"2012 Best World Music Act"—Boston Phoenix

Referencing the exotica of composers ranging from Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich to George Gershwin, Martin Denny, and John Adams, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica—as a vibraphone quintet—performs global jazz and exotic chamber music with world-music flavors sourced from Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Latin America. Led by multi-percussionist, vibraphonist and composer Brian O’Neill, the group also features bass flute/woodwinds (Geni Skendo), percussion (Shane Shanahan), acoustic bass (Brad Barrett), and oud/tanbur/resonator guitar (Tev Stevig). The quintet focuses on original music written by O'Neill ("a first-rate composer"—Huffington Post) that is highly influenced by his fifteen-year career as a multi-percussionist in symphony orchestras, jazz groups, and world music ensembles leading AllAboutJazz to say, "…if John Zorn is an exotica Picasso, O'Neill is his Georges-Braque counterpart in cubism's transposition to music." The Orchestrotica was named the 2012 "Best World Music Act" in the Boston Phoenix's annual readers' poll.

In June 2011, they released their debut CD as a quartet, Third River Rangoon, which was described by the Boston Herald as “…serious jazz and chamber-music writing…” and cited as one of the Huffington Post’s Top 10 Albums for 2011. Their sophomore album, Where Here Meets There, was released in 2013, called “Wonderful!” by JazzWeekly, and named one of the Best Albums of 2013 by Panamerika. Both albums are part of the groups Exotica for Modern Living series, which began in 2010 with the big band’s debut recording, The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel. That album received “4 Stars” from the Sunday London Times and was called “incredible” by Downbeat. “No other band on the planet sounds anything remotely like Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica,” says Lucid Culture.

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Core Performers

  • Brian O'Neill (vibes, percussion, compositions, arranging)
  • Geni Skendo (flute, bass flute, shakuhachi)
  • Brad Barrett (bass)
  • Shane Shanahan (percussion)
  • Tev Stevig: (oud, tanbur, plucked strings)

Other Performers

  • Oud: Brandon Terzic, Nima Janmohammadi, Thomas Chess, Dafer Tawil
  • Percussion: Noriko Terada (original percussionist), Jon Singer
  • Bass: George Rush, Carlo de Rosa

Video credits from January 2011 YMCA show: Mattia Palombi, Luis Rincón, and Arturo R. Jiménez (camera). Klon Koehler, Bernat Fortiana (sound).

Listen Free

Chiseling Music B. O'Neill 5:41 From the 2013 release, Where Here Meets There
Ritual Mallet Dance Brian O'Neill, M. de Falla, D. Gillespie, C. Pozo 6:53
Prelude for Piano III G. Gershwin 2:43
Third River Rangoon By Mr. Ho 4:36 Download it free + 5 more MP3s
Autumn Digging Dance By Mr. Ho 3:12 From the 2011 release, Third River Rangoon
Colorado Waltz By Cal Tjader 4:22 Download it free + 5 more MP3s

Quartet/Quintet Albums

Item/Catalog # Description Price PayPal

(NEW) 12" Vinyl:
Where Here Meets There

he vinyl off the press from Furnace Mfg. Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There
Tiki-003-LP
(Nov. 19, 2013)

(NEW) 12" Limited Edition Vinyl:
Where Here Meets There

  • 12" 180-gram (33 1/3 RPM) virgin vinyl audiophile-grade release (lacquers cut at Masterdisk in NYC)
  • Includes free Digital Download card (FLAC files. MP3/WAV on request when you buy from this website.)
  • Limited First Edition Pressing (300 copies). Includes custom artwork, color insert featuring technical recording information, and special liner notes
  • Choose black or red vinyl (red only available from Orchestrotica.com)
  • Limit 2 copies per order/shipment
  • All sales are final (no returns or exchanges on vinyl except in extreme circumstances of severely scratched/unplayable records)
$30

(NEW) CD:
Where Here Meets There

Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There Where Here Meets There
Tiki-003
(Nov. 19, 2013)

(NEW) CD: Where Here Meets There

Shipping starts at $3.50. International shipping and large orders may be more (you will be contacted first). Download free on request; just email us after your order.

$14

Download FLAC/WAV/MP3:
Where Here Meets There

The only website to offer CD-quality, lossless FLAC and WAV files! You will be sent a Dropbox link to get the files, usually within 1-2 hours of purchase. You can get the album for just $8 with the purchase of the album poster below (limited time).

$10

Buying downloads from our site, Orchestrotica.com, gets you CD-quality digital files for $10. Amazon, iTunes and other retailers' audio files are lower quality and they also take large commissions, keeping as much as 30% or more of our sales. The best way to support the Orchestrotica is by purchasing from us directly (safely via PayPal). Feel free to use the links below or close the dialog and buy from us.

iTunes | Amazon | Bandcamp | Buy from us:

(NEW) Album Poster
Where Here Meets There

Where Here Meets There

(NEW) Poster (16x20) - Where Here Meets There

Limited Edition of 100

3-color screenprint on French Paper Construction (100lb cover weight) in Nightshift Blue (navy-ish). Limited to 100 copies, each of which are individually numbered. Due to the nature of the screenprinting process, each print is unique and may differ slightly from the one pictured. Designed by Javier Garcia.

US Shipping: $7. International shipping charges apply.

$20
(ships 12/1/13)

Third River Rangoon

CD - Third River Rangoon (May 2011) CD Cover and Back - Third River Rangoon (May 2011) CD Disc - Third River Rangoon (May 2011)
Tiki-002
(May 2011)

CD: Third River Rangoon

The second album in our Exotica for Modern Living series by our global jazz/exotic chamber music quartet.

Shipping starts at $3.50. International shipping and large orders may be more (you will be contacted first). Download free on request; just email us after your order.

$12

Download it: Third River Rangoon

The only website to offer CD-quality, lossless M4A files! You will be sent a Dropbox link to get the files, usually within 1-2 hours of purchase.

$8

Buying downloads from our site, Orchestrotica.com, gets you CD-quality digital files for $10. Amazon, iTunes and other retailers' audio files are lower quality and they also take large commissions, keeping as much as 30% or more of our sales. The best way to support the Orchestrotica is by purchasing from us directly (safely via PayPal). Feel free to use the links below or close the dialog and buy from us.

iTunes | Amazon | Bandcamp | Buy from us:

More CDs in our online store

Brian O'Neill: Artistic Director, Percussionist, Composer

Brian O'Neill

Brian O'Neill is a versatile multi-percussionist based in New York City and Boston. A "percussion master and musical polymath" (Boston Phoenix), he has performed in a variety of contexts including opera and classical (South Florida Symphony, Boston Festival Orchestra, Arizona Opera Ring Cycle Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony), as a concert soloist (Sun City Symphony), pop music (Kristin Chenoweth, Donna Summer, Archie Bell, the Del-Larks), and jazz (Bert Seager, Peter Erskine, Wallace Roney, Ernie Watts). While he continues to freelance as an orchestral player and theatre drummer, he has become active in the global music scene performing music from Europe, the Middle East and Latin America regularly. As a multi-percussionist, he performs with his Mexican roots band La Tuza, klezmer-Balkan-Mediterranean hybrid The Klezwoods, The Bert Seager quartet, Mexo-Americana all-stars David Wax Museum, sephardic trio Aljashu, flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual and others.

Brian's musical adventures have brought him to the Montreal Jazz Festival (main stage), Hawaii International Jazz Festival, the prestigious Festival de Mexico, various stages in Japan, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. Currently, he leads a "marvelously flexible" ensemble (Boston Globe) called Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica, which is comprised of two unique ensembles: a vibraphone quartet re-interpreting exotica music from a jazz and classical perspective, and the world's only big band performing Brian's transcriptions of the lost music of Juan Garcia Esquivel, the Mexican arranger and king of space-age-bachelor-pad music. In 2010, his Exotica for Modern Living recording series launched with an homage to Esquivel that received "four stars" from the Sunday Times London and was deemed "deliciously demented and entertaining in equal parts" by the Wall Street Journal. "O'Neill may be, in the long run, a better exoticist than [John] Zorn"—AllAboutJazz

As a double agent, Brian is sometimes spotted on his first, and perhaps the most ubiquitous percussion instrument—the piano—and recently joined the contemporary chamber quartet CORDIS.

Keep up with Brian and learn about his addiction to studying global tambourine techniques at crashandboom.com or on Twitter (@orchestrotica).

Geni Skendo: Bass Flute, Flute, Shakuhachi

Geni Skendo

The Boston Globe calls flute and shakuhachi specialist Geni Skendo a “virtuoso,” creating a unique blend of jazz, free jazz and world music. After a successful performing career in his native Albania, Geni moved to the US in 2003 to raise his jazz playing to a higher level. Studies at the Berklee College of Music and The New England Conservatory (MM) led to a deep, ongoing involvement with the Boston music scene. Geni performs with Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica (Best World Music Act, Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll, 2012), in both its quartet and big-band incarnations. The quartet utilizes Geni’s full palette, while the big band relies heavily on Geni’s powerful bass flute in its recreation of long-lost arrangements by the legendary Mexican arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel. Geni also leads the free improvised chamber music group, Samurai Jazz Trio, consisting of shakuhachi, bass/shamisen and piano. Geni has released three CDs, most recently Acoustic Cowboy, featuring original compositions and new arrangements of songs from Olivier Messiaen, African pygmies and the Balkans.

More at GeniMusic.com

Brad Barrett: Bass

Brad Barrett

Brad Barrett is a highly skilled bassist and has performed virtually all genres of music. His musical stylings and high-level improvisational skills have landed him academic scholarships, tours, and unique performance opportunities in many states as well as Europe and Asia. Brad has recorded with Ran Blake, Bob Moses, Jerry Leake, and Hankus Netsky. He has also performed at the Panama Jazz Festival, Idlywild Jazz Festival, USO Tour (Asia) as well as with a variety of bands over the past 10 years. Brad is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Jazz Improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

More at bradbarrettbass.com

Shane Shanahan: Percussion

Shane Shanahan

Since 2000, percussionist Shane Shanahan has been touring around the globe performing with Yo-Yo Ma as an original member of Grammy-Nominated Silk Road Ensemble. He can also be heard and seen on Mr. Ma's Grammy Award Winning holiday CD/DVD release, "Songs of Joy And Peace." He has performed and/or recorded with Bobby McFerrin, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Deep Purple, Jordi Savall, Sonny Fortune, Fantasia, Chaka Khan, and Glen Velez, among others. He was also one of two featured musicians in Sam Medes’ 2010 Bridge Project.

Shane has been seen/heard on TV and radio throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including appearances on David Letterman, The Colbert Report, and Good Morning America. He has taught and/or presented workshop at universities around the world including Princeton, Harvard, and NYU. Shane has also been very active in the dance and yoga communities in New York. He received his Bachelor's Degree from the Eastman School of Music and his Master's Degree from The Hartt School. Shane’s debut solo album was released in January of 2011.

More at ShaneShanahan.com

Tev Stevig: oud, tanbur, resonator guitar

Tev Stevig

Tev Stevig is a Boston-based guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, specializing in a variety of pluckedstring instruments from the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey. He joined the Orchestrotica's quintet in 2013 and had been playing guitar and steel guitar with the group's 22-pc Esquivel big band since 2011. Tev also performs with his solo/duo project called Jeni Jol, which incorporates elements of music from the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey in his original compositions and arrangements for clawhammer style fretless guitar. Jeni Jol's first CD was released in the fall of 2013 and is the first of an exciting new series of CD releases featuring solo clawhammer style guitar. Tev also plays electric guitar and oud with the klezmer/Balkan/jazz/rock band Klezwoods. He plays tanbur with the Ottoman art music group Orkestra Marhaba and acoustic guitar and oud for the Balkan/new-grass group, Hickory Strings. His musical travels have brought him to the main stage at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Apollonia Festival of Arts in Bulgaria, as well as many other music venues in North America and Europe. He has performed with such seminal Balkan folk artists as Yuri Yunakov, Goran Alachki, Gieorgi Yanev, Adam Good, Beth Cohen, and Walt Mahovlich. He has also performed with Ramon de los Reyes Spanish Dance Theater, Julia Madeson and Aljashu (Sephardic music), Zamir Chorale, and the Turkish art music ensemble, Dunya.

More at tevstevig.com

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Audio

Sansaz B. O'Neill 4:46
Maracatune for Chalco B. O'Neill 7:34
Ritual Mallet Dance B. O'Neill, M. de Falla, D. Gillespie, C. Pozo 6:53
Autumn Digging Dance B. O'Neill 3:12
Prelude for Piano III G. Gershwin 2:43

Quick bio

"2012 Best World Music Act"—Boston Phoenix

Referencing the exotica of composers ranging from Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich to George Gershwin, Martin Denny, and John Adams, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica—as a vibraphone quintet—performs global jazz and exotic chamber music with world-music flavors sourced from Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Latin America. Led by multi-percussionist, vibraphonist and composer Brian O’Neill, the group also features bass flute/woodwinds (Geni Skendo), percussion (Shane Shanahan), acoustic bass (Brad Barrett), and oud/tanbur/resonator guitar (Tev Stevig). The quintet focuses on original music written by O'Neill ("a first-rate composer"—Huffington Post) that is highly influenced by his fifteen-year career as a multi-percussionist in symphony orchestras, jazz groups, and world music ensembles leading AllAboutJazz to say, "…if John Zorn is an exotica Picasso, O'Neill is his Georges-Braque counterpart in cubism's transposition to music." The Orchestrotica was named the 2012 "Best World Music Act" in the Boston Phoenix's annual readers' poll.

In June 2011, they released their debut CD as a quartet, Third River Rangoon, which was described by the Boston Herald as “…serious jazz and chamber-music writing…” and cited as one of the Huffington Post’s Top 10 Albums for 2011. Their sophomore album, Where Here Meets There, was released in 2013, called “Wonderful!” by JazzWeekly, and named one of the Best Albums of 2013 by Panamerika. Both albums are part of the groups Exotica for Modern Living series, which began in 2010 with the big band’s debut recording, The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel. That album received “4 Stars” from the Sunday London Times and was called “incredible” by Downbeat. “No other band on the planet sounds anything remotely like Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica,” says Lucid Culture.

Bio in PDF format

Press Photos & Credits

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Robin Holland
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More photos of Mr. Ho in the big band press kit