Zak McConnell passes

zakZak McConnell, founder of The Fiddleheads, a Georgia-based progressive string band, passed away suddenly earlier this week. He was 26 years old, and died on Tuesday (October 29) from what is believed to have been a heart problem. A heart murmur had been previously diagnosed, but Zak had been otherwise healthy.

He had founded the band in 2009 while a student at North Georgia College in Dahlonega after encountering the music of Chris Thile turned him from the guitar to the mandolin. They came to the attention of the producers of America’s Got Talent on NBC, were invited to audition, and ultimately made it into the show’s finals.

The Fiddleheads released an album, Goodbye L.A., in 2012. Other band members include Michael Wallace on guitar, Trygve Meyers on bass, Jake Larios on banjo, and Adam Kersh on vocals. They have canceled all band activity for the immediate future.

McConnell was studying for his Masters degree in Business Administration when he passed. A funeral is scheduled for Saturday (November 2) at 11:00 a.m. at Dahlonega Baptist Church.

Family members will receive visitors this afternoon at Banister Funeral Home in Dahlonega from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-9:00 p.m.

He is remembered as a brilliant and dedicated musician, looking to start a career in music business.

Rest in Peace, Zak McConnell. Bluegrass Today extends our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, band, and the music community of North Georgia.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.