Sean J. O’Connell has written about the vibrant history of music in California for publications such as the Los Angeles Times, DownBeat Magazine and the LA Weekly. As the jazz correspondent for KPCC’s "Off-Ramp" program, he paid house calls to musicians such as Big Jay McNeely and Anthony Wilson. His 2014 photographic history book Los Angeles’s Central Avenue Jazz was culled from his personal collection of historic photos, matchbooks and 78s.
O’Connell earned his bachelor’s degree in Ethnomusicology at UCLA after graduating from the Orange County High School of the Arts. After nearly two decades into a journalism career that had brought him from Cape Town to Tokyo to Bakersfield, O’Connell completed his master’s degree at the Bob Cole Conservatory where he focused his thesis on Duke Ellington’s unexpected year as an Angeleno.