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BIOGRAPHY

Gerry O'Connor has brought the banjo to places no other player had tread before. He has travelled the world - physically and musically - experimenting with everything from Irish to bluegrass to African and Asian, and back to Irish. Both as a soloist and as a member of the highly acclaimed Four Men and a Dog, Gerry has truly traced the banjo's journey through the world of music.

Gerry's contribution to Irish Music can best be summed up in the words of Earl Hitchener; Music Critic for the Wall Street Journal. Celtic Music, Irish Echo, CTMS Journal (USA)

"Gerry O'Connor may be the single best four string banjoist in the history of Irish Music. It seems a tall statement to make but his phenomenal technique fully justified it. O'Connor tossed off runs and ornaments with effortless virtuosity and his jazz-like penchant for experimentation and risk taking will remind listeners of American five string banjo players like Bela Fleck and Alison Brown. If ever a musician truly 'owned' the instrument he plays Gerry O'Connor 'owns' the four - string banjo. A member of Four Men and a Dog he should be fronting his own band that will compliment and react properly to his amazing musical instincts. He is in every sense of the word sensational".

Gerry has three solo albums to his credit: 1992 saw the release of Gerry's first album "Time to Time" which is now considered a classic. His composition "Funk the Cajun Blues", first heard on this album, was included on the hugely successful compilation "Trad at Heart" and was released as a single. "Myriad" was released in 1999, which features many of Gerry's own compositions and supported by such musical colleagues as Steve Cooney, Manus Lunny, Vinnie Kilduff, Kevin Doherty, and Mairtin O Connor.

In 1993 Gerry joined "Four Men and a Dog" and recorded three critically acclaimed albums in the company of rock legends "THE BAND". They performed at major festivals throughout Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and China.

As well as being a composer and performer Gerry is a much sought after session musician. He worked on Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance" soundtrack. He has guested over the years with many famous Irish artists such as The Waterboy's, Mary Black, Arcady, Moya Brennan, Luka Bloom and performed for US President Bill Clinton in Belfast during his historic visit to Ireland. More recently he has guested on Chris Rea's new album "Dancing down the Stoney Road". Tutor book and video's by Gerry O'Connor are available from Waltons and Music Sales outlets worldwide. Gerry has given tutorials in Limerick University to students of Irish Music and Culture.

"No Place Like Home", released at the end of the summer, 2004, is Gerry O'Connor's first solo album in 5 years. Gerry's first two albums had a lot of experimentation ("Myriad" and "Time to Time" both were brilliant and innovative) and this album represents a sort of 'homecoming' to his musical heritage. The new recording also serves to remind the world that this is a first-class player, and has been well received in all corners, particularly with The Irish Times who named "No Place Like Home" the Number 1 Traditional/Folk album of the year 2004!

"I think the way I would like this album to be remembered is for the music and not so much the technique as people can get very bogged down with the physics of playing an instrument and loose sight of the heart and soul of music." says Gerry.


 

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