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Michael O'Brien holds a B.A from the University of Minnesota with a major in the Spanish language. He studied bass under Anthony Cox, and West African and Haitian percussion under Marc Anderson. He has been performing and composing Internationally for over a decade with such notables as Harry Connick Jr., Ruben Blades, The Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Gene Pitney, Dave Samuels, Dave King, Matt Wilson, Sachal Vasandani, Ted Nash, Sandro Albert, Lady Rizo, Joshua Breakstone, Elliot Zigmund, Ron Afiff, Todd Reynolds, Wessel Anderson, David Binney, Ari Hoenig, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Joel Harrison, Christian Howes,  Peter Apfelbaum, Robert Rodriguez, Dan Weiss, Marc Giuliana, Luba Mason, Paul Bollenback, and Oriente Lopez to name a few.  Michael has performed in festivals such as the Lincoln Center Festival, IAJE (International Jazz Educators conference), PASIC (Percussive Arts Societies International Convention), American Composers Forums' Sonic Circuits Festival. His string quartet arrangement of "Pine" was performed at the Kennedy Center by the acclaimed string quartet Ethel.  Michael has taught clinics and performed master classes throughout the United States and in Europe.

Michael O'Brien plays the Eminence Portable Upright Bass, Codabow's Infinity French bow, uses the Applied Microphone Technologies (AMT) microphone, and plays D'addario Zyex Strings.