Page McConnell

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Page McConnell
McConnell with Phish at Red Rocks Amphitheater July 30, 2009
McConnell with Phish at Red Rocks Amphitheater
July 30, 2009
Background information
Birth namePage Samuel McConnell
Also known asThe Chairman of the Boards, Leo, Godzilla
Born (1963-05-17) May 17, 1963 (age 60)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Keyboards
  • piano
  • organ
Years active1981–present
LabelsSony BMG
Member of
Formerly ofPhil Lesh and Friends
WebsiteOfficial website

Page Samuel McConnell (born May 17, 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[1]) is an American multi-instrumentalist, most noted for his work as the keyboardist and a songwriter for the band Phish.

In addition to having been a member of Phish since 1985, McConnell has been part of a number of other side projects, including leading the electronic jazz fusion band Vida Blue and acting as a session musician for the comedy rock duo Tenacious D. He released his debut solo album, Page McConnell, in 2007.


McConnell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1963. By age four, he began to learn to play the piano, and in 1969 his family relocated to Basking Ridge, New Jersey. He continued his musical studies, eventually playing in bands with friends by seventh grade.[1] His father, Dr. Jack B. McConnell, worked at McNeil Laboratories and helped to develop Tylenol and the MRI. The elder McConnell then started a free health clinic, Volunteers in Medicine, that is staffed by retired health workers in Hilton Head, South Carolina.[2] Jack McConnell died in February 2018.[3]

McConnell spent a year at Gill St. Bernard's School, in Gladstone, New Jersey before moving. McConnell spent his senior year of high school at Lawrence Academy, a boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts, and then attended Southern Methodist University from Fall 1982 to Spring 1984, where he joined Kappa Alpha Order and took a course called Imagination, Awareness, and Ideas taught by Donald Pasquella (based on Pasquella's 1974 paper called 'Imagination, Awareness, and Ideas: Helping The Student Become More Creative', which McConnell later credited in his Goddard College senior study as "the most important course I have ever taken."[4] McConnell transferred to Goddard College in the fall of 1984 where he met his mentor, saxophonist Karl Boyle, and wrote his senior study, The Art of Improvisation[4] under Boyle's guidance. In his senior study, McConnell credited music teacher, Doug Freuler, for introducing him to jazz improvisation, and pianist Lar Duggan as “single most important person in helping me develop my improvisation”.[4] McConnell graduated from Goddard in December 1987.

McConnell joined Phish in 1985[1] and played with the band for the first time on May 3 of that year.[5] McConnell has written a number of Phish originals including "Cars Trucks Buses," "Magilla," "Army of One," "I Been Around," "Windy City," "Halfway to the Moon," "If I Told You.", "Things People Do.", and "I Always Wanted It This Way". He has also coauthored numerous other songs with the band.[6]

Other musical projects[edit]

In 1997, McConnell played keyboards on the title track of Scottish band Travis' debut album Good Feeling. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, who had produced Phish's Billy Breathes album in 1996. In early 2001, McConnell recorded with Tenacious D on their debut album, later joining the band onstage that September for a show at the Higher Ground nightclub in Winooski, Vermont.[7] That same year, with Oteil Burbridge and Russell Batiste, McConnell was a founding member of Vida Blue which performed from 2001 to 2004, and reformed to record an album in 2018.[8]

After a two-year hiatus from the music industry during Phish's hiatus, McConnell returned as a solo artist, recording an album of all new material in 2006. This eponymous album was released April 17, 2007 through Sony/BMG's Legacy Recordings. On signing with Legacy, McConnell has stated, "I know a lot of people on the internet, and that's certainly an option – especially these days and especially if you're catering to the Phish fans who already know who I am. But I wanted a little bit more than that... I was proud of the record, and I wanted as many people as possible to hear it when I was done with it."[9]

McConnell headlined the High Sierra Music Festival in July 2007, which was held in Quincy, California. His touring band features multi-instrumentalist Jared Slomoff, guitarist Adam Zimmon, bassist Rob O'Dea, and drummer Gabe Jarrett. Said McConnell, "I have a really good feeling about this group. It feels like a band, although it's in its infancy right now. It really does feel like there is a collective consciousness."[9]

From 2012 to 2015, McConnell toured on occasion with members of The Meters as The Meter Men.[10]


Page McConnell's current rig on Phish includes:


Solo albums[edit]

Vida Blue albums[edit]

Other albums[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Leggett, Steve (2010). "Page McConnell Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  2. ^ "Volunteers in Medicine | National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics". 18 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Physician, Entertainer & Phish Father Dr. Jack McConnell 1925 - 2018". 6 February 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c McConnell, P. (1987). The Art of Improvisation. Senior Thesis. Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont.
  5. ^ " | Setlists". Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  6. ^ "The Phish Companion". Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  7. ^ "Swan Fungus | Tenacious D – Higher Ground; Winooski, VT (2001-09-28)". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  8. ^ "Phish Keyboardist Page McConnell Enters Studio With Vida Blue & Spam Allstars". 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  9. ^ a b Metzger, John (May 2007). "A Fresh Start with Page McConnell". Music Box Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  10. ^ Greenhaus, Mike; Jacques, Amy (2012-11-07). "When Leo Met Leo: A Conversation with Leo Nocentelli, Page McConnell and George Porter Jr". Archived from the original on 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2023-03-19.
  11. ^ "YouTube". 18 August 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Page McConnell Announces Ambient Electronic Solo Record 'Maybe We're the Visitors,' Shares First Single". 6 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Page McConnell & Trey Anastasio Share New Album 'December'". 24 December 2020.

External links[edit]