Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter Vol 2 No 12
December, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It seems so far away. Then I blink, and now, here we are, and here it is; the "Christmas/Holiday season". I look forward to this, and it always seems to go by so quickly. Let's all enjoy it this year, the best that we can. Oh, and, by the way, Joe Holt's Notes is here to help; "Do You Hear What I Hear", the new Christmas recording is now available! Thanks for allowing me to continue sharing my adventures with you this year. Now about this month...

In this issue...
  • In Focus
  • Jazz Performances and Concerts
  • Church Sponsored Concerts
  • Radio News
  • Recording News
  • From the Journal

  • Jazz Performances and Concerts

    This month's "main event" in this category is right up front: the Cabaret concert with Felicia Carter at the Prince Theatre on Sat the 2nd.Keep in touch with the performance schedule as the 2007 concerts are posted. Many concerts and festivals are already booked. Each week I'll update/expand the schedule. Hope to see you (somewhere, sometime)!

    Church Sponsored Concerts

    This month I have two church events (And both early in the month); in Rising Sun, Md, and in North Andover, Mass. Both are Christmas concerts, themed around "Do You Hear What I Hear". At this point, I am leaning strongly that "Do You Hear What I Hear" will be my theme for some time to come, and not just at Christmas. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share "what I hear".

    Radio News

    The longer I have this radio show, the more I am persuaded of it's importance in what I'm doing, and how I feel led to approach this. Each month I become aware of new regular listeners, including many of you who receive and read these newsletters. Thank you! In recent weeks we have added a new feature at the front of the show: a "live in-studio" performance of your request(s). I'm really enjoying this, and plan to keep it as a permanent feature. Keep the requests coming! Finally, we're entertaining a new element that will help facilitate the show's expansion: sponsoring. It may be the case that limited sponsor opportunities will be made available soon. If you are looking for a creative advertising option for your business, give me a call (or send an e-mail). Thanks for listening to "Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio"!

    Recording News

    "Do You Hear What I Hear" is making it's way "out there" and some wonderful responses are making their way "back here". Thank you. As I plan out the coming recording projects, one thing has become increasingly clear: Christmas isn't over yet. By this I mean (among other things) that there is a real possibility of a sequel (essentially a part 2), perhaps, even, for next Christmas! In addition to some "unpublished tracks" form the original recording session that I would use in the sequel, I am returning to the "studio" this month to add some more, fresh ideas. And there's even more that I'm not telling you (yet). This recording, and the underlying concept, that I am increasingly laying hold of may well mark a turning point/paradym shift in my entire career. Time will tell. For today though, here's what I know (with reasonable certainty): you'll want this CD.

    From the Journal

    Now is the time, it seems, to lay claim to my spot on whatever the "next level" is. It's less dramatic than it sounds, I suppose, but then again, it feels like the beginnings of a seismic shift. I have (after years of threatening) finally let go of a regular schedule at Sullivan's (though I may still play/sub occasionally). Sullivan's has long been my smallest "billable hour". It has been a great gig and run artistically. Playing weekly (or more) piano/bass duo gigs has really solidified my rhythm section chops. In addition to this, the relationships and friendships (most especially with Bruce Kaminsky) are priceless to me. Why, then, would I let it go? The cleanest and simplest answer is the understanding that I must place that energy elsewhere. For unrelated reasons, my professional relationship with Bryan Clark is, in large measure, at least for now, ending after my gig tonight. This means that I am letting go of a significant clump of weekly income at a time when finances are strained (I'm still "gigging like crazy" with music therapy and other work, but a complete income, in this business, is always the sum total of all the parts). As you can imagine, if you know me, I'm not sitting idlely by just watching, but thrusting into an increased schedule of sales time to realize what I truly believe is the time to get myself out there, more so, to the general public. The day after I "closed the chapter" on Bryan Clark, Joe Midiri calls me with 4 (more) west coast festivals/trips for next year. Still a drop in the bucket, but nonetheless, a "sign from God", so to speak, to encourage me on my way. The "Midiri boys" have been most helpful in permitting me to promote and market myself from within their ranks. They are responsible, in God's providence, for the (access to) relationships (newsletter subscribers/product orders) on the west coast. More things are, I believe, in store. God is good. posted by Joe Holt | Friday, November 10, 2006 (note: since this posting, Joe and Bryan have arranged to continue working together, in a limited capacity, when Bryan accepts gigs with solo piano accompaniment. See the schedule for March 2007)

    It's here! Now available! The fifth release of Joe Holt's Notes Records is the new/just recorded Christmas album: "Do You Hear What I Hear?". I'm proud of this one (that's always true, but especially so here) because, to me, it represents a new place, and a new starting point. This is the first CD recorded after this summer's "enlightenment" concerning music making, and my Christian spirituality (see my journal for more thoughts on this. Jump in in June, if you're interested). There are many, to me, "new beginning" aspects to this. The most exciting and validating part to me is the feedback I'm receiving that those who listen are connecting to what they hear, or, it is connecting to them (theological implications will be left to implication - huh?). And why a Christmas CD now? Simple (at least it started out that way) - I needed "Christmas music" for my radio show. Although initially approached forced-handedly, this whole Christmas music collection has taken on a life of it's own, and may grow significantly. For starters, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" has become my (year round) "theme song". It themes my current understanding of what it means to sit down and play the piano. I am sharing that connection which is made (what I "hear") with you, and inviting you to connect with me. At the recording session for this album, back in September, I had my most productive and connected day in the studio ever (and interestingly, confident enough in this ongoing process that it was anticipated ), and as it happened was finding differing ways (styles) to express that particular song. I wound up with 3 distinctive versions on the CD (and 2 more for the potential sequel; "Do You See What I See?". See "Recording News" for more about this)! Marc Moss, my recording engineer, has told me that "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is one of his favorite Christmas CDs. Might it also be one of yours?

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