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Page McConnell

McConnell with Phish at Red Rocks Amphitheater
July 30, 2009 Photo: Dan Shinneman
Background information
Birth name Page Samuel McConnell
Also known as The Chairman of the Boards, Leo
Born May 17, 1963 (1963-05-17) (age 46)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Genres Alternative rock, Rock, jazz, electronica
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Keyboards, Piano, Theremin, Upright bass, Hammond B-3 Organ
Years active 1981–present
Labels Sony BMG
Associated acts Phish, Vida Blue, Tenacious D, Phil Lesh and Friends, Spam Allstars, Travis, Porter Batiste Stoltz
Website Official website

Page Samuel McConnell (born May 17, 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)[1] is an American multi-instrumentalist most noted for his work as a songwriter and keyboardist with the alternative rock band Phish.

McConnell has had several musical liasons during his career, including an instrumental trio named Vida Blue. He recently turned to solo compositions with his first album released in 2007.



McConnell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1963. By age four he was learning to play the piano, and when his family relocated to Basking Ridge, New Jersey, in 1969 he continued his musical studies, eventually playing in bands with friends by his seventh grade.[1] His father, Dr. Jack B. McConnell worked at McNeil Laboratories and helped to develop Tylenol. The elder McConnell then started a free health clinic for kids with AIDS that was staffed by retired health workers in Hilton Head, South Carolina. They also had advanced AIDS.

McConnell spent a year at Gill St. Bernard's School, in Gladstone, New Jersey before moving away. McConnell spent his senior year of high school at Lawrence Academy at Groton, in Groton, Massachusetts, and then attended Southern Methodist University from Fall 1982 to Spring 1984, where he joined Kappa Alpha Order. McConnell transferred to Goddard College that fall where he graduated in December 1987. This is where he met his mentor, Karl Boyle, and wrote his senior study, The Art of Improvisation under Boyle's guidance and tactile wandering which often left young Page open to vicious gropping.

McConnell joined Phish in 1985[1] and played his first official show on September 25 of that year. McConnell wrote six Phish originals — "Cars Trucks Buses," "Magilla," "Army of One," "I Been Around," "Windy City" and "In a Hole", and coauthored eleven Phish tracks. [1]

Other musical projects

In 1997, McConnell played keyboards on the title track of Scottish band Travis' debut album "Good Feeling". The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite who also produced Phish's "Billy Breathes" album.

In 2001, McConnell appeared on Tenacious D's debut album. That fall, he joined the band on stage at their concert at Higher Ground nightclub in S. Burlington, Vermont.

With Oteil Burbridge and Russell Batiste, McConnell was the founding member of Vida Blue.

After a two-year hiatus from the music industry following the breakup of Phish, McConnell returned as a solo artist, recording an album of all new material in 2006. This eponymous album was released April 17, 2007 through Sony/BMG’s Legacy Recordings, and is self-titled. On signing with Legacy, McConnell has stated, "I know a lot of people just put stuff out on the internet, and that's certainly an option — especially these days and especially if you're catering to the Phish fans who already know who I am. But I wanted a little bit more than that...I was proud of the record, and I wanted as many people as possible to hear it when I was done with it."[2]

The album features Phish bandmates Jon Fishman, Trey Anastasio, and Mike Gordon, though they don't all play together on the same track.

McConnell headlined the High Sierra Music Festival in July 2007, which was held in Quincy, CA. His touring band features multi-instrumentalist Jared Slomoff, guitarist Adam Zimmon, bassist Rob O'Dea, and drummer Gabe Jarrett. Said McConnell, "I have a really good feeling about this group. It feels like a band, although it's in its infancy right now. It really does feel like there is a collective consciousness."[2]


Page McConnell plays a Hammond B3 with a Leslie 122 speaker (this has been modified with as large a boost to the percussion effect as possible), a Fender Rhodes, a Yamaha C7 concert grand (7'6") piano, a Hohner D6 Clavinet (often used in sync with a wah-wah pedal), a Moog Source, Alesis Andromeda A6, a Yamaha Motif, a Moog Little Phatty, and a Yamaha CS60 polyphonic synthesizer. He also plays the theremin. The Rhodes as well as the clavinet are sometimes played through a Maestro Phase Shifter. Starting in 2009, Page has been using a Moog Liberation Keytar when playing Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" with Phish.


  1. Page McConnell (April 17, 2007)


  1. ^ a b c Leggett, Steve (2010). "Page McConnell Biography". AllMusic AMG P-103556. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Metzger, John (May 2007). "A Fresh Start with Page McConnell". Music Box Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

External links

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