"Anything but straightforward."
- Washington Post
Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Featuring: Brian O'Neill, vibes, percussion, compositions, arranging
Geni Skendo, flute, bass flute, shakuhachi
Brad Barrett, bass
Jeremy Smith, percussion
Tev Stevig, resonator guitar, oud, tanbur
2012 Best World Music Act"—Boston Phoenix
This concert will feature new music from the quintet's 2013 album, Where Here Meets There, and new compositions from Kyrgyzstan and beyond!
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 leadingAllAboutJazz 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.