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Mr Tom O'Halloran

Senior Lecturer

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 9370 6659, Mobile: +61 8 93706659, Email:, Campus: Mount Lawley, Room: ML2.110
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 9370 6659
Mobile: +61 8 93706659
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML2.110  



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 as well as improvisation, ensemble studies and piano workshop. 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. He is also currently enrolled in a PhD program through Monash University, Melbourne.

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 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.

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 2017 he won the APRA Art Music Award for Jazz work of the Year, and in 2014 won Best Jazz Artist award from WAM. 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.

Tom has recently completed commissioned work for the IN-SITU 2017 season; a site-specific dance piece performed at St. Georges Cathedral, Perth.

2017 has also seen 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. They were also featured at the 2017 Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival in November, and live on ABC FM.

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 has two jazz piano trio records to his name, released through the Sydney based Jazzgroove Records label. His album We Happy Few won the 2009 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Limelight Magazine award for best jazz achievement. 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).

He has appeared with high caliber jazz artists from the USA including bassist Robert Hurst, Walter Smith III and Peter Bernstein. Tom has appeared overseas at the 2017 IP Jazz Festival in Malaysia, the Houston International Jazz Festival, the IAJE festival in New York, Villa Celimontana in Italy, Dubai, UAE and club dates in New Zealand.

He has composed two multi-piano pieces; Dissolve, for two pianos, and Drumkit (for six pianos). These explored his hunger for musical interruption and chromatic saturation within his composing, synthesised with jazz interaction and improvisation.

His Future research interests are: hybridity within jazz works, multi-disciplined approaches, technology and moving image within jazz, and integrating concepts from modernism within jazz improvisation and composition.


  • Master of Music (Composition), The University of Sydney, 2012.
  • Bachelor of Music (Performance) in Jazz, Edith Cowan University, 1998.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Conference Publications

  • O'Halloran, T., (2018), A Case for Innovation in Jazz through Integration of the Digital/Moving Image. Reflecting Worlds: The Promise of Limitations of Mimesis in Electronic Music, 51-59, Perth, Western Australia, The Australasian Computer Music Association.

Creative Arts Research Outputs

  • O'Halloran, T., (2014), Memory of Elements - Now Noise. Memory of Elements - Major Body of Compositions 2014, The Ellington Jazz Club.
  • O'Halloran, T., (2014), Drumkit (for 6 pianos). Infinite Ivories, WAAPA, Music Auditorium, Tom O'Halloran.
  • O'Halloran, T., (2018), Symmetrical scales and composed gesture within improvised solo piano performance., State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth International Jazz Festival.
  • O'Halloran, T., Karlsson, S., (2017), Passage. In-SITU 2017, St. George’s Cathedral, Perth., STRUT Dance Organisation.
  • Vanderwal, B., O'Halloran, T., (2017), Subverting notions of intensity and genre within jazz - My Name is Nobody., 2017 Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival .
  • O'Halloran, T., (2016), Strategies for increased polyphony in jazz piano accompaniment., Perth International Jazz Festival .
  • O'Halloran, T., Zwartz, J., Mannell, E., (2015), Soundgun - 2015 Perth International Jazz Festival. 2015 Perth International Jazz Festival, Northbridge Piazza.
  • Vinson, W., Oehlers, J., O'Halloran, T., Boneham, A., Vanderwal, B., (2014), Will Vinson/Jamie Oehlers Quartet at the Ellington. Will Vinson live at the Ellington, The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, Wil Vinson.
  • Oehlers, J., O'Halloran, T., Susnjar, D., Bernstein, P., (2014), Peter Bernstein with Jamie Oehlers Trio. Peter Bernstein with Jamie Oehler's Trio at the Perth International Jazz Festival, Cultural Centre, Perth, PIJF.
  • Arena, T., O'Halloran, T., (2014), Merci Down Under. Merci Down Under - WW1 Centenary, Governor's House Ballroom, Perth.
  • O'Halloran, T., Zwartz, J., Mannell, E., Harrod, T., (2014), Soundgun Album Launch at Venue 505. Soundgun, Venue 505, Sydney.
  • O'Halloran, T., Alderson, D., Susnjar, D., (2014), Tom O'Halloran Trio at the 2014 Perth International Jazz Festival. Perth International Jazz Festival 2014, Urban Orchard, Perth.
  • O'Halloran, T., Roberts, T., Alderson, D., Fisenden, A., (2014), Void @ PIJF. 2014 Perth International Jazz Festival, The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth.
  • Berstein, P., O'Halloran, T., Susnjar, D., Abbey, N., (2014), Peter Berstein at the Perth International Jazz Festival. 2014 Perth International Jazz Festival, The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth.
  • Vanderwal, B., O'Halloran, T., Tarr, C., Florisson, K., Mendes, M., Rojas, G., (2014), Quinteto Sao Paulo featuring Giorgio Rojas. Quinteto Sao Paulo featuring Giorgio Rojas, Ellington Jazz Club.
  • O'Halloran, T., Davies, K., McGlynn, M., Stewart, B., Grafton, Z., Harrison, D., (2014), WAAPA Jazz Ensemble - Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2014. Free Jazz at Fed Square (Melbourne International Jazz Festival), Federation Square, Melbourne.
  • Grigson, F., O'Halloran, T., Tarr, C., (2014), TLC Organ Trio. TLC Organ Trio, Ellington Jazz Club, Perth.
  • O'Halloran, T., (2014), Tom O'Halloran solo piano - WAAPA Lunch-time Concert. WAAPA Lunchtime Concert, WAAPA.
  • O'Halloran, T., Vanderwal, B., (2014), O'Halloran/Vanderwal duo - The Ellington. Tom O'Halloran and Ben Vanderwal, The Ellington Jazz Club.
  • Roberts, T., O'Halloran, T., Vanderwal, B., Alderson, D., Jago, T., (2014), Nu-Jive - Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Bennett's Lane, Melbourne.
  • O'Halloran, T., Vanderwal, B., Florisson, K., Mendes, M., Tarr, C., (2014), Quinteto São Paulo - 2014 Performances. Quinteto São Paulo, The Terrace Hotel.
  • Grigson, F., O'Halloran, T., Mackey, C., Gander, A., (2014), Andrew Gander @ the Ellington., Ellington Jazz Club, Perth.
  • Oehlers, J., O'Halloran, T., Susnjar, D., (2014), Jamie Oehlers Trio - Beaufort Street Festival and PJS at the Laneway. Beaufort Street Festival 2014 and PJS at the Laneway, The City of Stirling Stage, Perth and The Laneway, Perth.
  • Wood, G., O'Halloran, T., Hopkins, J., Winton, H., Claudio, R., (2014), Rachel Claudio Live at The Ellington 2014. Rachel Claudio Live at The Ellington, The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth, Rachel Claudio.
  • Harrod, T., O'Halloran, T., Zwartz, J., Mannell, E., (2014), Tina Harrod - Live at The Ellington Jazz Club. Tina Harrod - Live at The Ellington Jazz Club, The Ellington Jazz Club.
  • O'Halloran, T., (2014), Infinite Ivories. Infinite Ivories, WAAPA Music Auditorium, Tom O'Halloran.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor


Associate Supervisor


Assistant Supervisor

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