Saxophonist/Composer/Educator Dr. Tim O’Dell teaches studio jazz and classical saxophone, Introduction to Jazz, Music Appreciation and History and coaches chamber ensembles at the University of Southern Maine. O'Dell holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa (1999), a Master of Music degree with Honors in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music (1992) and a Bachelor of Music degree with Honors in Saxophone Performance with a Jazz Emphasis from the University of Iowa (1990). At Iowa Tim studied saxophone with Ronald Tyree and Paul Scea and composition with Donald Martin Jenni. At NEC he studied composition with Jimmy Giuffre, William Thomas McKinley and George Russell and saxophone with Kenneth Radnofsky and George Garzone.
Dr. O’Dell moved to Maine in 2001 from the Chicago scene where he performed at such premier venues as the Jazz Showcase, the Chicago Cultural Center and the Hot House with some of the city's finest musicians and recently released his third album as a leader for Chicago's Southport record label. As a Southport recording artist, O'Dell has received glowing, national acclaim (see Reviews) and his recordings have been broadcast on radio stations around the world. His 2005 Ancient Pines CD, featuring Tim’s composing and improvising with Chicago musicians Tatsu Aoki and Ryan Shultz, has been widely acclaimed critically as was Tim’s 2001 Southport release, Before My Life, which features ten of O'Dell's diverse compositions for jazz sextet. In 1998, he was the saxophonist on the popular Southport CD, Finally Elijah, featuring vocalist Elijah Levi and in that year Tim also released Live in Iowa City with the Chicago-based Red Fire Ant Trio. Dr. O'Dell's latest Southport CD, Dreams of Pangaea, an entire album devoted to Tim’s large jazz ensemble compositions, was released in 2009.
An exceptionally versatile saxophonist with extensive training in both classical and jazz idioms, Tim has performed professionally in myriad genres - from symphony orchestras to Cuban bands to urban funk bands to classical chamber ensembles to (many) jazz bands - and has done so in New York, Miami, Boston, Chicago, throughout the Midwest and greater New England. O'Dell has had the pleasure of performing with many renowned musicians such as Danilo Perez, Tim Hagans, George Garzone, Cuong Vu, Louis Bellson, Wycliffe Gordon, David Berkman, John Carlson, Gunther Schuller, Mick Rossi, Willie Pickens, Muhal Richard Abrams, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Bill McHenry, Tatsu Aoki, George Russell and The Temptations.
From 1993-2001 Dr. O'Dell was Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone at Augustana College in Illinois. Prior to Augustana, O'Dell held graduate teaching assistantships at the New England Conservatory (Founder/Director of the Jazz Composer's Ensemble) and at the University of Iowa (Jazz Studies and Saxophone). In addition to his current duties at USM, Tim is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator and maintains a thriving saxophone and composition studio out of his home in Brunswick, Maine where he lives with his wife and two sons.