Joe Holt's Notes
Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
November 2007
vol 3 no 11 
November is here, and I'm happy. It (finally) feels like Autumn. Nature is cooling off, and calming down. Joe, however, is gearing up, and revving high. Actually, it will relax a little bit later this month. I'll take it (!), but not for long (and that's a good thing)...
Featured Performances
SUNDAY 11/25: 5pm
Joe performs solo piano (please note this change) in the jazz vespers service of the First Presbyterian Church, Pitman, NJ
Of the many Jazz Vespers First Presbyterian Church has hosted over the years, this is their first time presenting with a solo artist. This environment is "safe", "friendly", inspirational, and supports a worthy charity. Come for a unique experience.
FRIDAY - SUNDAY 12/14-16: "Do You Hear What I Hear - A Holiday Celebration" at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown, Md.
My Christmas CD becomes the theme, as I'll be joined by a roster of the area's finest vocalists performing the music from "Do You Hear What I Hear" and "Do You See What I See" . I'll perform solo and accompany.
SUNDAY 1/13: 5pm
Joe performs with
Dan Tobias , and Scott Silbert  for a jazz vespers service at the Newark (De) First Church of the Nazarene
This initiates the jazz vespers series for First Church, as the first of four: 1/month through April. Joe will play a "supporting role" in each of the services, featuring outstanding and popular traditional and mainstream jazz artists in the greater Phila./Balt. region. Danny is a "first call" trumpeter for many jazz bands in central/north Jersey and NYC area. Scott is head arranger for the US Navy Band in the DC area. This will be their first performance together, with Joe on piano. Not to be missed.
9/2 thru 9/16:
Joe performs with the Midiri Brothers quintet on the Crystal Symphony for Jazzdagen Tours
14-day cruise from London to New York.This voyage of the Vikings stops at many interesting ports, such as: Invergordon (Scotland), Reykjavik (Iceland), Nuuk (Greenland) and more. The band performs each night, in addition to special events.
Other Opportunities
November features a diverse roster of public events including a solo piano church concert (in addition to the featured performance), yet another trip to the west coast (a brief one this time) for a Midiri Brothers concert in a California theater, and local events with both Holly Lane/Shore Jazz, and Vessa.
Check the schedule for these, and more.
"Do You See What I See" (the new Christmas CD) is now moving to manufacturing, and will be available later this month. Although it's release will be announced in December's newsletter, you may wish to pre-order for immediate shipment upon release. If any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at .
Check the youtube page for a video trip to my solo sets at the Sun Valley and Pismo festivals. If having trouble locating these, try this: solo festival videos.
And - a special welcome to new west coast listeners of "Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio"!
From the Journal
The you tube channel continues to reach new people, generate kind comments, and stimulate interesting dialogue. Here's a wonderful comment I received a few months ago:

"Joe Holt is my favorite piano player of recent years. He "plays with passion - wooing the piano instead of punishing it" as some modern players are accustomed to doing. The piano is to Joe, a sensuous musical companion that mirrors his musical imagination and various interpretive moods. In his "love affair " with the keyboard, you will seldom hear the same song played the same way twice. When you listen to Joe, listen with your heart."

Most of the comments, however, are directed toward a particular toon, and some are more analytical. Here's one from a recent post:

"Nice playing Joe. Great bass lines and swing feel throughout. I especially liked the block chords and some of those altered voicings. Five stars. "

Now I have new friends, and as we communicate, I can take in new things, and sharpen my own thoughts. Here are some of my words in an e-mail reply (to the gentleman above, who is a good "modern jazz" player who also posts on you tube), commenting on attitudes toward differing stylistic approaches:

"There are still occasions (though, thankfully, it seems, less than before) where guys in these different places will be condescending to others (fundamentalism isn't just for religions, it seems). From where I sit, it seems that "modern" (though as a bass player friend pointed out - modern jazz?, no - it's all old!") approaches incorporate the analysis, and then teach it up front in jazz education. This to me, can create both great music, and a potential disconnect. I happen to be one of those guys who "came up" in the '70s, hanging with, and influenced by the old big band era guys (and thankfully, I was in the pipeline before they were - now almost completely - gone). I tried, hard, in the early '80s in study (the only jazz lessons I've had) with a top tier guy, to shift my approach, only to finally understand that you don't re-invent the wheel - and - "modern" condescending guys (not you) aside, it's all legit; the dart just hits the board at a different place. Rod Dixon, a black operatic tenor (of the "3 Mo' Tenors") says something (among much else) that really resonates with me: "When it's all over and they go home, the people don't remember what you sang (played, for us), they do remember how you made them feel"."

I'm enjoying the conversation. 
The Big Story
It's official! The Midiri brothers quintet (with me on piano) will be among the featured artists, for the band's first jazz cruise. Sailing aboard the Crystal Symphony, we will find port in Scotland, Greenland, Iceland, and more, as we cross the Atlantic for the first half of September 2008. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this tour company from many (at recent festivals that I've spoken with) who have already signed up! Care to join us? Take a look at the brochure
Joe Holt's Notes Records
Do You Hear What I Hear?
It's getting closer! Do you have your copy yet - of the original Christmas CD, released last year: "Do You Hear What I Hear"? This CD has been universally well received, and has stimulated the process of going for 3 sequle CDs, one each year, beginning with "Do You See What I See", to be released later this month. The mood is comtemplative, yet festive. The songs are diverse, and the season is almost upon us. If you haven't yet - order your copy now
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Thanks again for your continued interest in what I do. In future newsletters, look for: 
  • more on the weekend (3 performances) holiday event at the Prince Theatre (Chestertown, Md): "Do You Hear What I Hear"   
  • the announcement of Joe's new Christmas CD sequel: "Do You See What I See"   
  • 4 planned CD releases in 2008!     
Stay tuned!
Looking forward,     Joe