Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
May 2005


Hope all is well with you. If you've recently added your name to my mailing list; welcome. If you have been recieving this mailing, then perhaps you'll be impressed that I've gotten the month correct twice in a row. You may also be impressed at the improvements in the website. As for my schedule, things are getting busy (including one week this month where I have 12 engagements), with many exciting opportunities (some of which I'll be keeping under my hat for awhile). About this month...

in this issue
  • Product in focus
  • Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts
  • Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts
  • What is a Picnic Pianist?

  • Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts

    This month, jazz duos at Sullivan's Steak House continues, but with a time change: 6-11pm. I'll be with Bruce Kaminsky on all Tuesdays in May, Except for the 24th with Steve Beskrone. I'm also with Bob Colligan on Friday the Thirteenth (uh oh). On Saturday the 7th, I'll be with the Bryan Clark trio at Dover Downs, and on the 14th with the New Legacy Jazz Band for a swing dance in Catonsville, Md. I'll be all by myself (for public performances) but once in May: for a piano entertainment concert in Philadelphia on Thursday the 5th. Click on the link below for more info.

    Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts

    The "big event" of April was my trip to Calvary Church of the Nazarene, in Elmira NY, where, joined by Brian on 4/17, we presented our "He's Steppin Out" concert to a receptive audience representing several area churches. Also, had a great time with Rosemary Benson, and Harry Salotti (Rosemary's husband, whom I went to college with in the late 1970's, where we can recall funny chord progression discoveries in marching band) at the jazz vespers service in Pitman, NJ. This month I'm in Elmer NJ and Easton Md. Click on the link below to find out more.

    What is a Picnic Pianist?

    We all have had unique experiences. Sometimes we feel (if we think along these lines) like God custom designs a circumstance just for us. I personally feel that way about almost everything that happens. To me, being in the right place at the right time is synonymous with God is at work. In the mid 1980's I was teaching at the Lowery Piano and Organ store in the Cherry Hill (NJ) Mall. Unbeknownst to me, my manager was selling a (somewhat) reconditioned piano to the mall management for placement in the soon to be opened food court. The Cherry Hill Mall was building the (at the time) country's (world's?) largest shopping mall food court-1000 seats-to be called: Picnic at Cherry Hill. And it wasn't enough just to be the biggest; they would arrange fresh cut flowers on the tables each day, place the baby grand piano next to the fountain, and hire a "picnic pianist" to perform requests from the "music menus" positioned on each table next to the flowers (or am I getting ahead of myself). When the mall requested the store to send (for hire) a pianist for opening weekend, I took the gig. 11 years later, the gig ended (that was ths mega condensed version). The schedule, and, to some extent, the approach were ever evolving (at the beginning, I would have regular meetings with mall marketing, for whom I worked), the constant was; I was the Picnic Pianist. Perhaps you'll be amused by an article featured in the South Jersey Courier Post in 1986 (about 100 pounds ago). If so, then click on the link below.

    Product in focus

    Several years ago, I was referred to bandleader/drummer Alan Dale and quickly made an association that has been enriching to me in many ways. Alan, in addition to being one of, if not the best drummer(s) you will ever hear, is the leader of the New Legacy Jazz Band. The band is dedicated to playing the music of the great swinging bands and vocalists like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole... and has performed numerous jazz concerts and festivals, as well as private engagements for Congressmen, Senators, and Diplomats, including Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. When I joined the band, the production process on a long overdue CD was largely complete, however an additional (bonus) track was added when it was determined to feature my (then 9 year old) daughter Charie' (whom I picked up from school on her first day of 4th grade to drive her to the recording studio) singing "When You're Smiling". The frustrating part of this was that I had written a song for Charie' to sing on my (then in progess) "He's Steppin Out" project, intending to be the first to record her, and Alan beat me to it (by a few months)! Because of Charie's additional (bonus) track, I got to participate in the CD as well (as the pianist for the "Charie Holt Trio"). This song is available to be heard on the product page of my website, where the CD content is detailed and is available for purchase. I recommend it.

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