The Jamie O’Reilly Trio


 “Poetry and music may share a lineage, and centuries of influencing one another, but each seems heightened when they come together as harmoniously as they do in the work of Jamie O’Reilly and Michael P. Smith. Music takes life in the world of images and words, and poetry, led by strings and embodied in sonorous voice, finds a way more readily, more surely into the invisible, indelible reaches of the heart.”

Stephen Young
The Poetry Foundation

Music triggers memories of rainy days, spring afternoons, endless summer nights and winter snows. We think of places: gardens, cafes, subway trains, narrow, foreign streets and Sundays in the park. We think of lovers and strangers, of passion and regret, of falling in love and saying goodbye…The Jamie O’Reilly Trio performs and you remember.

“They certainly know their way around an Irish folk tune, but they are adventurous song stylists and perform material from musical theater, cabaret, the American Songbook and other sources.” 

Chicago Sun Times

The Trio features Jamie as the vocalist singing parlor songs, old-style cabaret, story ballads, traditional and original folk music. Composer Michael Smith contributes songs that highlight Jamie’s vocal range. The Trio of seasoned musicians – Michael (Smith), Peter Swenson and special guest Bob Weber – perform masterfully on solos and ensemble pieces, creating a unified and polished sound.  Read about Bob Weber here.  Michael accompanies on a Martin guitar.  Peter Swenson plays a classical guitar and lute.  Both Peter and Michael contribute to the musical arrangements. Read Jamie’s full bio. 

Hear the Trio perform Red is the Rose, with John Floeter on bass, on the Souvenir recording

“Heard you and your wonderful trio on the Midnight Special. Your voice and the harmony could not have been more beautiful.”

Highland Park, IL 

The Trio’s programs have included

  • Songs of a Catholic Childhood – Jamie and Michael’s signature program with Peter on guitar
  • Homecoming songs in Spanish and English, honoring Latin American music, poetry
  • And The Poet Sangsong settings of poems
  • The Parlor Concertfolk-songs, Irish ballads, original material, also with piano
  • The Fire and Smoke Cabaret – old-world style torch songs, gypsy ballads, love songs, anthems.
  • Songpainting: Songwriters Illuminate the Masterpieces –Jamie sings with an ensemble of guitars and strings, woodwinds and celestial harmonies. An ephemeral pastiche of songs and art from the hit show Hello Dali, seen at Victory Gardens Theater in 2000.
  • Gift of the Magi – Christmas show, words & music by Michael

poster design by Grace Amandes
photos by Iwona Biedermann