Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter January 2008
Vol 4 no 1
Happy New Year!
I hope this finds you well, and that your holidays have been blessed. I'm still wonderfully tired - what an end to 2007 I've had! And, although I may get a little of a "breather", it seems this train will just keep rolling! A recent e-mail from a friend read - in part: "... I wish you only the best for 2008. I truly believe it will be YOUR year!!!" In a real sense, I believe that - in the context of divine providence; working also to prepare me for what's next. One day (or, in this case, month) at a time...
Featured Performances 
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.
FRIDAY thru SUNDAY: 2/1-3

Joe performs with the Midiri Brothers Sextet and trio, and solo piano at the Central Illinois Jazz Festival

A return trip for the band to this longstanding midwest event. After a rousing debut last year, the band returns - this year with an additional performance for the trio, and Joe scheduled in the "pianorama".
Joe performs with the
Midiri Brothers Sextet and trio at the Jazz Bash by the Bay, Monterey, Ca.
This is the band's first trip to this festival in beautiful Monterey. Joe performs with the sextet and trio in what is sure to be a rousing debut!
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
As far as public performances go, this month is fairly lopsided, so far. This year is no exception to the general rule (for me): that public events do slow down, but not until later in January. To illustrate this, check out the second full week - 4 concerts (in addition to everything else)! Other public performances are in the works, including the possibility of regular gigs in Easton, Md, so do check in with the schedule from time to time.
To illustrate the continued expansion of the reach of my youtube channel - we have moved from 13,000 video views in December (as noted in this newsletter) to over 21,000 to bring in the New Year (and still growing)! While leaving my original Youtube channel open, a new channel has been created exclusively for 2008 performance video. Click on the video link to my website to be directed to a page from which to choose your channel.
"Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio" now enters year 3 (!) of opportunity for me to play the piano for you. The show airs on WKDIam840 in Denton, Md every Sunday at 2pm. Visit the radio archive for, now, access to over 100 shows!
Other News
-The groundbreaking concert "Do You Hear What I Hear" is now available to be viewed, in a 19 post youtube playlist, found on my 2007 channel. Click here to go directly to the playlist.
-In last month's newsletter, the concept of house concerts was introduced. I've now joined the artist's listing for Concerts in Your Home. From my listing:
"My professional life as a full-time performing pianist began when I received my driver's license (over 30 years ago - gasp). Over these years, I've come to understand that my "calling" is to develop the connections that music makes, using these to uplift, and spread joy, to those around me. Please visit my website and click on the video page to (hopefully) get a sense of this. A small and intimate gathering, such as a house concert, continues to be a perfect fit for these connections, even as I gain larger audiences in "standard" performing venues. Don't let the word "jazz" scare you. It's probably not what you think".
Get Involved
Many of you who read this have already gotten involved - even if "just" to encourage me - and I thank you very much! In addition, if you have any thoughts or ideas to share: performing venue suggestions, referrals, CD placement opportunities, please contact Kim Mills (Manager, Joe Holt's Notes Records) at
From the Journal
Christmas Eve. The dust settles ("the" defining the pace of my, largely, professional activity over the last several weeks, while other dust - of household Christmas preparation, is stirred). Looking back over the last few weeks, I can see (the continuation of) new discoveries, beginnings, and possibilities. Looking ahead, I embrace providence, and promise. In an e-mail I received earlier this evening from a friend: "... I wish you only the best for 2008. I truly believe it will be YOUR year!!!" We all get our time to live and fulfil our calling. Oscar Peterson passed today. He relentlessly found and lived his purpose. He inspired and blessed us (me, anyway). The "old guard" continues to dwindle. I'm no Oscar Peterson, but do feel some connection to what he represented. As such, my presence "on the scene" is no less important tomorrow than yesterday, and perhaps more so. What defines the "scene" may be, all told, the story of 2008 for me. Let providence and promise play out.
Again, and, as always, Thank You! for your kind support, and continued interest. May blessings be real to you in 2008!     Joe
The Big Story
"Jazz Vespers Begins in Newark, De"
Those of you who have been with me for awhile may remember those years I was on staff at the Chestertown (Md) Church of the Nazarene, and the ongoing jazz vespers series. As you may know, Pastor Jonathan Mills moved on to Newark Delaware a couple of years ago - and now the jazz vespers series has moved on as well. This month begins a series of 4 Jazz Vespers Worship services - from January thru April. The schedule is as follows:
Jan. - featuring Dan Tobias and Scott Silbert
Feb. - featuring Felicia Carter and Max Murray
Mar. - featuring the Midiri Brothers
Apr. - featuring Holly lane and Shore Jazz.
I will play a supporting role on piano in all services.
If you are unfamiliar, or curious about this service concept, It's really pretty simple. Each service is built around experienced professional jazz musicians who "do their thing". Other traditional service elements are present as well, but the "mail event" is the music. so, what makes it worship (you may be asking)? To my understanding: worship (in church or otherwise) is really our response to God's revelation, and initiative. It would fit with the experience of many (and a biblical explanation as well) that glory and divinity are opened to us as we "take in" the creation around us (theologians term this "general revelation"). In a vespers service, the music/art is given the space and opportunity to "speak" - and with opened and willing ears, God can be "heard". If that sounds a little esoteric for you, don't sweat it. Just know that these services are open, and "non-invasive" (save the prompting of God within us). You will feel comfortable, and non-threatened - even if you never attend church - trust me (you know you can). Stop in, if you're anywhere nearby. 
Joe Holt's Notes Records
Playing By Heart - Always
This CD is the most relevant to the solo piano performances I am best known for: a solo piano collection of jazz and popular standards. Silly as it is, I was well into my 40s before having a representative recording such as this. From it's release in 2006, "Playing By Heart-Always" has been my "cornerstone" project. There have been other niche recordings preceding this, but this one still stands out. Perhaps it's the album cover (it is true that Ned Bustard - of World's End Images - takes the prize here). 
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