Jim O'Briant grew up in Missouri and Iowa. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Music Education and Composition.
He was a member of the Bettendorf Park Band in Bettendorf, Iowa, beginning in 1977, and was the band's Conductor from 1980 - 1988.
Beginning in 1994, he played Eb Bass in <a href=http://www.pacificbrassband.org/>The Pacific Brass Band</a>, and has subsequently written a number of arrangements for that group. He became Conductor of the Pacific Brass Band in 2014.
Since 1998 he has been principal tubist and occasional guest conductor with the <a href=http://southvalleysymphony.org/>South Valley Symphony Orchestra</a>.