Matt O’Ree – A True Jersey Inspiration

Matt O'Ree - A True Jersey Inspiration

My name is Joseph Pomarico and I am an MBA Music Management Graduate Student at William Paterson University. I completed my undergrad degree at Ramapo College of New Jersey where I studied both Music Industry and Music Production. My ‘day job’ is working at Major League Baseball Network as a Broadcast Event Logger and Media Manager.  I also work as the assistant to Gene Cornish, guitarist from the 60’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group, The Rascals.  When I’m not watching baseball or in the studio working with an original rock and roll star, you can find me managing and producing an up and coming rock band, Airacuda. I am studying at WPU to learn more and establish myself further in the Entertainment Industry.

Matt O’Ree – A True Jersey Inspiration

Matt O’Ree has quickly become a rising star in the music industry. Most recently he started touring the world as the new guitarist for fellow New Jersey rock and roll star, Bon Jovi. But he has always been one of my biggest musical inspirations.

I started taking guitar lessons from Matt in 2004. He was a family friend from when he was in a band with my uncle back in high school. He was always an amazing guitarist and growing up I was obsessed with the songs he had recorded with my uncle.

Matt O'Ree - A True Jersey Inspiration
Joseph Pomarico and Matt O’Ree


After a year of lessons, Matt offered me and several other students of his a chance to play a show with him at the famous Jersey Shore music venue, the Stone Pony.

We played Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze and it was an incredible experience that I will never forget.

Matt had given me my first taste of performing on stage, which inspired me to continue pursuing a musical career. 

Matt O’Ree and B.B. King



In 2006, Matt O’Ree was named the winner of Guitar Center and Guitar World Magazine’s “King of the Blues” competition, hosted by B.B. King and John Mayer. Beating out over 4000 other guitarists nationwide, Matt received multiple guitars and endorsements from Gibson.


Matt continued to give guitar lessons to all his students while he competed and toured with his band, showing his dedication to both his own success and his students.


In 2007, I had the opportunity of being a part of a live concert video shoot for the Matt O’Ree Band. I worked as the assistant director, giving musical cues to the director and the camera crew to capture the best moments from the performance.


The Matt O’Ree Band’s sound changed in 2008 when they added a Hammond B3 to their lineup. The band began to take off. Matt was constantly going on tours across the US and other countries, while also opening up for many national acts. He continued to give guitar lessons to other aspiring Jersey guitarist.

Matt O’Ree Continues to Inspire!

Phil X, Matt O’Ree, and Bon Jovi

As Matt has established him as a New Jersey rocker, his career has continues to take off. As of September 2015, Matt O’Ree joined Bon Jovi, another NJ native, on tour in South Asia, replacing Bobby Bandiera as the band’s second guitarist.

Being from New Jersey, I have always been a big fan of Bon Jovi. Seeing Matt O’Ree on stage performing with Bon Jovi in sold out arena’s across the globe proves that all the hard work and dedication that came through in a lesson with Matt really does pay off.

He is living his dream as a guitarist and that is something truly inspiring.

Even though I no longer take lessons from him, he continues to teach and inspire me everyday!

Check out some of Matt O’Ree’s music on this Spotify playlist!

– Joseph Pomarico

William Paterson University MBA Music Management Student

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