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Tom O'Halloran, Russell Holmes, Chris Foster & Harry Mitchell: The Graham Wood Commemorative Piano Launch
Tuesday 17 September 7.00pm
Featuring Tom O’Halloran, Russell Holmes, Chris Foster, and Harry Mitchell, this show will serve as the official launch of the Graham Wood Commemorative Piano, a Yamaha S6, our new piano which was crowdfunded by our generous patrons! Featuring four immensely talented Perth pianists, this show is set to be a treat for the ears.
The Yamaha S6 now on The Ellington stage is a hand built instrument that was earmarked by Yamaha Australia themselves as a perfect fit for the performance oriented stage at The Ellington. We are overjoyed that the arts community of Perth so openly welcomed becoming a part of both The Ellington and Graham Wood’s musical legacy by contributing to this brilliant new centrepiece. We hope you’ll come along to hear it in action!
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. 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.
Tom has two jazz piano trio records to his name, released through the Sydney based Jazzgroove Records label. 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 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.
He has appeared with high caliber jazz artists from the USA including bassist Robert Hurst, Walter Smith III and Peter Bernstein. He regularly collaborates with many Australian musicians; the caliber of James Muller, Simon Barker, Andrew Gander, Kristen Berardi, Phil Slater, Cameron Undy and 20th Century Dog, Dan Barnett, George Washingmachine – and has performed at other Australian jazz festivals including the Melbourne Jazz Festival, Newcastle, York (WA), Manly and Coolah Jazz Festivals.
Tom has appeared overseas at the 2017 IP Jazz Festival in Malaysia, Houston International Jazz Festival, the IAJE festival in New York, Villa Celimontana in Italy, Dubai, UAE and club dates in New Zealand. 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.
Russell Holmes is an experienced music teacher, pianist, triple WAMI award winner, ABC recording artist and bandleader. He can be heard around Perth with The Russell Holmes Trio, and in many other ensembles. His performance experience also includes overseas events and supporting visiting artists such as James Taylor. Russell appears on over 90 CDs and has been released on the ABC Jazz label. Russell lectures in both Contemporary and Jazz Music Courses at WAAPA. The Russell Holmes Trio has recently released a new EP CD entitled “RESTLESS” A strong musical statement that embodies the incredible synergy created by these like-minded musicians and friends.
Wearing another hat entirely, having performed with acoustic groups “The Ragabillys”, Gina Williams/ Guy Ghouse Band and “The Nullarbor Mountain Boys” playing guitar, banjo and piano, has led to performing more acoustic and traditional music with daughter Melanie Holmes (vocals, piano ) and amazing multi-instrumentalist Jarrad Van Dort (guitars, mandolin, ukulele and vocals).
Chris Foster has been active in the Jazz community since 2000 and has toured with various bands nationally and internationally. He is an integral part of several ongoing creative projects including the jazz outfits Abbey | Foster | Falle, TRISK and Hip Hop music production commitments with Optamus, Downsyde, Rcadia and Coin Banks. Chris has spent much of his professional career performing in the Perth Jazz scene and appearing as a sideman on recordings by local artists including: Nick Abbey (Phantoms), Kate Pass (Kohesia), Libby Hammer, Johannes Luebbers, Laura Corney and Rcadia. Recently, Chris’ main focus has been on composition and tonight he will feature predominantly new works which he plans to record later this year. The pieces often feature subtle and sweet melodies blended with complex and dense harmony and a great depth in mood. Chris’ solo performances are dynamic with a range from dark and tense ballads to uplifting pieces with a bright character.