of the Lough and The Chieftains. Lá Lugh’s album Brighid’s Kiss was voted Album of the Year in 1996 by readers of Irish Music magazine, and Gerry’s solo CD Journeyman was rated in the top five Albums of 2004 by The Irish Times. This critically acclaimed recording, co-produced with his son Dónal (At First Light), was heralded as a milestone in the recorded music of the Oriel region of South Ulster.
Celebrating Irish and Breton music links with Gilles le Bigot (Barzaz, Skolvan), Gerry and Gilles recorded a a live album in 2006 In Concert In the same period Gerry recorded and toured with The Irish Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Elizabeth Wallfisch, recording Ardee Dances by Rachel Holstead, a piece commissioned by Louth County Council. He still performs with Wallfisch in The Wandering Fiddlers project, having played at the Wigmore Hall, London and the Brighton Early music Festival.
From 2005 -2010 Gerry taught Traditional Music Performance at Dundalk Institute of Technology, during which time he completed a Masters by Research on Luke Donnellan’s Dance Music of Oriel. (2008) His recording continued in 2010 with Jig Away the Donkey, an album focusing on the music and song of South Ulster, performed with Martin Quinn and Gabriel McArdle, and in 2011 he produced the song collection I Have Travelled this Country with 123 mostly unrecorded songs of Boys of the Lough musician Cathal McConnell. The 2012 album Oirialla, recorded with Nuala Kennedy, Martin Quinn and Gilles le Bigot, was released.
With the a cappella vocal trio White Raven led by Kathleen Dineen, Gerry has recorded and performed at European international choral festivals including RheinVocal and Merano. He is also currently touring and has recorded with the celebrated Irish-Canadian band The Irish Rovers.
A four times winner of The Fiddler of Oriel competition, Gerry has lately adjudicated both it and the Gael Linn’s Siansa and RAAP /RTE sponsored Breakthrough competitions. He was co-founder and first Artistic Director of Ceol Chairlinn, an annual teaching festival in Carlingford , Co Louth. He is also the Traditional Arts coordinator at the newly established Creative-Connexions Irish/ Catalan Arts festival in Sitges, teaches fiddle at the Willie Clancy Summer School and at master-classes throughout Europe. He has been working and playing with Tiarnán Ó Duinnchin and Fintan Vallely in the Compánach project since 2013.
In 2018 Gerry was awarded “Ceannródaí”, the prestigious Bardic Award by Comhaltas for his valued contribution to the Traditional Arts. In the same year he launched his second solo album “Last Nights Joy” and published ” The Rose in the Gap” Dance Music for Oriel from the Donnellan Collection.
In the Theatre / Film world Gerry has toured with The Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland and co-produced a re-imagination of Ó Riada sa Gaiety during his time at DkIt Music Dept. He was the Céili Band Music Consultant on the Lionsgate film “Boys and Girl from County Clare”. Recent commissioned compositions included music for the Táin March, a 7 day walking festival finishing in in his home county of Louth, and he recently provided the music for a Heritage Council documentary, "The Mountains of Cooley, shaped by People." When at home Gerry works as a violin maker/restorer.
"Anyone with a love for Irish traditional music and for vibrant, expressive fiddle-playing will, indeed, find this album a joy" - Bright Young Folk
" ... this is one fiddler whose pulse is quickened by the sheer delight in the tunes, rather than in the accolades that might accompany them" - The Irish Times
" His (Gerry's) most recent solo album “ Last Night's Joy “ has been hailed as “Stunning” by the Music press - The Journal of Music
"Commercially produced magazines, such as fRoots or Songlines, make great play of their annual awards. If Musical Traditions ever embarked on a similar scheme, there would be no doubt which CD would be accorded ‘the best Irish album of 2004’ – this one!" - Geoff Wallis, Musical Traditions, on Gerry O' Connor's CD "Journeyman"
https://youtu.be/b7IUsvPbpNk Gerry O' Connor - Boston College irish Roots series
https://youtu.be/CIxgq0qjQsQ Gerry O' Connor and Richard Mandel - Star and Plough, SF
https://youtu.be/CY_wSB6izQU Gerry and Gilles Le Bigot
https://youtu.be/MkPEKAMKk2c Gerry O' Connor w/ son
website: https://gerryoconnor.net/
Gerry (with guitarist Kevin McElroy) will be on an east coast tour April/May 2023.
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