Musical Biography

Tom O’Halloran leads his own original

jazz piano trio outfit and conducts orchestras from time to time,

composes experimental music, and plays analogue synthesizers.

In 2021 Tom released two new albums through Bandcamp; Axiom with his longstanding piano trio including Pete Jeavons (double bass) and Daniel Susnjar (drums), and TLC with the TLC Organ Trio comprised of Freddie Grigson and Chris Tarr (drums). Read and listen more here.

In 2017 Tom was commissioned to compose and perform music for the IN-SITU 2017 season; a site-specific dance work held at St. Georges Cathedral, Perth. He collaborated with dancer Stefan Karlsson to produce an experimental piece entitled Passage.

In 2016 Tom released an album entitled Now Noise – for his group Memory of Elements (MoE). He also received an Australia Council grant to compose and develop the work. The album won Jazz Work of the Year at the 2017 APRA Art Music Awards, and the jury remarked that is was: ‘A fresh and thoughtful work, epic in scale, demonstrating outstanding compositional craft, many interesting, subtle and well-executed ideas’. MoE is an evolving project, and is comprised of Jamie Oehlers (saxophone), Carl Mackey (saxophone), Simon Jeans (guitar), Pete Jeavons (bass) and Ben Vanderwal (drums). They performed at the 2011 Wangaratta Jazz Festival, completed a national tour, and have a previously released self-titled album on the Jazzhead label.

Tom was a member of the successful Perth nu-jazz group VOID, that played live every week for about 4 years, toured extensively and released a CD recording and live DVD entitled Say When.

His Masters thesis was entitled ‘Sustained Aspects and Precursors: Toward a Stylistic Synthesis’, and it discusses several of his compositions in terms of architecture, harmonic and rhythmic properties, and the underlying trend in his music toward integration of jazz and art music concepts and techniques. Included pieces are Beyond the 26th Parallel, written for large chamber ensemble, and Benevolent Apocalypse, for orchestra.

He is also currently enrolled in a PhD program through Monash University, Melbourne, and his topic is: Developing approaches to Jazz Improvisation and Composition via Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus.

In 2017 he won the APRA Art Music Award for Jazz work of the Year. He has received two West Australian Music (WAM) Awards: in 2016 for Best Keys and Synth Artist, and in 2014 for Best Jazz Artist. In 2012 he received an APRA Australian Art Music award nomination, and in 2011 was a finalist in the Freedman Foundation Jazz Fellowship – where he was featured at the Sydney Opera House. His album We Happy Few won the 2009 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Limelight Magazine award for best jazz achievement.

2017 also saw the band My Name Is Nobody release a debut album at the 2017 Perth International Jazz Festival. This is an unusual but particularly melodic and listenable trio comprised of Lucky Oceans (pedal- steel guitar) and Ben Vanderwal (drums) and Tom O’Halloran on piano and synthesizers. This group is also performing at the 2017 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues.

Tom has three jazz piano trio records to his name. Tom regularly tours Australia with this group comprised of Peter Jeavons (double bass) and Daniel Susnjar (drums). Together they have played large venues like the Sydney Opera House and The Promethean Theatre (Adelaide), and also the best jazz clubs in the country – including 505 and The Basement (Sydney), Bennett’s Lane and Paris Cat (Melbourne), and The Ellington Jazz Club (Perth).

Tom O’Halloran is a Senior Lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University, where he leads the jazz piano department and also lectures in jazz composition, improvisation and jazz colloquium. He is a regularly commissioned composer, and currently holds a Master of Music in classical composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) from WAAPA.

His Future research interests are: hybridity within jazz works, multi-disciplined approaches, technology and moving image within jazz, and assimilating techniques of Modernism within jazz improvisation and composition.

Axiom – new trio release

Axiom – the third Tom O’Halloran trio album has now been released on Bandcamp. The work was premiered at the 2020 Perth International Jazz Festival, and documents newer compositions and arrangements.

Hear the work here:

Press Quotes

“What a virtuoso keyboard artist. His work is thrilling.”

Australian Stage

“Tom O’Halloran’s original jazz trio; masters of their art who had their audience members soaking up every note.”


“Gifted with big ears, formidable technique and a free-wheeling conception, pianist/composer Tom O’Halloran should be on the must-hear list of anyone interested in hearing the best of what current Australian jazz has to offer.”

Mike Nock

“This fresh and thoughtful work is epic in scale, demonstrating outstanding compositional craft, many interesting, subtle and well-executed ideas. Now Noise reveals Tom’s deep listening of many styles of music synthesised into one skilled new work. A great vehicle for the excellent ensemble.”

2017 APRA Art Music Awards jury

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