Mark O'Leary was born in Cork City Ireland.Being mainly auto didactic on guitar he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17 to study at Musicians Institute,from where he later graduated. He has presented his music in 29 countries and has played at some of the worlds top Jazz festivals and contemporary Jazz venues.
He has toured Europe as a member of Canadian Pianist Paul Bley's trio,he has performed in duo with Jack DeJohnette,in a jazz trio with Yes/King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford, in duo with Han Bennink,composed and performed classical music with Cikada string quartet,collaborated in an all electronics setting with Sound Artist Gunter Muller, Erdem Helveciouglu and Jakob Riis,in a free improvisation combo with Evan Parker and Sunny Murray, performed in concerts with Anders Jormin and Audun Kleive, played Norwegian folk music with Nils Okland, Swedish folk music with Mats Eden, Jazz with Uri Caine, he has performed in seperate projects with trumpeters Axel Dorner,Kenny Wheeler, Thomas Heberer and Jeff Kaiser. He has the distinction of having played in duo with Paul Bley, Bobo Stenson and Matthew Shipp. In 2004 he toured Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro with Vasil Hadzimanov and Marco Djordevic. He also toured in Macedonia with Guitarist Toni Kitanovski and Drummer Alexander Sekhulovski. He also represented Ireland in the Athens European jazz festival.
He has also worked in a trio with ex Weather Report/Jaco Pastorius Drummer Peter Erskine and Palle Danielsson. He has also collaborated with the innovative percussionists z'ev, Alex Cline ,Hans Kristian Kjos Sorensen and Terje Isungset.He has also collaborated with Stale Storlokken in contemporary trio using church organ and with John Herndon of Tortoise in the Underground Jazz Trio.
He has also worked in different projects with Slava Ganelin and Alexander Tarasov of the Ganelin trio fame also in a UK based group with Mark Sanders and Joe Williamson of Trapist. He has toured in the exciting group Zemlya with Eyvind Kang and Dylan Van Der Schyff and also with Dylan and Wayne Horvitz. In conjunction with Alliance Francaise he performed in a trio with Henri Texier and Aldo Romano. He also played in a trio with Jon Christensen and Terje Gewelt He has played in Poland with drummer Michal Miskiewicz and Tomasz Szukalski and with the Oles brothers Bartlomiej and Marcin. He has also played with the Aka Moon rhythm section of Michel Hadzigeorgiu and Stephane Galland. He has also colloborated in trio with Stefan Pasborg and Peter Friis Nielsen as well as working with other Danes Jacob Anderskov and in duo with Kresten Osgood.
In the Artist's Own Words
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For some time now, O'Leary has seemed likely to deliver a
great album; here it is.
John Eyles BBC website review Waiting
O'Leary is a superb acoustic player, as the opening track
demonstrates,Waiting rvw John Fordham
Both O'Leary and Caine are highly sophisticated performers
drawing on both jazz and contemporary-classical
materials.There are tunes that duck and dive like Morricone
themes for thrillers,Frisell like drifters,even unexpectedly
lyrical guitar-ballad ruminations. O'Leary is a gathering force
Closure rvw John Fordham, The Guardian
Each note glows like a glowing and wheeling like a firefly in
the night sky, O'Leary achieves a fine tension between the
mellifluous and the abstract. As self luminous progresses its
petals unfold recalling Anton Von Webern's miniatures
evanescent and everywhere at the same time
- The Wire.