Liam O'Connor (Irish musician)

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Liam O'Connor is a multi-instrumentalist musician, often referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion".[1]

Early life[edit]

Liam O'Connor was born in Newmarket, County Cork, Ireland, to a musical family. At the age of 10 he joined his family's band, The O'Connor Family. The band was composed of O'Connor, his three brothers, his three sisters and his parents. They travelled the country playing with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. now living in Killarney , County kerry.

While young, O'Connor won the Beamish & Crawford award for best all-around musician from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and was named an All-Ireland Champion.

Music career[edit]

O'Connor signed a contract with MCA Universal Music in 1993 and released his debut album The Awakening with vocalist Lisa Aherne. The album was nominated for an IRMA award and caught the attention of Michael Flatley and Lord of the Dance. O'Connor toured with Lord of the Dance for two and a half years.[2]

An innovative performer and multi-instrumentalist, O'Connor's live show combines elements of blues, jazz, reggae, samba, cajun and classical and is highly energetic. The show has attracted guests including Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley, award-winning composer Mike Post, Boy George, actress Maureen O'Hara, actor Patrick Bergin, actor Terry O'Quinn, and Candy Rock.

O'Connor has sold out tours in the United States, Scandinavia, Italy and Australia. He has had the opportunity to perform in venues including: The Point, Slane Castle, World Expo China 2010, MGM Grand Las Vegas, Radio City Music Hall, Sydney Opera House, and Wembley Arena. He is the only Irish musician to be asked to perform at the Ryder Cup twice and performed in front of 170,000 people at the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Finals (Ireland's Super Bowl) in Ireland's National Stadium six times.[3] O'Connor has also played with the famous Artane Band and at the JP McManus pro-am golf tournament. He also played at Thomand Park Stadium for Munster vs. Australia rugby match.

In 2006 O'Connor recorded the official anthem for the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) "Morning Dew"[4] with GAA broadcasting legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and topped the Irish charts for six weeks.

O'Connor is listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 2008 as having the fastest fingers in the world on the Accordion.[5] He has appeared on numerous television programs including Gay Byrnes The Late Late Show, Kenny Live, RTÉ's Live at 3, Open House, Michael Aspels This Is Your Life, Seoige and O'Shea, Vodafone Allstars, Michael Flately's tribute on The Late Late Show, Christie Hennessy's TV documentary, RTÉ News,[6] Pat Kenny's Late Late Show,[7] and Ryan Tubridy's Late Late Show.

Current[edit]

In 2010 O'Connor released the album Tico Mystico, recorded at Shabby Road Studios and mixed at Abbey Road Studios in London by Geoff Pesche. The album was produced by John Themis. The record features many high profile performers including Themis himself, and seven-time Grammy winner Paul Wertico, ex-Pat Metheny Group member.

O'Connor performs at the Killarney Avenue Hotel May to October in Killarney as the Liam O'Connor Show.[8] The show is in its tenth season.

He released an album in 2011 featuring a new, original concerto with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra composed by Brian Byrne.

Additionally, O'Connor is[when?] travelling to Nashville, Tennessee to grow his presence in the United States.

In 2013 , Liam recorded Live at Ronnie Scott's, the most famous Jazz club in the world.

2017 / 2018 - Working and Recording with Moya Brennan the Voice of Clannad , Christy Dignam , Aslans Frontman, Brian kennedy.

Electric Picnic 2018, performed severals shows with Christy Dignam and Aslan.

Discography[edit]

Album Performers Date
The Awakening Liam O'Connor and Lisa Aherne 1996
Live at City West Hotel CD Liam O'Connor and Lisa Aherne 2001
Live at City West Hotel DVD Liam O'Connor and Lisa Aherne 2001
Reel Spirit DVD Liam O'Connor and Lisa Aherne 2003
Reel Spirit CD Liam O'Connor and Lisa Aherne 2003
The Morning Dew Liam O'Connor 2006
Tico Mystico Liam O'Connor 2010

Live at Ronnie Scott's

2013

Credits[edit]

Album Performers Role Date
Lord of the Dance Original Cast Accordion 1997
Feet of Flames Lord of the Dance Cast Accordion 1999
The Two of Us Christie Hennessy Accordion 2008
The Day of My Return Mike Denver Accordion 2009

Recognition[edit]

Award Date
1st Ambassador of Killarney, Ireland 2010
IRMA Nomination 1996
Beamish & Crawford Award
Guinness World Record- Fastest Fingers 2008

References[edit]