Julie O'Hara is a freelance performing and recording artist and a veteran of the Melbourne music scene.
Julie began her professional jazz singing career as a teenager with residencies enabling her to work with some of the county’s finest jazz musicians. The desire to evolve musically to communicate with her peers began in those early years, inspired by the musicianship around her.
Now an established musician, songwriter and recording artist, Julie has regularly toured Europe, Asia and Australia, playing at jazz and music festivals or performing as a guest vocalist, (The Cat Empire, Hoodangers, The Pearly Shells, Mistaken Identity). Although Julie performs predominantly jazz music, she also writes for pop, bluegrass, hip hop, R&B, neo soul, country and EDM.
Julie writes songs across various genres, having freelanced in different musical scenes for almost thirty years. Julie features on over thirty recordings, including Aria award winning album,
‘Cities’ by The Cat Empire and ‘Midnight Sun’ with George Washingmachine (nominated
for a Bell Award for best jazz vocal album). Julie has won numerous song writing awards
for jazz, contemporary pop and EDM.
Julie works as a music educator, lecturing in jazz and contemporary voice and
improvisation at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University and teaches
song writing at Melbourne Graduate School and Monash University.
Julie has a background in Speech Pathology and voice science. Julie has taught singing,
song writing and improvisation at NMIT, VCA, Melbourne Conservatoire, Melbourne
Polytechnic, Victoria University and RMIT.
PROJECTS FOR RELEASE 2022
OUT NOW! 'New Hat' by The Pearly Shells feat Julie O'Hara (purchase at discography/shop)
'Boogie Guarantee' and 'Train' written by Julie O'Hara available as single downloads.
'All in the one room’ (contemporary jazz)
'La Grande Soiree' (jazz manouche)
'Boogie Guarantee' Julie O'Hara & The Pearly Shells A collection of O'Hara originals written for the Pearly Shells (R&B swing),
‘Back to the start’ jazz/EDM/R&B/neosoul, programmed and produced by O’Hara including collaborative works with programmer/composers, Gary Deleo & Luke Josive.
O’Hara’s original songs and voice feature on various recordings, her own and of others but
this year will debut her first all originals contemporary jazz album, 'All in the one room’. The original songs feature bebop, vocalese, Afro Cuban and Latin jazz and neo-soul.
Vocal improvisation is an essential element to O’Hara’s writing, exploring ways to feature
the voice within the arrangements. Julie is known for her scatting fluency and strong
rhythmic sensibilities. Her trio features old friends and colleagues, pianist, Stephen
Sedergreen, drummer, Edward York and bassist, Mark Elton. Guest musicians will also
feature on ‘All in the one room’
Anita O’Day Tribute Concert – O’Hara has at times been likened to Anita O’Day, with a
similar tonality and rhythmic sensibilities while scat singing. Anita is one of O’Hara’s greatest
influences and the tribute features Anita’s career highlights and her incredible life story.
Julie recently toured nationally with The Cat Empire 2021-2022, as a guest vocalist, performing
songs recorded together on the Aria award winning album, ‘Cities’ and from live
recordings e.g. The Lost Song. The Cat Empire is celebrating 20 years together and will tour as the original line up for the last time before several members depart and the band heads in a new direction. Audio streaming of the final line up concert at Sidney Myer Music Bowl is available from www.thecatempire.com
UPCOMING PERFORMANCES IN MELBOURNE (See events
Winter ball at the Brunswick Ballroom - The Pearly Shells July 9th
'La Grand Soiree' at the Ruby Carter Lounge, St.Kilda July 31st
Kelvin Club, CBD
Sidney Myer Music Bowl with The Cat Empire
Julie O’Hara quartet at the Counts jazz club
The Pearly Shells x-mas party at Jazzlab
Julie O'Hara with JMQ at the Golden Gate Hotel
Joe Ruberto Trio at Rising Sun
Julie’s vocal improvisation and harmony singing, features on all seasons of comedian Josh
Thomas’s series, ‘Please Like Me’ (ABC) and ‘Everything’s going to be OK’ (Stan). Also, his
‘Whoopsie Daisy’ national comedy tour, with all music composed by Bryony Marks. Most recently, Julie's vocals appear on Josh Thomas's latest podcast 'How to be Gay' (2022)
Julie’s voice also features on award winning films such as, Book of Revelation, (Cezary
Skubiszewski), The Sapphires (Cezary Skubiszewski) & Cloudstreet (Bryony Marks).
CURRENTLY FREELANCING WITH:
Steve Purcell’s Pearly Shell’s Big band, The Cat Empire, Jake Mason Trio, James Sherlock Trio, Bopstretch, Julie O’Hara trio-sextet, French Gypsy project ‘Le Grand Soiree’, Ultrafox, B#Big Band, John Montessante Quintet, Bopstretch, Bob Sedergreen trio, Paul Williamson’s Hammond Combo, Bopkick and Joe Ruberto Trio.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
Working alongside Gil Askey during our decade long residency, curating jazz and R&B
stage for White Night Melbourne for four years, recording Papermoon and Midnight Sun
with George Washingmachine, performing at Wangaratta Jazz Festival with vocalese
project, performing original project, La Grande Soiree at Stonnington Jazz Festival and
again at the Clock Tower theatre (Melbourne International Jazz Festival), singing BV’s for
Harry Angus ‘Struggle with Glory’ project for Melbourne Music Festival, supporting
guitarist, Charlie Hunter’s trio at the Continental (as duo with guitarist, Stephen
Magnusson), touring Sydney with Mistaken Identity, supporting James Brown at Rod
Laver Arena with the Cat Empire, Opening of Commonwealth Games in Melbourne with
the Cat Empire, Touring with original hip-hop/jazz band, skaddabox, supporting the Cat
Empire on national tour, touring Scandinavian jazz festivals with Hoodangers and MOP,
working as a solo piano bar artist in Dresden, Germany, living in Bangkok, performing
residencies in jazz clubs, touring regionally with Ultrafox and Blue Drag, recent recording
and performing with The Pearly Shells, guesting with Jake Mason trio, performing with
vocalist, Nina Ferro, singing with Bob Sedergreen at the Hawthorn Town Hall and session
work with composer Byony Marks and Cezary Skubiszewski, performing tribute concert of
Anita O’Day, teaching students jazz singing and improvisation.
RECENT PERFORMANCES INCLUDE:
Festivals: Melbourne International Jazz, Eltham Jazz, Stonnington Jazz, Wangaratta Jazz
Concerts: Cat Empire @ Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Ultrafox at the Mebourne Recital Centre, Jake Mason Trio at The Counts jazz club, Pearly Shells at Jazzlab and the Brunswick Ballroom, Ruby Carter Jazz Lounge with Nina Ferro and Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Joe Ruberto Trio at the Rising Sun Hotel, James Sherlock Trio at Jazzlab,
Hawthorn Town Hall and Memo ballroom with The Pearly Shells Big Band, ABC FM live to air with The Pearly Shells , Winnebago Lounge with Ultrafox, Caravan Club ‘Tribute to Hank Williams’ (Andy Baylor and co), Lido Jazz Room Julie O’Hara quartet, Kelvin Club
with Paul Williamson quartet, Jazz Lab with Ultrafox, Paris Cat with Bob Sedergreen Trio, Melbourne Music Festival Harry Angus - ‘Struggle with Glory’ project, Claypots with Peter
Baylor, The Pinnacle with Bopkick, The VJC with Bopkick, Frankston Arts Centre Morning Melodies with B#Big Band, Uptown jazz club: Julie O’Hara sextet, Arts Centre High Tea (La Grande Soiree'), Spiegel Tent – ‘Le Grande Soiree’, Copacabana: B#Big band
The Cat Empire celebrate 20 years - touring Australia for the last time with the original line up. Julie O'Hara, long time musical and personal friend of the band, joined them on stage at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to perform 'The Lost Song',with Harry James Angus. Audio now streaming https://thecatempire.com