Kevin O'Connor is already a familiar voice to listeners after spending several years as a fill-in host. He got his start unwittingly while attending Boise State University for journalism. With his passion for reporting, he started an internship at KBSU in Boise and fell in love with radio, leading him eventually to Minnesota Public Radio as a part-time classical host. He now joins us as a permanent full-time member of the on-air team.
While growing up in San Francisco, O'Connor was exposed to classical music by his outspoken, rock-hating, yet classical- and jazz-loving, dad. He didn't share his father’s purism, but he did learn a lot about records and artists. While in high school, he moved to Boise, a city with impressive commercial classical and jazz stations. His father and boisterous Irish uncles would often noisily debate what was to be played on the turntable. Among the three brothers, and depending on the mood of the day, it wavered among Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson and Gordon Lightfoot.
O'Connor's career arc seemed to follow suit, spinning and selling classical, jazz, folk and pop music on the radio for the past three decades. His favorite artists include J.S. Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Charles Mingus, Erik Satie and Maria Schneider. For the past 27 years, he has served as music director and afternoon host at Minneapolis’ Jazz88 (88.5 KBEM-FM).
When not on the air, he is an avid cyclist and hiker who loves hanging out with his dog, Sadie. While his kids are grown, he still spends a lot of time with them between studying visual art and writing. He also is trying to curb his time on social media.
“I look forward to sharing stories behind the composers and artists with listeners,” he says. “I've been blessed with the opportunity to have that springboard already, but I'm looking forward to honing my craft.”
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