About the Quintet
In the same way a chef de cuisine runs a kitchen, percussionist Brian O’Neill leads a team of five musical creators who deftly collaborate on instruments foreign and domestic to form modernist delicacies for hungry, curious listeners. From the high arts of jazz and chamber music to adaptations of mid-century exotica and pop art, the quintet version of Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica renders O’Neill’s original compositions and curious adaptions of Bach, Gershwin, Shostakovich and John Adams into cinematic, layered music for armchair travelers ready to journey off road.
“If John Zorn is an exotica Picasso, O'Neill is his Georges-Braque counterpart in cubism’s transposition to music.”AllAboutJazz
While the quintet eschews most of the musical forms, rhythms, and styles of the 1950s exotica sound that inspired O’Neill, it fully embraces the unique genre’s love of escapism, whether through deliberate, out-of-context use of global sounds or through jazz improvisation that doesn’t swing and deliberately imitates the rhythm of a skipping record. On the listener’s plate might be equal parts scratch and sniff, bongos with a fugue, and a cat fight at a piano recital. On the stage, the ensemble skillfully negotiates detailed compositions and arrangements of classical works while relying on listening and instinct to drive passionate improvisation.
“No other band on the planet sounds anything remotely like Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica.”Lucid Culture
Thank you for a wonderful performance. The music was delightful, different, mesmerizing and exquisitely entertaining; the playing was masterful! You and your band were a pleasure to work with. John ChicherioHuntington Arts Council (NY)
Wish I was still presentinglove this stuff.Hank KnerrExecutive Director, IUP Lively Arts (Retired)
Those in our audience who didn’t know what to expect were pleasantly surprised. My favorite characteristic of the concert was the variety of moods and colors created by the Orchestrotica’s unique instrumentation, and those in the audience who knew what to expect seemed very happy as well.Derek KwanLied Center of Kansas
Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica was the perfect choice to kick off our Eclectic Music Festival series. Our public library audience enjoyed an excellent performance and appreciated the insightful commentary Mr. O’Neill provided for each piece. Bravo!Chet Mulawka, Manager San Mateo County Library/San Carlos
The Orchestrotica’s quintet came as something of a surprise to our outdoor crowd seated in the grass, but by the time they finished, they had won over pretty much everyone there with their fascinating and original music!Gregory Jenkins, Director Somerville Arts Council