Irish fiddle master Gerry O’Connor to play on Vashon

O’Connor is known worldwide as a soloist and as a founding band member of Lá Lugh, Skylark and Oirialla.

Fans of Irish traditional music, rejoice — master Irish fiddler Gerry O’Conner will perform at the Vashon Havurat at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, accompanied by guitarist Don Penzien.

“Gerry’s playing is sublime,” said islander Janet Strolle, who is presenting the concert. “His years of expertise and love of the music shine in his crafting and expression of the tunes.”

O’Connor hails from Dundalk, County Louth. He grew up in a family of musicians, dancers and singers, all taught at home by his mother, Rose. His father, Peter, was a singer whose seven uncles all played music.

A four-time winner of The Fiddler of Oriel competition, O’Connor now adjudicates that contest as well as other premier competitions. He is a sought-after teacher throughout Europe, and the traditional arts coordinator of the Creative Connexions Iris/Catalan Arts Festival in Sitges, Spain.

Known worldwide as a soloist and as a founding band member of Lá Lugh, Skylark and Oirialla, O’Connor has recorded 14 albums, with his first solo album, “Journeyman,” hailed as a landmark album of Irish fiddle music. He has performed with Irish music luminaries including members of the Chieftains, Boys of the Lough, Planxty, De Dannan, Irish Rovers, and Bothy Band. He is also a highly regarded violin maker and a music producer for other musicians and film scores.

Guitarist Don Penzien is another top-flight performer of Irish traditional music who has performed widely in concerts and festivals, backing beloved artists in the genre. He now resides in North Carolina, where he works as a professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Admission to the concert is $20-$25 at the door, with cash preferred, but no one being turned away for lack of funds. Contact or call 206-228-0730 for advanced reservations. The Havurat Center is located at 15401 Westside Hwy SW. Doors will open at 6:30.

Find out more about Gerry O’Connor’s music and life at