Garry O’Meara started playing music at the age of 9, learning the banjo, mandolin and guitar. Having completed a degree in music and Irish language, he began his career as a professional musician. He joined the crossover folk/pop band Reel, with whom he recorded and toured extensively around Ireland and the UK, enjoying three top-ten singles in the charts.
Garry has toured with popular Dance Shows Ragús, Celtic Legends and Irish Legends all over the world, and has performed with artists such as The Fureys, Stocktonʼs Wing, Lord of the Dance star Liam OʼConnor, Gerry OʼConnor and many more.
In 2006 Garry was a founder member of Folk/Trad group Monto. Signed to Universal records, they performed many high profile gigs including the All Ireland Final at Croke Park and the prestigious Milwaukee Irish Fest in America. In 2008, following the break up of Monto, he joined the folk group Dargle touring Asia, Europe and North America. He also featured on several tracks on the recorded tribute album for acclaimed singer/songwriter Christie Hennessey, with such famous Irish artists as Christie himself, Christy Moore, Luka Bloom, Paul Brady, Moya Brennan and Finbar Furey to name but a few. He is always busy as a recording artist, and has played on other albums for popular Irish artists including Tommy Fleming and Mike Denver.
In early 2012 he joined the award winning Brock McGuire band, which was recently voted “Irish Instrumental Band Of The Decade” in the U.S.A, and has been touring in Ireland and North America with them since. A highlight was a performance with Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs and sensational trad duo, Hayes and Cahill, at the Masters of Tradition series in Cork.
In 2013, Garry recorded his long awaited debut album, Pickin’ Time, which was released in March 2013 and showcases his master musicianship as a banjo and mandolin player. Featuring a number of his own newly composed works and traditional music, Garry’s powerful instrumentals on the album set him apart as an important and exciting talent.
Since then, he has performed extensively with the Garry O’Meara Band, as well as hooking up with the sensational award winning band, We Banjo 3, the core members of which taught at last year’s O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat. In 2014 and 2015 he completed several tours in Europe, the U.S. and Ireland with the band.
Instructor – Tenor Banjo