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Where the Proof is in the Pickin'

Arizona Bluegrass Association

Mark O’Connor: Crossing Bridge at MIM

  • March 28, 2023
  • 7:00 PM
  • 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85050

Mark O’Connor: Crossing Bridges

A Retrospective on His Childhood Years in Music


Crossing Bridges, Mark O’Connor’s aching memoir, traces the violinist’s journey from his childhood years. At 10, O’Connor was winning classical guitar competitions against university graduates, and at 12 he was thrust onto the Grand Ole Opry stage as a soloist, introduced by the “King of Country Music,” Roy Acuff.

The memoir covers O’Connor’s years on the road in the 1970s as a child prodigy and a national fiddle and guitar champion. The acclaimed musician learned at the feet of American music legends while exploring his relationships with his mother and dysfunctional family, a near career-ending accident, and his involvement in some of the world’s most iconic instrumental bands. Crossing Bridges details the personal triumphs, struggles, and demons that informed the decisions O’Connor made about his music and career, and the risks he was willing to take for a shot at the brass ring.

The first half of the evening features music by Mark and Maggie O’Connor. The second half features a reading from O’Connor’s memoir, plus anecdotes, a Q&A, and musical excerpts and examples.

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