‘Hot Swing’ leans toward classical in Breckenridge | VailDaily.com

‘Hot Swing’ leans toward classical in Breckenridge

Samantha Standring
Special to the Daily
Breckenridge, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyMark O'Connor

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – Virtuoso violinist and composer Mark O’Connor and his Hot Swing group will play at the Riverwalk Center at 7:30 p.m. Sunday as part of the Breckenridge Music Festival’s Blue River Series.

O’Connor has won Grammies for best country instrumental performance and the best classical crossover album. O’Connor began playing the violin at age 11 and has been a top name on the bluegrass circuit since he won a national bluegrass fiddling title as a teenager.

Mark now leads several groups, including the Appalachia Waltz Trio and American String Celebration as well as Breckenridge Festival’s featured group, Hot Swing.

“For the last 20 years … I’ve been devoting a lot of time to composing,” O’Connor said.

He spent about 10 months composing one of his latest pieces, the “Americana Symphony,” which has been recorded by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The symphony describes the journey west, over the Rocky Mountains. Despite being composed a few years earlier, the movement was only named two years ago during O’Connor’s visit for the 2007 Breckenridge Music Festival.

“I often title the pieces during the composition process,” he said, adding that sometimes he waits until he has played the music for a while.

O’Connor’s jazz performances and compositions pay tribute to his great friend and second mentor, French jazz musician, Stephane Grapelli. O’Connor has recorded one “truly solo album” but most of his music takes collaborative efforts, he said.

Who: Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing, presented by the Breckenridge Music Festival

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge

Tickets: $26 in advance; $30 day of show

Contact: (970) 547-3100 or http://www.breckenridgemusicfestival for tickets or information

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