"Harmonically and melodically, Halferty is a distinctive guitarist"– The Irish Times
Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, he began his musical career in the late 70s taking Jazz Guitar lessons with Louis Stewart, a world class jazz musician. Some of his earliest appearances playing public were with bands such as `Jump' - a jazz fusion group and later on `Nunn' - a trio of flute, double bass and guitar. Most of the material here was drawn from classical, folk and jazz music.
In '93 Tommy toured Ireland with the jazz singer Norma Winstone culminating in the Cork Jazz Festival. About this time, Tommy began to form a group combining traditional music and jazz using Tommy Hayes (Bodhrán) and Ronan Brown (Uilleann pipes), appearing on T.V. in Germany and Ireland. However, a distillation of many styles of music - Indian, Flamenco, Arabic and Irish took shape in `Khanda' - a new group with Ramesh Shotham from India, Conor and Ronan Guilfoyle, Martin Nolan (Pipes) and Ellen Cranitch (Flute) from Ireland.
Tommy has played as part of a guitar duo (with Mike Nielsen) in the Tel-Aviv International Guitar Festival '94. They were voted Critic's Choice in `The Jerusalem Post' of that year. A special honour was given to Tommy when he was asked to play for President Clinton when he visited Ireland in November '96.
Tommy is a faculty member of the International Jazz Summer School at the University of Ulster, since its inception in 1992. Tommy teaches Jazz improvisation in New Park Music Centre, and has been instrumental in getting Jazz music in the current Leaving Certificate Music course.
Tommy is currently teaching English Literature and Music in Coolmine Community School. He is considered one of the first Irish jazz musician to export a distinctly indigenous style to a more worldwide setting
"There are few Irish Jazz Guitarists that can deliver with gusto and taste at this level, Tommy Halferty is one of them"– Newsletter Belfast