Energized, animated and charismatic: Surrounded by a stage full of instruments and looping layers of sonic support, Jason O creates a captivating musical alchemy. Embellished by guitar, drums, trumpet, bass, percussion, piano, harmonica, ukulele, and a three stringed “Strum Stick,” his mesmerizing one-man show is graced with personality, musicality and genuine rapport.
With a well-mapped itinerary of venues and hundreds of thousands of YouTube views, Jason O travels the East Coast to perform for an expanding fan base. Opening for artists like Carly Rae Jepson, Judith Hill and Crystal Bowersox has introduced him to successively larger audiences who reward his crowd-pleasing connection and sterling musicianship with standing ovations.
In addition to his solo career, Jason O is the singing, dancing and rapping front man for the regional band My Hero Zero. Joining this hard-touring aggregation expanded Jason O’s performance chops as he discovered new possibilities in the endeavor he refers to as “The artist side.” As he explains: “I see the progress that a musical group with focus can take and I apply that dynamic to my solo career.”
As a youngster, Jason O (short for “Olcese”) tapped on a table to the radio until his folks — both music teachers — provided real drums. Behind the kit, playing with as many bands as possible, he eventually picked up the guitar to write and communicate lyrics and melodies. “The bands hated my early songs,” he laughs.
Undeterred, Jason O continued writing, and in conjunction with his father — an avid recording technician – tracking in their home studio. He created seven entire albums, released three, and matched his multi-instrumental musical training with studio skills both in front of and behind the board.
Majoring in psychology at Penn State, Jason O counter-balanced his academic pursuits with music. He played on the streets, made significant coin, and regularly entertained beery 3:00 a.m. crowds with songs and free pizza. Running out of funds on an academic trip to New Zealand he utilized his street savvy to busk for change and eventually move indoors to more legitimate club gigs.
After graduating from college, he moved to New York City, played shows, and most significantly enlisted an agent and began booking higher profile gigs along the Eastern Seaboard. “New York didn’t help me in the business side of my career,” he explains, “but it taught me a lot as an artist.” Adding beat boxing to his live shows, he began his exploration of electronic pedals, breathing life into what he characterizes as “wildly complex arrangements” — sounds that up until then had only existed in his imagination.
Written By Dan Kimpel