James (Jim) O'Dell earned his B.S. in music education from Southern Oregon University and his M.M. in low brass performance from the University of Oregon. He completed a doctoral residency at Arizona State University and has studied with Daniel Perantoni, Samuel Pilafian, Stuart Turner, David Caffey, and Jeffrey Williams.
O’Dell has given tours and performances with groups such as the Jazz Composers' Alliance Orchestra, the Eugene Symphony Orchestra (Oregon), the Rogue Valley Symphony, the University of Oregon, and Mansfield University Faculty Brass Quintets, Orange then Blue, and the Shrim Klezmer Orchestra. He is conductor and music director of the Concord Band and associate director of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, and past music director of the Middlesex Concert Band, and Southeastern Massachusetts Community Concert Band. O’Dell is the founder of the New England Collegiate Jazz Festival and co-founder of the Boston Tuba Quartet and Brass Consortium.
O’Dell’s former positions include music division director and twice interim academic dean at Boston Conservatory, director of the Festival Jazz Ensemble at MIT, director of bands and university music organizations at Boston University, director of bands and professor of tuba and euphonium at Mansfield University (Pennsylvania), and assistant director of bands at Phoenix College (Arizona). He has taught all areas of instrumental music in the Oregon public schools and served as supervisor of instrumental music for the Chelsea Public Schools (Boston University/Chelsea partnership). He is also a former president and vice president of the New England College Band Association (NECBA), served on the executive board of MAJE chairing the jazz competition contest, and serves a a frequent adjudicator and clinician for MICCA, MAJE, UNH Clark Terry Jazz Festival, and Heritage Festivals.