Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Brien . Bassist. Composer. Educator Michael O’Brien studied bass under Anthony Cox, and West African and Haitian percussion under Marc Anderson. Michael has been performing and composing for over a decade with such notables as Gene Pitney, Dave King, Jeff Kashiwa, Todd Reynolds, Wessel Anderson, David Binney, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Joel Harrison, Marty Haugin, Peter Ostroushko, Christian Howes, John Van Ohlen, Hod O’Brien, Stephanie Nakasian, Dan Weiss, Marc Giuliana, Roseanna Vitro, Daniel Kelly, Marc Anderson, Mary Ellen Childs, Bruce Henry, Laura Caviani, Electropolis, Clay Moore, Daniel Alexander Jones, J. Otis Powell!, Connie Evingson, and Prudence Johnson. His compositions are performed by the acclaimed string quartet Ethel, the Clay Moore trio, the Kelly Rossum Quintet, Electropolis, the April Sellers Dance Collective, and Karen Lyu and Global Jazz. In June of 2004 Michaels’ composition “Pine” was premired by Ethel at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, CT. Ethel debuted “Pine” at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C in January of 2005. Michael has been commissioned by the Jazz is Now Orchestra through the Jerome Foundation. He has had compositions recorded on Kelly Rossums’ “The Party’s Over/Begun” and “Renovation”, Electropolis’ “More Music for Trips”, and Karen Lyu and Global Jazz’s “live”. In 2004 Michael received the New Mexico Music Industry Award for Best Remake with the group New York Louie and Friends. The Kelly Rossum Quintets cd “Renovation” was voted one of the top ten cds released in 2004 by the City Pages. The Star and Tribune voted it one of the top ten local releases and one of the top twenty overalll releases of 2004. The Kelly Rossum Quintet were also nominated for the best acoustic jazz group, and best jazz recording for the 2004 Minnesota Music Awards. Electropolis was nominated for the category of Best New Artist in the 2003 Minnesota Music Awards. O’Brien’s experience includes inter-arts collaborations with The Choreographers Evening in collaboration with Choreographer April Sellers; Three Legged Races’ Summer Blizzard in “La Chanteuse Nubiene” collaborating with playwright Daniel Alexander’ Jones, the Miami production of “Gershwin the Klezmer”; the Illusion Theater’s productions of “Spirit House” and” Another Song About Paris”; composer Mary Ellen Childs’ percussion and choreography piece, “Crash”, the Zorongo Flamenco dance company, and collaborations with the poet J. Otis Powell! Michael has performed at the IAJE (International Jazz Educators conference), PASIC (Percussive Arts Societies International Convention), American Composers Forums’ Sonic Circuits Festival, the Musica Mundi Choir festival and competition, the LaCrosse Jazz Festival, and the Twin Cities’ Hot Summer Jazz Festival. He has appeared in numerous recordings including; “Follow Me Follow my Groove” New York Louie and Friends, “The Partys’ Over/Begun” and “Renovation” Kelly Rossum, “More Music for Trips” Electropolis, “Live” Karen Lyu and Global Jazz. Michael has recorded on many radio and television commercials most recently for Northwest Airlines. He has also performed on MPRs’ “Prairie Home Companion”, the Twin Cities Public Television series “Quarter Notes”. Michael O’Brien teaches pnvately at the West Bank School of Music, Water Music, and substitute teaches at Music Tech. Michael teaches ensemble classes at MusicTechs’ Summer Workshops, has lectured at the College of St. Mary’s, and was Guest Artist-in- Residency with the Minneapolis Public Schools.