Nashville-born singer-songwriter, mandolinist, and guitarist Forrest O’Connor has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Kenny Loggins, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Alison Brown, Melissa Ferrick, Carl Jackson, and his dad, fiddler Mark O'Connor. A former Tennessee state mandolin champion (2014), O’Connor has embarked on numerous national tours over the last several years with the critically acclaimed Appalachian Christmas program as well as with his own duo, Wisewater, featuring vocalist and fiddler Kate Lee.
O’Connor co-founded Wisewater with Lee in early 2014, and it wasn’t long before they got their first break. Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier (whose songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett and Tim McGraw, among others) saw Wisewater’s first music video for one of O’Connor’s original songs, “What Have I Been Saying?”, and invited them to join her on The Grand Ole Opry that spring. Since then, the duo has been touring consistently, headlining venues like The Station Inn (Nashville, TN) and Club Passim (Cambridge, MA) and sharing the stage with a variety of artists, including Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, and Judah & The Lion.
Wisewater’s debut EP, The Demonstration, was released in November 2014 and reached #13 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts. Hailed as “strong and memorable” by The Nashville Scene, the EP’s five original songs highlight O’Connor and Lee’s tight harmonies as well as catchy, accessible melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and a wide range of acoustic textures.
O’Connor and Lee have recently teamed up with Mark and Maggie O’Connor, national flatpick champion Joe Smart, and bassist Geoff Saunders to form the O’Connor Family Band, which is releasing its first full-length album in summer 2016 on Rounder Records via the Concord Music Group.
O’Connor graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Sociomusicology from Harvard University in 2010. The summer after graduation, he teamed up with Irish button accordion champion Dan Gurney to launch Concert Window, Inc., a leading webcasting platform for musicians that has reached more than 1.5 million viewers globally and has been featured on TED as well as in The Examiner, TechCrunch, and The Boston Herald. O’Connor is also an avid videographer, having directed and filmed more than 15 music videos (totaling in excess of 125,000 views on YouTube as of early 2016) for various artists over the last couple years.