Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


January 6, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

Saturday, February 7, 8PM

Fairfax, Virginia, January 5, 2004—Mark O'Connor's musical love affair with Stephane Grappelli has been very nearly a lifelong thing between the American violinist and the spirited French master. Grapelli, whose career began in the streets of Paris in the 1920s, forged an historic partnership with fabled Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Though Grappelli would go on to many other things in a professional life that prospered for decades – until his death, at age 89, in 1997 -- it was his vibrant collaboration with Reinhardt, with whom he formed the Quintette Du Hot Club in 1934, that permanently established his sound. After Grappelli's death, Mark O'Connor felt compelled to celebrate his legacy and formed a trio with guitarist Frank Vignola and bassist Jon Burr , who had performed with Grappelli during the last decade of his life. The group's live recording, "Hot Swing!" (OMAC Records, 2001), documents a collection of songs associated with Grappelli, and the Hot Club era, while also emphasizing the contemporary travels of the individual soloists. Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing Trio performs Grapellli and Reinhardt tunes like Nuages, and Minor Swing – and pieces inspired by the Grapelli/Reinhardt collaboration – in a program at George Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, February 7 at 8PM. A pre-performance discussion begins 45-minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.

Introduced to that sound as a childhood string prodigy – O'Connor was tearing up the stage at fiddle competitions – O'Connor attended a Grappelli concert in Vancouver, British Columbia, and became mesmerized. Almost immediately, the young fiddler began including
tunes like Satin Doll and Take the A Train , Ellingtonian staples of Grappelli's set lists, in his live performances.
Four years later, at the age of 17, O'Connor won a spot playing guitar on a Grappelli tour, and was invited to perform violin duets as well. Their friendship thrived through subsequent years, as O'Connor matured from teen sensation into an indefatigable session ace. Now, with Vignola and Burr, on pieces such as O'Connor's original In the Cluster Blues and Minor Swing , the musicians tap into a rich motherlode of 20th century cultural experience.

Tickets for MARK O’CONNOR’S HOT SWING TRIO are $36, $28, $18.
FAMILY FRIENDLY! All children (12 and under) half price. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.