O'Connor, John A. | University of Illinois Archives

Name: O'Connor, John A.

Historical Note: John O'Connor was an Extension Assosicate Professor of Continuing Education in the Music Office, and Medicare 7, 8 or 9 cornetist (1968-1983). John O'Connor joined the University of Illinois School of Music in 1967. In November 1969 John O'Connor, with Dan Perrino, brought together a group of faculty with experience in Dixieland Jazz to perform in the south lounge of the University Illini Union building, known at the time at as the "free speech area." The effort was motivated by a desire to strengthen communications between an unrestful student body and faculty. This concert, called "Dialog in Dixieland Jazz," attracted 500 persons and Medicare 7, 8 or 9 was born. John O'Connor was a member of Medicare 7, 8 or 9 until 1983, performing across the country to spread the band's message of using music as communication. Without rehearsing, the band engaged with dialogue with audience members to the music to be played, its key and its arrangement. John O'Connor was also active with the Jimmy Dorsey Band, Barnum and Bailey Circus, Ice Capades, Orrin Tucker, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and the National Jazz Educators Association.

Box 1, Folder 1: "Dixieland Dialogue" pamphlets, March 1973

Gilmore, Nancy. The Magic of Medicare 7, 8 or 9 and all that Jazz. Champaign: Sagamore Publishing, 1993.

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