Jay O'Brien Bio

jay O'Brien


Innovative Percussion Artist 2015 – Present




New Jersey City University: 2004 – 2006

Masters of Music Performance


The College of New Jersey: 2000 – 2004

Bachelors of Music Performance 





Passaic County Community College, adjunct professor: 2007 – Present

Music appreciation, plan lectures and lessons, 

collaborate on faculty recitals and master classes specifically on mallet instruments



Gramercy Band Camp Coach: 2023- present

Coordinate and teach multiple students and ensembles for the Gramercy Band Camp at Montclair State University


The Lawrenceville School:2021 – Present

Percussion instructor


St. Mary’s Elementary School: 2012 – Present

Music lessons and band coordinator,, collaborate performances with 

the band director, plan and schedule private lessons



Paterson Music Project 2021 – Present

Percussion Ensemble Director, Coordinate percussion across multiple ensemble, 

design curriculum, teach all percussion students privately and in group



Private Personal Studio (post Covid) 2020-Present

Consistently coordinates lessons, recordings, and instrument access from his personal studio. 



Tenafly High School 2018 – 2022

Assistant Marching Band Director, Percussion coordinator, caption head,

and percussion ensemble director, mallet and battery arranger

This year in conjunction with the music staff I have created a distance learning course 

focusing on early level percussionists with individual instruction and feedback.  



Scherzo Music Studio 2014 – 2023

Private lessons for all age groups from five to adult including early piano, mallets,

theory, history, percussion, all courses have been moved to remote/online/distance learning

due to COVID-19



Bridgewater-Raritan High School Marching Band: 2003 – 2014

Percussion director:

Responsible for the education of all percussionists in the marching band, 

collaborate to create an appropriate cohesive percussion curriculum and design



The Music Gallery: 2006-2012

Private lessons for all age groups




Performance Experience:


DCI System Blue Performers Showcase All Age Mallet Competition

Champion: 2020,2021


Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corp



Charu Suri Trio: 2018 – Present

Debuted in Carnegie Hall Dec 2019, recorded two albums on drumset, toured Miami,

regular NYC performances, Birdland


Party Percussion: In the Mood DJ’s,  Tyler Ross DJ, Hot Party Entertainment


Featured Marimba and Vibraphone soloist: 2017, 2024

Featured Soloist with the Teaneck Community Band 2017

Featured Soloist with the Ramsey Wind Ensemble 2024



NJMEA 2017 Percussion Repair

NY PAS All Star Party Percussion Ensemble


Tri-State area percussionist: 

Has played with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony, Brooklyn Metro Orchestra, Brooklyn String Orchestra

Princeton Symphony Orchestra BRAVO! Percussion Trio Member, 

Garden State Percussion Trio Member

Off Broadway at Theatre Row Performed on timpani, drumset, mallets, 

and other orchestral percussion with: 2007 – Present

Mannheim Steamroller, Gary and Arthur Topilow and The Irish Tenors 

in various venues in NJ, including the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

Performed with numerous orchestras and theatres in NJ and NYC.  

This includes The Di Capo Theatre in Manhattan,

Bravo Percussion Trio as part of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, 

One World Symphony, Brooklyn Metro Chamber Orchestra,

Axelrod Performing Arts Center,New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, 

The Count Basie in Red Bank NJ, The Strand Theatre in Lakewood NJ, 

The Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, 


Marimba soloist with the Teaneck Community Band 2017


Drummer for Le Scandal at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42 St. NYC 2016 – 2017


Principal Timpanist with The New Jersey City University Orchestra: 2004 – 2006

Winner of the The College of New Jersey Orchestra Concerto competition: 2004

Routinely performs across the northern hemisphere with SilverTree Productions 2006 – Present

in an engaging and hi-energy percussion show. Was the lead in the production

in Oklahoma in 2014, and in Denver in 2015



Production Design Experience:



Show Designer and Wind and Percussion Arranger:

Tenafly High School 2018 – Present

Bethel High (New England 2020 Class 2A Champions) 2019 – Present



Musical Arranger and percussionist  for CAMP! The Musical 2019 – Present

Originally scheduled to be Off-Broadway in July 2020, I wrote the drum book and 

arranged the scores for the musical. Winner of Best Off Broadway Musical



Wrote, produced, and performed in:

Recycle This a 25 minute high-energy percussion show at Six Flags Great 2007 – 2008

Adventure in Jackson NJ

Designed the show, set, costumes,

Communicated with management about all needs of the cast and crew

Directed and performed in the show

Hired and managed cast