San Diego recording artist Steve O’Connor is well known for not only his masterful jazz guitar work but also as a composer, arranger and producer. Steve was born in San Diego and attended San Diego State University. In 1972 he was awarded the prestigious Down Beat Magazine scholarship for jazz composition and improvisation to Berkeley School of Music where he attended for a time.
Steve has performed with such luminaries as Red Mitchell, Bob Magnusson, Charles MacPherson, Bob Mover, Jim Plank, Ronny Ogden, The Joe Farrell Big Band, featuring ex-Chick Corea saxophonist Farrell, Mike Wofford. Don Menza, Frank Rosolino, Russell Farrentes (of Yellow Jackets fame), Oscar Brashear and John Gurin of the L.A. Express, and Joni Summers. He led a jazz group called “Stream” with renowned bassist Jeff Rew, Ogden, Plank, Magnusson and Joe Marillo. His extraordinary talent in composing led him to writing for Sea World, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Disney, the Muppets, the Republic of China, the 1994 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Seville World’s Fair and the Kennedy Space and Rocket Center, commercials for Jeep, Toyota, Chrysler, Folgers Coffee, NBC.
One of the more challenging commissions was a suite for five jazz soloists and full orchestra for the San Diego Symphony which featured saxophonists Charles MacPherson and Hollis Gentry, guitarist Peter Sprague among others. He was also commissioned to compose a “trio” suite for violin, jazz bass and piano featuring Mary Karo, Bob Magnusson and pianist for Ella Fitzgerald, Mike Wofford. Steve recently completed a production for a Warner Brothers Park in Spain and an amazing musical production for the Queen Mary in Long Beach, as well as a “4-D” movie for Stone Mountain, Georgia, scores of music library production for First Com Music Library, playing world wide, and all the Jeep commercials on the West Coast of the USA and Canada. He has currently scored music and sound design for an audio book of the poetry of T.S. Eliot. Also, Stephen is scoring an audio book by Arthur C. Clarke soon to be released in Audiobooks.com. Completed in 2009 was the soundtrack for the movie Scare Zone.
Among his many accomplishments, Steve has written extensively for television. He composed the score to “Man to Match his Mountains” filmed by Peter Pilafian from the “Eiger Sanction” debuted on PBS, Discovery Channel special on the Navy Seals entitled “Silent Option” as well as countless Toyota and other commercials in hispanic media. Steve Co-produced, arranged, engineered and mastered Coral MacFarland Thuet’s recent CD “To Another Shore.” Steve also played the guitar and composed four original pieces for the album.
Steve has been a master in digital audio recording and MIDI, working with many corporate clients such as Warner Bros., Disney, Chrysler, Toyota, Universal Studios, etc., to produce hip, contemporary and fresh music approaches to their ‘time-restrictive’ production needs. He currently works with Digital Performer, GigaStudio, Vienna Symphony Library, Mach 5, Atmosphere, Reason LA Scoring Strings and many other sound sources. After producing recording sessions from rhythm section, electronics, to full classical orchestra, there’s little wonder why he is so sought after in the commercial music world.
Steve is a published author of 2 books: Harmonology––An Insider’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Through Music, and Counterpoint to Reality.
Harmonology sees the quality of personal relationships through the eyes of music. It is a ground-breaking new study that helps one gain the highest level of harmony in their relationships by applying the fundamental laws of sound. Counterpoint to Reality is a spiritual memoir that explores Steve’s journey through the Western Esoteric Tradition, Qi Gong and Ayahuasca.
Steve has warmly supported San Pancho’s Music Festival for several years. He has always been a welcomed addition to the event, and once again we are pleased to have Steve join us for the 2020 Festival.