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Brian O’Neill: Eclectic Percussionist, Drummer, and Composer

Boston, MA
Twitter: @orchestrotica

“…percussion master and musical polymath…” Boston Phoenix

“Brian O'Neill isn't just a great musician, he's also a first-rate composer.”—Tony Sachs, Huffington Post

“…If John Zorn is an exotica Picasso, O'Neill is his Georges-Braque counterpart in cubism's transposition to music...and may be...a stronger exoticist than Zorn.…” —Gordon Marshall, AllAboutJazz

Performance Highlights

Press for Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica

2012 Best World Music Act: “…a rigorous classical-jazz hybrid; are you listening Keith Lockhart?…” Boston Phoenix

“…deliciously entertaining…” Wall Street Journal

2011 Rising Star Big Band: “…incredible musicianship and artistic direction…” —Frank Alyer, DOWNBEAT

“…incredible precision and passion [at the Montreal Jazz Festival]…” JazzIz

Ensembles: Jazz, world, chamber, eclectic, & pop

Ensembles: Orchestral (section percussion sub list unless otherwise noted)

Ensembles: Musical Theater (drumset & percussion)

Ensembles: Choral

Various performances with:

About The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel

“…4 stars…exquisite attention to details” Sunday Times London

2 of the Top 10 Albums for 2011 Huffington Post

Licensed for play in in 7,000 Starbucks worldwide

“…the perfect soundtrack for your space-age bachelor pad…” WNYC


Notable Film, TV & Radio

Recent Awards

Teaching & Masterclasses

Electronics/Digital Music Production

Earlier Performances (Arizona, 1995-1999)


  • Sun Cities Symphony of the West Valley (Sun City, AZ): winner of the 1999 Jennings Butterfield Young Artist Competition with Ney Rosauro’s Concerto for Vibraphone and Orchestra, Spring 1999
  • Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (Flagstaff, AZ): principal percussion, 1997-1999; section percussion, 1995-1997
  • Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (Flagstaff, AZ): student representative for the Orchestra Committee, 1998-1999
  • Flagstaff Festival of the Arts Orchestra (Flagstaff, AZ): section percussion, Summer 1997
  • Man of La Mancha Pit Orchestra (Northern Arizona University Performing Arts Presentations, professional production in Flagstaff, AZ) percussion, May-Jun 1997
  • Arizona Opera Company (Flagstaff, AZ): section percussion for Wagner’s "Ring Cycle" Orchestra, May-Jun 1996, May-Jun 1998
  • Northern Arizona University Centennial Celebration Orchestra (Flagstaff, AZ): section percussion, Jun 1998
  • Sun City Symphony Orchestra (Sun City, AZ): substitute percussionist, Feb 1997-1999
  • Master Chorale of Flagstaff (Flagstaff, AZ): section percussion, Dec 1995, Dec 1996, Dec 1997
  • Mesa Symphony Orchestra (Mesa, AZ): substitute percussionist, 1995 -July 1996

Education and Professional Affiliations