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Performance Dates
July 18, 2024 5:30 PM
Highmark Theatre

350 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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Performance Time
Thursday 5:30PM
Doors open 4:30PM

Ticket Price

For more information about accessibility please visit this page.

“There is no doubt this jazz cat has a 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" — Bobby Ramirez, Latinjazzclub 

Bill O’Connell is a living example of what can happen when the old axiom “Good things come to those who wait” is put to the test. His professional career spans almost half a century and has earned him widespread acclaim for his virtuosic skills as an attention-grabbing keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. Over the decades, the multi-talented musician has produced countless demonstrations of his myriad talents. 

On four separate occasions, he has been honored with the coveted “Jazz Writer of the Year” award from SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers), a performing rights organization. In the fall of 2022, O'Connell received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his clever retooling of the novelty piece "Chopsticks" as a Latin jazz-infused romp for drummer Richard Baratta's album "The Reel Deal" (Savant). "It was very unexpected," O'Connell commented at the time, "but a very nice surprise!" 

Lauded by Downbeat Magazine as “an inspired hybridizer of modernist jazz and Afrodiasporic idioms as an improviser and composer,” O’Connell was born in New York City on August 22, 1953. Initially, his focus as a fledgling piano student was on the established classical repertoire. He studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, serving his initial goal of becoming a classical composer. However, discovering jazz radically changed his career path. “Jazz combined the sophistication I was looking for in music with the earthy quality and the swing,” he told Downbeat in a 2022 interview. More at 


About MCG Jazz 

MCG Jazz is a social enterprise of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a subsidiary of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, a non-profit arts and learning center in Pittsburgh, PA.  

Through our guiding principles:  environment shapes behavior, people are assets and creativity fuels enterprise, and our mission to preserve, present and promote jazz, we aim to strengthen the Pittsburgh jazz community and contribute to the overall cultural and artistic diversity of the region.  

The MCG Jazz concert series – one of the longest running subscription-based jazz performance series in the county –has been a safe place for artists to share their art and discuss relevant issues of the time. Our recording label produces distinctive albums from a wide variety of artists, our educational programs serve elementary, middle and high school aged students in urban and rural communities, and our archives of audio/video recordings, photographs, interviews and individual artist collections exists as a model for learning for future generations to help grow the audience for jazz and enhance the artform and its creators.  

For more information, please contact MCG Jazz at 412-322-0800 or visit our web site at 

  • Bill O'Connell leaning on a piano
  • The Bill O'Connell Latin Jazz Group

    July 18, 2024 5:30 PM