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Tom O’Halloran leads the Jazz Piano department at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University, and currently holds a Master of Music in classical composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a Bachelor of Jazz (Performance) from WAAPA. He is a regularly commissioned composer and lectures in jazz composition, as well as improvisation, ensemble studies and piano workshop.
He has most recently performed a two piano duo concert with Graham Wood - complete with two Fazioli grand pianos - for which he was commissioned to compose. The resulting piece was Dissolve, for two pianos, and further explores interruption and chromatic saturation, synthesised with jazz interaction and improvisation.
He also recently presented a paper entitled 'Gesture and Emotion: Pre-composition and improvisation' at the 2011 Musicological Society of Australia’s Power of Music academic conference in Perth, Australia.
His Masters thesis is entitled 'Sustained Aspects and Precursors: Toward a Stylistic Synthesis', and it discusses several of his compositions in terms of architecture, harmonic and rhythmicproperties, 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, 'Benevolent Apocalypse', for orchestra.
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.
He is part of the exciting new Perth group Memory of Elements, and contributes compositions alongside Jamie Oehlers (saxophone), Carl Makey (saxophone), Simon Jeans (guitar), Pete Jeavons (bass) and Ben Vanderwal (drums). They performed at the 2011 Wangaratta Jazz Festival and completed a national tour. When living in Sydney he formed the new band 'Soundgun', comprised of Jonathan Zwartz (double-bass) and Evan Mannell (drums). They debuted the group at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival in 2008 and have recorded for ABC Jazz Radio.
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.