Misc Fan Mail
Fan Letters: Hot Swing Trio
Hot Swing Trio
Hot Swing Trio in Pueblo
I was fortunate to have seen the Hot Swing Trio in Pueblo last night. It was an amazing experience - thank you!
When will you be recording "MO MO" & "Anniversary." You also, in the 2nd half, did a neat piece in a very weird key (obviously you can tell I don't play).
Your music provides a truly "life-supporting" experience. It just resonates well with the physiology. I always leave your music feeling more complete and whole.
Also, last night as I was watching your performance, I couldn't help notice (or experience) a strange paradox in your movements vs. the sounds that were flowing from the instrument. You movements seemed so slight - so effortless; yet the sounds were so varied - almost like they had to be coming from somewhere else. It was sort of a strange magic.
Anyway, enough of that. It was thoroughly enjoying - the whole thing - not to mention the incredible skills and music of Frank Vignola and John Burr.
P.S. Also enjoyed your newsletter. Thanks.
Praise for "In Full Swing"
thank you... no.... THANK YOU !!!
I just listened to "In Full Swing".. wheh!!
I had to do an immediate repeat. Awesome!! Dang...you are Amazing!!
You've honored Grappelli like no one else could. What artistry. (Both of you!!)
You have done the same for Fats Waller's honeysuckle rose. One of my favorites.
You and Jane made "Misty" back into a love song (instead of a scary movie theme).
You captured the Casa Blanca essence and spirit with "As time goes by".
I'm will have Canterbury Records in Pasadena order more for me to give as gifts.
Thanks again... (a fan since you were 17? with Grisman and Grappelli)
Thank you so much! It was and continues to be a privilege to tribute my mentor Stephane Grappelli this way. I am glad you like the results!
Just a quick note to thank you for the amazing concert in Wichita, along with Frank and Jon. I was blown away once again by your extreme genius and
versatility. Thank you as well for the copy of your new cd. It has yet to leave my cd player...I just love it, and it was so nice of you to give it to me! It was great to see you for a moment at the end of the concert and I look forward to the next time... Take care, safe travels and best wishes
Dear Mr. O'Connor
I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how wonderful you and the members of your trio sounded at the N.J. Performing Arts Center in Newark on 2/16/03. I was in awe...I listened to and fell in love with Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, and Joe Venuti. I saw Papa John Creech twice and played the the hell out of the Duke Ellington's Hot Jazz Violin Sessions with Ray Nance. Needless to say, you guys knocked me out. I was riveted to my seat, bought your CD, but became tongue-tied when I me you. This has never happened to me. I'm a 52- year old social worker with 2 teenagers who play flute and guitar. I truly believe that Mr. Grappelli was not only smiling, he was giving you a standing ovation, so well deserved.
Much thanks for the wonderful concert. Thank you, Mr. O'Connor, for sharing your gifts.
Sincerely, Robin Ann Leo
You have really outdone yourself this time! Bought your new CD first thing this morning and it's an incredible masterpiece! It's a work of art (blood,
sweat & tears too, I'm sure). Stephan lives through your fingers and I know he's smiling, and so is Benny. In Full Swing is music at its finest.
Genuine perfection and inspiration. Thank you for such a priceless gift ... your beautiful music.
As I'm writing this, "In Full Swing" is on its third rotation. You've got a lot to be proud of in this album, and I expect you'll be in for outstanding responses and wonderful surprises as you take this incredible music on the road.
In the coming years, I fully expect the greater music community to hold you up as a paradigm of what a 21st century musician should be- virtuosic, stylistically versatile, multitalented, and skilled in improvisation / composition. Already the transition is in full effect because people are gradually ceasing to view you as an anomaly; rather, the community is beginning to regard you as a role model.
I'm glad to know you, Mark.
Too beautiful for words.....the music, especially your solo, made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and brought tears to my eyes!....."Misty"
from your "IN Full Swing" CD.....Oh, My! And, that last note.....It just put me away!
I've been a fan of Jane Monheit for the past two years (saw her last two concerts at the California Center For The Arts) after hearing her on the San
Diego City College jazz station. I happened to hear her sing "Over The Rainbow" and she, very much, reminded me of my mother (deceased) who sang
with Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians during the 1950's.
I've seen you play a number of times in San Diego, have a couple of your CDs, and am just blown away by "In Full Swing." Possibly, it's because I was
a professional guitarist during the 1970's in Philadelphia and love great musicianship.....and you, Mark, surely have that.
I've always loved the fiddle/violin....when I first learned to play guitar, I was a Bill Monroe fan since I was playing in a Bluegrass group i.e. "Foggy
Mountain Breakdown", etc. However, while playing rock in many bands, I heard some great violinists i.e. Jerry Goodman (Flock & Mahavishnu Orchestra),
Jean-Luc Ponte (Mahavishnu Orchestra), & even Alan Holdsworth on the "Truth" album (ever heard that one?). After hearing Alan play, I took some guitar theory lessons from Dennis Sandoli....wanted to learn how to apply Ionian, Phrygian, Dorian, etc. modes to my very basic and limited 3-chord rock playing.
Sorry to be so boring......just wanted you to know that "In Full Swing" is just fabulous. Thanks for such a great CD!
Adrian Silva, Owner/Instructor
What a fantastic review- congratulations! It is, of course, well-deserved. Eric and I had such an incredible time at the concert. Thank you again for telling us and inviting us to the post-concert reception as well.
I actually ran into Wynton Marsalis in the elevator (we live in the same building) and he had so many admiring things to say about you; I believe he said,
among other things, that you were the "real thing".
With warmest congratulations,
I live in Montana, and was delighted to see an ad featuring Mark O'Connor and his band playing in Billings, on March 4th! His 'Hot Swing Trio' show was just top-rate! Closing my eyes to listen to each of the players play his instrument was so crisp, precise, perfection...I admire such talent as each of the musicians displayed. They are all the 'Tiger Woods' of music...
I use to know Mark O'Connor back in the late '70's when my own brother was competing in fiddle contests and one contest was held in OK in '79. There, I got to see the magnificent, talented, humble, yet, young kid named Mark O'Connor display his talent for all to enjoy. I have kept up with his success and was quite fortunate to touch bases with him at the concert in Billings. He was very nice, humble, and last, but not least, very handsome. He took time to have pictures taken, sign my shirt, and a flier he gave me. I did everything short of hugging him...which I would've done had there not been so many people seeking his autograph and attention. I hope you can somehow relay this message to him in the hopes that he will read this and know that his appearance was just outstanding and appreciated. I thank he and his group for giving Montana such an opportunity to hear quality, well-played music. I hope he will treat us again to such fine talent and I promise him I won't be a pest to get his attention. Anyone who comes in contact with Mark O'Connor's talent is very lucky, for I wish it were I who could possess a 1/4 of any musical ability.
OK, I will close this for now; I hope you can somehow get this message to Mark,
as I know he gets buried w/copious stacks of mail.
An Avid Fan of Mark
Sincerely, Marie Hawkins
I don't even know how to put this into words...your cd's arrived a few minutes ago, and I'm just totally blown away! First, it was such an honor for you to perform here, but now to have the privilege of hearing that concert over and over again forever. Wow!! And that's something that the whole world should experience. You are going public with this, I hope? There's so much emotion wrapped up in this cd for me...bear with me, 'cause I need to share this. Eight, maybe nine years ago was the first time I heard your music, long before I ever dreamed of opening this theatre and becoming a presenter. (In fact, did I even know jobs like this existed?) Anyhow, NPR did a segment on you and when I heard Nashville Cats, I nearly drove off the road. Immediately bought the cd, wore it out and told absolutely everyone I knew what I'd discovered. Along the way, I found out that my best friend(we met in 2nd grade) who lives in Nashville was not only a major fan, but also that her daughter was one of your students at Vanderbilt(?).
Several years into the theatre's existence, when I started doing serious programming, I searched and searched to find a booking agent who could bring you here...and I guess it was just a few years too early. But during those early years, you were at the top of my mental list of shows I simply had to do here in order to consider us a musical and artistic success. Also on that list was Stephane. I believe he was 87.
There's got to be some amazing force watching over me, that so many gifts of music have come my way. And so many dreams have come true. For those of us who are not musicians and will never make music, the only thing we can do is listen, watch, go to concerts. And then a concert comes along that is just pure magic for me: Mark O'Connor in our own Community Theatre playing a tribute to Grappelli. And now I can relive that evening over and over, for the rest of my life. Thank you for making that happen!
I am so very very much looking forward to your show here with Natalie next week...cannot wait!!
Linda Smith, Producing Director, Community Theatre
"Hot Swing" Blows Me Away
December 12, 2002
I just got done listening to "Hot Swing" and it blew me away. After all of the times we worked together in Nashville, I thought I had a feel for your playing but this amazed me. It's like there's a whole new Mark that I never heard. Great Stuff!!
Yes, I keep thinking of new things and extending the journey! It has been quite a ride and I loved it so much. Thanks for being there with me in those Nashville days as well Chris.
Looking for "Hot Swing" Charts
December 3, 2002
Mark, my name is Edward O'Day from Nashvegas, TN. I was wondering if you had any charts for your compositions on Hot Swing. It is a wonderful album with lots of energy. I play in a group called Daybreak and we are a blend of Celtic/bluegrass/jazz and classical. Our instrumentation is guitar/fiddle/dobro and double bass.
You have been a major influence on my playing and I know the rest of our group feels the same. You move into different styles of music with ease and understand the vocabulary of those styles so well. I also am moved by some many different styles of music that it makes practicing hard. There is always so much to learn! Our group is in our twenties so we have lots of time. Our website is www.Daybreakplanet.com
Thanks for being some inspirational.
So nice to hear from you and am very interested in this eclectic group you have going. Right up my alley it seems. I am glad I could be an inspiration for you all. The charts for some of the material from my Hot Swing Trio will be ready in a few months on my sheet music site. I am anxious for you to hear our new album coming up, In Full Swing! Take care.
Thanksgiving Concert Thrilled Us
December 5, 2002
For Mark O'Connor, Jon Burr and Frank Vignola,
From the very soul of Bellingham's FineArts community, I want you to know that your Thanksgiving concert thrilled us through our ears, spines and down into our very deepest memories. It is true! The depth of your expression of these tunes causes one to remember their youth, to sway automatically to let in all of the emotion of what you play into us.
I must confess that I'll probably never experience a violinist quite as gifted as you are Mark. That did not surprise me as I have been enjoying your music for years. However, I've never heard a guitar make such sounds and compelling rhythms as I heard in this concert. (I did not know that the human hand could move that rapidly! ) Furthermore, the string bass is not typically played by someone so capable as to use it as a solo instrument. As such, Jon was able to keep our minds engaged, while is instrument's low audibility gave our ears a break, just as one would take a bite of fine cheese in-between wine tastings. This lyric style on your new HOT SWING production is one that I have long wanted to share with my friends and students.
Thank you for the highlight of my season. Have a blessed and merry Christmastide.
On behalf of the Hot Swing Trio, I thank you very much!
You Showed Us Your Heart in "Hot Swing"
October 2, 2002
Thank You so much for fantastic brilliant Hot Swing!!! Splendid work! Incredibly bright impression! We were really glad and proud touch Your sincere, clean and clear creation. Thank You for piece of Your heart, contained in Your wonderful music. Please hand Frank and Jon our sincerest thanks and best wishes!
Much friendly love from Siberia.
Well, you are very welcome. Thanks for playing us on the radio in Siberia!
West Coast Fans Coming to New York
We took your advice and checked with Lincoln Center for your February 4th premier and tickets were available! We will be making the prilgrimage to Manhattan to see your performance. It sounds like it will be an outstanding event. We will wait to hear the choral work another time and maybe on the West Coast.
Thanks for keeping us posted on your travels; just wanted to let you know that some of your west coast fans will be in New York applauding you on!
Gayle and Ron
Gayle and Ron,
How about that! Thanks for coming to the Big Apple all the way from the West Coast to be with me on my big night. See you Feb. 4th.
Dear Mr. O'Connor,
I had the pleasure to attend your performance at Emory's Schwartz Center.
What a show! The list of songs, the individual performances of each member of the band, and the shear virtuosity of the program were overwhelming.
I invited my father to attend. He drove in from Augusta. He was very impressed.
A few comments:
The song about the "fiddler" was so warm and personal that it must be hard to play in public. The loss of your friend clearly affected you deeply and led to this composition. All of us in the audience were touched by this piece.
I particularly liked "Anniversary." You and the younger guitarist interpreted this complex piece in such a way that it swooped and churned and pulsed with drama and excitement. Harold Alden laid a bottom with the bass player that supported the piece so that it could grow and become even more complex.
I will take my Dad on a fishing trip and concert trip in April. We will go to Alabama, fish, and go to your concert in Tuscaloosa on April 25! We are looking forward to it.
Thank you for your willingness to tour and share your talent.
Henry J. Siegelson, MD, FACEP, Atlanta, GA USA
During the intermission at the Imperial Theater performance I went backstage to compliment you on a sterling performance. Although I had attended your presentations in classical venues, I was not quite ready to hear the superb renditions of the Hot Club of France Quintette standards and your own. What a tour de force!! I sat mesmerized and spellbound while you, Howard, Bryan and John, weaved melodic patterns into a harmonic fabric that enveloped one's senses. You might as well be giving a lecture on the non–existence of barriers between classical and jazz music. I am looking forward to your coming back to Augusta in the near future.
The performance of all last night at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory in Atlanta was exceptional. I brought my entire family to the event and we thoroughly enjoyed everything. Everyone in the family is an aspiring musician and given the stellar attributes we witnessed last night, you have provided us with motivation to continue praticing and (hopefully) improving. Hope to see another performance soon!
David Lang, Suwanee, GA
Had the BEST time recovering from Turkey Day listening to Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio! Wow, you're good! I was told you were, but were thrilled to discover it for myself. Congratulations... "Live in New York" is wonderful and New York should be (and surely is) delighted to actually have you live in it now!
I am enjoying daily the 'IN FULL SWING' compact disc, I continously play over and over your 'Stephane and Django'... it makes me cry...
After the beautiful words of praise other people said before me, I don't know what to add... I can only THANK YOU for giving us such beautiful music.
I wish you and your dear ones a jazzy Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Enrico Borsetti, Rome, Italy
Hello, my name is Jeana Martin, I went to see your Hot Swing concert in Columbia at the "blue note" Sunday night, and it was totally awesome!!! I've listened to your music (pretty much any style) but, this was the first time I actually had the chance to see you perform and I just have to say you truly are a musical genius! I've been playing fiddle for about six years now. I play mostly bluegrass but I listen to any style of music , I'm particularly interested in learning more about jazz! well, I hope to see you again sometime,
Sincerely, Jeana Martin
Hi Mark, I just wanted to say how much I dig the " In Full Swing" album. Frank Vignola, I've been listening to his stuff for years. Jon Burr and you, I was not familiar with..LOL but what do I know, being an old jazz fan. I hope you put out another[ or more ] album/s with this trio. I have so many Grappelli and Django albums.. your's fits right in..Just maybe you are more accomplished than the great Grappelli??? The work by Frank is outstanding as always and I'm so glad to hear Jon on bass. He is a treat to hear. Your two guests are fine but it's the trio I get off on. Like all great albums the main fault is it is way too short.
jon rockaway beach, oregon