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A four-time recipient of the “Jazz Writer of the Year” award from SESAC, the performing rights organization, O’Connell is on the jazz faculty of Rutgers University. As a member of a small fraternity of non-Latinos who have made significant contributions to the Latin jazz movement of recent decades, his importance cannot be overstated. As longtime associate Dave Valentín points out, “I’ve never heard him take a bad solo. He’s also a wonderful comper. Some pianists are good in one area but weak in the other. Bill is a master of both.” And, as his illustrious career vividly illustrates, O’Connell is also a master of myriad music idioms and an endless range of sophisticated keyboard and arranging skills.