|Bill O’Connell is a native New Yorker who has played with many of the greats in the worlds of jazz and latin-jazz . In 1977, he joined the legendary congero, Mongo SantaMaria, writing and performing with him for over 2 years. Following that he worked with Chet Baker and jazz legend Sonny Rollins. In 1982, he joined Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentin, and they have been touring the world together ever since.Bill, an internationally recognized composer, has had his original compositions on CD’s by Mongo SantaMaria, Emily Remler, Charles Fambrough, and on virtually every recording made by flutist Dave Valentin. He has also performed with Astrud Gilberto, Jon Lucien, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Conrad Herwig and The Latin Side and many others.
Bill’s most recent recordings are “Rhapsody in Blue” on the Challenge label and “Triple Play Plus Three” on the ZOHO label which received a 4 star review in Downbeat.
Bobby Ramirez writes in the Latinjazzclub “ There is no doubt this jazz cat (Bill O’Connell) has game; more like fire-breathing musical passion tempered with immense intellectual dominance of Jazz and Latin music that may be good enough to rival some of the great Latin Jazz pianists of the last quarter century: Chucho Valdes, George Dalto, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and others.”
Bill is bringing in a true “All-Star” band to Birdland with Steve Slagle-sax, Luis Bonilla-trombone, Mayra Casales-congas, Luques Curtis-bass, and Richie Morales on drums.