Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter vol. 1 no. 11
December 2005


Ho ho he he ha ha ha (jolly enough?). This is my favorite season, and I'm "gearing up" (I've already watched my "Charlie Brown Christmas" video twice). Also "gearing up" is my website - under new management. Check in from time to time and see the progress. Already we've "reinvented" the performance schedule, so that I can provide timely updates. What may prove to be more interesting is my new performance diary (blog), linked to my website (see "In Focus"). You can, if you choose, post your own comments (my friend Chris Webb has already posted three). Now about this month...

in this issue
  • In Focus
  • Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts
  • Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts
  • The Last Musician

  • Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts

    I am enjoying an increasing variety of public (and private) jazz gigs. In addition to Sullivans, this month I am with Karen Sommerville, Bryan Clark, Dave Schiff, and who knows what else will come up. This category of gigs in particular (in contrast to Church sponsored events noted below, which tend to confirm earlier, and remain more stable), can have things book at any (including the last) minute. I am now able to update my schedule more regularly now to communicate this. Also, before coming to anything, I still recommend confirming by calling my performance information line (877-JOE-HOLT). Hope to see you!

    Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts

    In Chestertown, we are winding up our Jazz Vespers series with a service of in-house talent. Don't be fooled, we have some real talent in-house (including the Kingstown Trio, a light/smooth jazz rhythm section that will accompany the performers). It'll be fun. In November, we featured vocalist Sue Matthews with my trio (and the Rev. David Sparks "presiding"). Way cool (as Sue would say). In January the Second Sunday concert series resumes with vocalist Bryan Clark (yes, Virginia, the same Bryan Clark I've told you about - or - Yes, Virginia, there is a Bryan Clark). Alan Dale and I will be with Bryan. Also in January, I resume making mischief (uh - music) in other churches, including Newark, De in Jan., Hagerstown, Md, and N. Ft. Myers, Fla in April. Watch the concert schedule expand over the coming weeks to include these and other events.

    The Last Musician

    The story continues (and reaches back to include the newsletters back to July - which are now all avaivable in the newsletter archive)... Not long after my brief experience with Cab Calloway, I was sharing it with Jimmy Lawlor on a Midiri Brother's gig (in addition to being the drummer for the Midiri Brothers, Jim is also the comic voice on my "He's Steppin' Out" CD, and a guy who has a funny take on everything). When I finished the story, Jimmy looked at me and said, "Well Joe, you can look at it this way; you have the distinction of being the last musician ever to play for Cab Calloway". He then laughed and walked away, leaving me standing there (on the dance floor, while we were talking on a break) in a kind of "Charlie Brown" (oh, good grief!) moment. Now fast forward about seven years: I'm playing solo piano at Sullivan's when in walks this "hoity toity" couple pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair. The wife (I assume) immediately approaches me to impress me with her "status" and says: "Do you know who that is there sitting in the wheelchair? That's Mrs. Cab Calloway". Without thinking I blurted out: "You know I'm the last musician ever to play for her husband"! To be continued...

    In Focus

    This month is not a product in focus, but my latest effort to touch and communicate with you (which, as a goal, all my products are). You may have received, a couple of weeks ago, an e-mail announcement form me announcing my new performance diary/weblog. I am hopeful that something positive may be gained form sharing some of my thoughts, and receiving your input (you can post your comments on the site). To give you a flavor, the following is an entry from a few weeks ago: "This is going to be interesting. We'll see how this concept of having a performance diary goes, or plays. I like journaling, but also the privacy. Yesterday was a good day, and like many, one that few would see. I had six 1/2 hour "shows" in a nursing facility in Baltimore, then two 1 hour "shows" in a Wilmington (De) nursing home. This means that I played "Always" (my consistant closing song, along with a few other fixed selections) 8 times. It would be understandable to think that I would get bored with this. I don't. Related to this, I think, is a question I am often asked; "What is your favorite song?". I don't have one. They are (more or less) all tunes, but each one an opportunity for expression. I'm continuing to learn to (increasingly) enjoy and to take advantage of these opportunities." You can access my blog from my (new and improving) website.

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