Musical Biography

Tom O’Halloran leads his own original jazz piano trio outfit and conducts orchestras from time to time, composes new classical music, plays wild old analogue synthesizers and even rock guitar. Most recently he has played with acclaimed bassist Robert Hurst (USA), was nominated for a 2012 APRA Australian Art Music award and was a finalist in the 2011 Freedman Foundation Jazz Fellowship – where he was featured at the Sydney Opera House.

His overseas performances have included the Houston International Jazz Festival, the IAJE festival in New York, Villa Celimontana in Italy, Dubai, UAE where he played with the Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra, and club dates in New Zealand. Tom has two jazz trio records to his name, released through the Sydney based Jazzgroove Records label. His latest album We Happy Few won the 2009 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Limelight Magazine award for best jazz achievement.

Tom regularly tours Australia with his original jazz trio 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).

At the end of 2011 he performed a two piano duo concert with Graham Wood – complete with two Fazioli grand pianos – at the stunning Government House, Perth. He was also commissioned to compose for the event. The resulting piece was Dissolve, for two pianos, and further explores his ideas of interruption and chromatic saturation, synthesised with jazz interaction and improvisation.

He is part of the exciting new Perth group Memory of Elements, and contributes compositions alongside 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 released a self titled album on the Jazzhead label. When living in Sydney, Tom formed the new band Soundgun, comprised of Jonathan Zwartz (double-bass) and Evan Mannell (drums). They also debuted the group at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival in 2008, and have recorded for ABC Jazz Radio.

Tom has also been playing in an unusaul trio with Lucky Oceans (pedal- steel guitar) and Ben Vanderwal (drums) where he plays acoustic instruments and analouge synthesizers. A recording is to be released shortly.

He plays a myriad of styles, and recently arranged all the music for the concert series JONI – a Joni Mitchell tribute that was staged at the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne and Brisbane, starring Katie Noonan and Wendy Matthews. He has also worked with other industry names such as Pete Murray (Sony), James Morrison, singers Tina Harrod, Ilan Kidron (Potbellez, Universal), Max Sharam, Geoff Duff, Josh Quong-Tart (Home and Away, All Saints), Hugo Race (Bad Seeds), David Campbell, Deni Hines (Sony BMG), Mark Sholtez (Verve label), Rick Robertson (DIG), and other jazz musicians of the caliber of James Muller, Simon Barker, Kristen Berardi,  trumpeter Phil Slater, bassist Cameron Undy and 20th Century Dog, Dan Barnett’s Big Band – and has performed at other Australian jazz festivals including the Melbourne Jazz Festival, Newcastle, York (WA), Manly and Coolah Jazz Festivals.

Tom O’Halloran leads the Jazz Piano department at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University, and also lectures in jazz composition and improvisation. 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.