Today in the world of modern jazz and improvised music there is an imperative for artists to strive for individuality while embodying the developments in jazz and music as a whole. New York, for the past decade, has been a hotbed of creative music for artists who are concerned with the continued development of the jazz vocabulary. As one of these artists, John O'Gallagher has drawn attention for his unique voice and artistic vision.
Born in Anaheim, Ca., he began studying classical saxophone literature at age 13 in Spokane, Wa. After attending Eastern Washington University for two years, John went on to receive a BA from Berklee College of Music and a MA from Manhattan School of Music.
Since moving to New York in 1988, John has become well known for his work in the downtown music scene and beyond, performing at clubs in New York City (Bluenote, Knitting Factory, Small's, Birdland, etc...) and throughout North America and Europe.He has been featured in the Grammy-winning Joe Henderson Big Band, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Kenny Wheeler Large Ensemble, Jason Lindner Big Band, Roberta Piket Quartet, Ron Horton Sextet, Bob Belden Ensemble, David Phillips and Freedance, as well as numerous ensembles with musicians Jeff Williams, John McNeil, John Medeski, Kermit Driscoll, Dave Ballou, Mike Sarin, Ken Shaphorst, Dave Berkman, Al Foster, Rick Margitza, Uri Caine, Tom Harrell, Drew Gress, Jeff Hirshfield, Chris Potter, Russ Johnson, Rene Rosnes, Richie Beirach, Harvey Swartz, George Schuller, George Mraz, Matt Wilson, Cameron Brown, Bruce Barth, Ben Monder, Marcus Rojas, Conrad Herwig, Rich Perry, Billy Mintz, Ben Allison, Joey Sellers, Frank Kimbrough, Ben Monder, Peter Madsen, Johannes Weidenmueller, etc.
John has also been featured on radio programs in Europe (Radio France-Jazz Sur Le Vif) and the U.S. (WNYC).
As an educator and clinician John has a full roster of private students and has conducted master classes and clinics at high schools and universities throughout the United States. He is also a faculty member at Maine Jazz Camp, which is held every year for three weeks at the University of Maine campus in Farmington, Me.
John currently leads two groups: Axiom (with Tony Malaby, John Hebert and Jeff Williams)cand The Open Door Trio (with Johannes Weidenmueller and Jeff Hirshfield).