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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 27, 2004

Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio Opens Hancher Season Sept. 18

The 2004-2005 season at the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will open with Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18.

Led by versatile violinist, composer and arranger Mark O'Connor -- who is equally adept at classical music, bluegrass and jazz -- the Hot Swing Trio evokes the joie de vivre and jaunty sound of the 1930s Parisian groups led by O'Connor's friend and mentor, violinist Stephane Grappelli, and gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

To create the Hot Swing Trio, O'Connor is joined by guitarist Frank Vignola, one of the finest American guitarists in the Reinhardt tradition, and bassist Jon Burr, who toured with Grappelli for several years.

Their 2001 "Hot Swing!" CD led to a sold-out run at Jazz@Lincoln Center, their continuing tour and the recent CD "In Full Swing" -- which one reviewer described as "the best hot swing CD of all time."

O'Connor is perhaps best known as the fiddler on the double-CD "Appalachian Waltz," with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and bassist Edgar Meyer. The follow-up, "Appalachian Journey," won a Grammy Award. But his range as a performer and composer is unsurpassed.

A New York Times review described O'Connor as "the only musician today who can reach so deeply first into the refined, then the vernacular, giving his listeners a complex, sophisticated piece of early-21st-century classical music and then knocking them dead with the brown-dirt whine of a Texas fiddle."

A Los Angeles Times article concluded that he has "crossed over so many boundaries, that his style is purely personal."

O'Connor recently released a two-CD "30-Year Retrospective" that has attracted rave reviews.

Grappelli and Reinhardt founded the Quintet of the Hot Club of Paris in 1934, and their infectious "gypsy swing" became the first European style to feed back influence into American jazz. After decades of obscurity following World War II and Reinhardt's death, Grappelli re-emerged as an international star in the 1960s, renewing his influence on recent generations of violinists.

Local sponsors of the Sept. 18 concert are Nancy Droll and Cantebury Inn and Suites, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio are $30/28/25; UI student $27/15; senior citizen $27/25.20/22.50; youth $21/19.60/17.50.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

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