|November 20, 2016: MarsJazz bids a fond farewell to a wonderful pianist and an even better human being in Hod O'Brien. Hod and his wife Stephanie Nakasian were two of my first artists when I started my career as a booking agent. My heart goes out to Steph and their daughter Veronica Swift O'Brien as they absorb and process the loss of a beloved husband, father, and musical partner. Veronica was 1st Runner-Up in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition this year. I know how proud Hod was of her, and how much Veronica loved and learned from him.
I hope Hod is up there now, jamming with his musician friends who passed on before him. Vaya con Dios, Hod. We will miss you.
HOD O'BRIEN begsn recording in the '50's (with Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Oscar Pettiford, among others) in a pure bebop style that had reviewers like Nat Hentoff and Ira Gitler singing his praises. Following a trio of live CDs recorded by Reservoir at DC's venerable Blues Alley with Ray Drummond and Kenny Washington, Hod toured Japan with pianists Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut, Cedar Walton and others as part of the prestigious 100 Golden Fingers tour, and was featured on Marian McPartland's NPR show Piano Jazz. Hod was also Stephanie Nakasian's beloved musical mentor and spouse, and often accompanied her on her concerts, or featured her as guest on his.
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