Born: December 9, 1957 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Born in Sydney, Australia in 1957. Early Studies at Academy of the Guitar under George Golla, Sydney Conservatorium as well as jazz clinics under Aebersold, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, John Scofield & Hal Galper.
Professional work around Australia 1976-81. Prizewinner for Jazz Composition 1980 & 1982, awarded by the NSW Jazz Action Society. First record album Peter O´Mara released 1980, receiving widespread critical acclaim. Awarded the Don Banks Memorial Fellowship for overseas study. 1981 studies in New York under Liebman, Scofield, Roland Hanna, Jimmy Raney & Attila Zoller.
Moved to Munich, Germany in late 1981 and has since worked with many musicians on the European Jazz scene including... Kenny Wheeler, Jon Christensen, Joe Nay, Maria Joao, Uli Beckerhoff, John Marshall,John Taylor, Anders Jormin, Adelhard Roidinger, Randy Brecker, Rainer Brüninghaus, David Friedman, Peter Herbolzheimer, Charlie Mariano, Benny Bailey, Robben Ford, Mike Nock, Albert Manglesdorf, Ack van Rooyen, Herman Breuer, Johnny Griffin...
1982-90 Sundial trio with US bassist Wayne Darling & drummer Billy Elgart, which recorded 3 albums (South German Radio Record of the Week 1987) as well as three tours & CD with Kenny Wheeler as guest. Festival appearances in Cologne, Munich, Vienna, Aachen, Zurich as well as numerous European tours.
1989 CD release on ENJA Records Avenue U, featuring Joe Lovano, Dave Holland, Adam Nussbaum & Roberto Di Gioia. The French Jazz Magazine called it a thoroughly passionate recording and Peter a glorious player, truly a discovery!
He joined Klaus Doldinger´s Passport in 1990 and has toured Europe a number of times with this group, as well as South Africa in 1995. Their 1991 release Blues Roots featured Texas Blues singer/guitarist Johnny Copeland The group performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1993 & 1995.
In Jan 1991 Peter toured Australia with pianist Mike Nock as well as recording the CD Kuranda, released in Europe on ITM. This tour was followed up again in 1993. From 1991 on Munich-based quartet Cross Rhythms performing at many festivals, clubs & radio recordings. CD released in 1994 on Jazz-4-Ever Records. Widespread critical acclaim for this group. 1992 CD Stairway on ENJA records, featuring Russell Ferrante, Anthony Jackson, Tony Lakatos, Alex Acuna & Tom Brechtlein, recorded in Los Angeles at Chick Corea´s Mad Hatter Studio. 3 week European promotion tour with this group.
1995 CD Symmetry on GLM Records, featuring Bob Mintzer, Marc Johnson & young German drummer Falk Willis. Tour in March/April with this group to promote the CD. European festival tour with own quartet, performing at Northsea,Munich, Düsseldorf & Wiesen, Austria. , European tour & CD with Passport. A brief return to Australia end of the year brought him together with Adam Armstrong (bass) & Andrew Gander (drums). This trio was acclaimed by Peter Jordan (SMH) as scintillating and O´Mara one of our less well-known success stories...startling!
1996-97 formation of quartet with fellow Australian trombonist Adrian Mears (A-STRAIN), a trio with acclaimed bassist Henning Sieverts & Guido May (FIRST FLUSH) as well as various freelance work around Europe.
Passport Jubilee Tour around Europe in May-July to promote new CD. Passport CD Move recorded October 1997.
Late 1997 Quintet with Johannes Enders (sax) as well as a new band project PETER O´MARA BAND, which recorded CD now released. This group made it to the finals of the HENNESSY JAZZ SEARCH, 3 groups chosen from 500 entries (German National Jazz Competition for Professional Groups) winning a DM 5,000 prize.
January 1999 joined UNITED JAZZ & ROCK ENSEMBLE, contributed 2 arrangements for the legendary group´s new CD. Performed at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Continuing work throughout Europe with Passport and own groups. Workshop with Norma Winstone & John Taylor. European Tour in November with United..(Albert Manglesdorf, Ian Carr, Barbera Thompson, John Hiseman, Ack van Rooyen) Munich Jazz Orchestra tour December featuring Kenny Wheeler.
2000...continuing work with Passport & own Quintet Spheres CD. Workshops in Trier, Bielefeld & Erlangen. Passport Live CD released. Concerts in Düsseldorf, Expo 2000 Hannover...
2001 ...continued work with Passport - Montreaux Jazz Festival, Monte Carlo, WDR Bigband, Guest teacher for the Bujazzo (German National Youth Bigband) Munich Jazzfest, Workshops in Erlangen, Bielefeld, Trier. Australian tour with own group Spheres in November, sponsored by the German Music Council.
2002...Passport continues averaging 5 concerts per month throughout Europe.
Workshops in Erlangen, Luzerne, Bielefeld, Dresden,Trier. German tour with the Skoda Jazz Ensemble. Wangaratta Jazz Festival Australia in November. In December Peter O´Mara Trio tour and CD recording featuring drummer Adam Nussbaum and bassist Henning Sieverts.
2003...New CD Passport to Brasil and tour of Brasil in February/March. Workshops in Erlangen, Basel, Mannheim, Trier, Bielefeld. CD release Mirage featuring Sieverts & Nussbaum on Pirouet Records. Concert tour Peter O´Mara and Friends in Germany and Austria. Awarded Star of the Week by the Munich Abendzeitung. German tour with the Skoda Jazz Ensemble.
2004 to date: continued activities with own ensemble as well as Passport. Guest teacher for the German National Youth Bigband Bujazzo. Workshops in Erlangen, Trier, Bielefeld, Udine, Jazz Schule Zürich. German tour with the Skoda Jazz Ensemble.
Teaching activities include, among many workshops throughout Europe, a professorship for Jazz guitar at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria, as well as the Richard Strauss Conservatorium in Munich. He is also author of four highly acclaimed books published by internationally renowned Jazz publishers Advance Music.