Joe Holt's Notes
Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter June 2008
Vol 4 No 6 
Hope that this finds you well. Some of you may know that several weeks ago, I was contemplating a potential move, and professional commitment that would have disrupted many things. Wondering how this would work, I was drawn to find ways to maintain as much continuity as possible. It wasn't that I desired to change anything, really. Instead, it seemed appropriate to say yes to (this particular) opportunity.   As it plays out, it is now clear that I was to learn from this circumstance; to have new perspectives introduced, and unworkable ideas rooted out. I am again reminded that saying yes (to God) means trusting where He will take us. Last Sunday in church the pastor said - "To trust in God is to be willing to hang out with mystery". Yes! Not to have the answers, but to be guided on the path. My "calling" is confirmed again and again. What to do with it is forever confounding, but the journey remains a joy (you have permission to remind me I said that). Thank you for your continued interest in what I'm up to. Here's the latest... 
Featured Performances 
SATURDAY 6/7: 7-10pm
 Joe performs with the Holly Lane Trio at the Globe, Berlin. Md
The Globe is the centerpiece of arts and entertainment in the picturesque town of Berlin, Maryland (also known as Hale - the film "Runaway Bride" was set here). Formerly a theatre, now beautifully renovated, the Globe plays host to numerous cultural events, offers fine and casual dining, and continues to feature performers on the stage.  
FRIDAY 7/11 - SUNDAY 7/13
 Joe performs with the Midiri Brothers sextet and trio, and solo piano at the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee, Ca.

This year the Mammoth festival celebrates it's 20th anniversary, (with emphasis on the celebrating)! One of (if not the) most eclectic of jazz festivals, it has broadened (over 20 years) from a strictly "trad" event, to feature a wide variety of styles and bands. If you've never been to beautiful Mammoth Lakes California (a bustling ski resort in the winter), here is your perfect excuse!

 FRIDAY 7/25 - SUNDAY 7/27
Joe performs with the Midiri Brothers Septet and trio for the Connecticut Jazz Festival
The Connecticut festival was the first festival for the Midiri Band in 2002 (breaking the "swing barrier" in this otherwise traditional festival), however this is the only festival on which Joe has not appeared (since rejoining the band in 2006) - until now.
Joe performs with theMidiri Brothers sextet and trio at the Orange County (CA) Classic Jazz Festival This popular festival features a variety of quality bands positioned throughout the Hilton in Costa Mesa Ca. Featuring a 4-man rhythm section (with Pat Mercuri on guitar), the Midiri band really swings! 
TUESDAY 9/23: 7pm
Solo piano entertainment concert - featuring jazz and popular standards, at the Philadelphia Protestant Home , Philadelphia, Pa for info (215)697-8564
Joe has performed in concert for the Phila. Protestant Home retirement residents and surrounding community every other month since 1994 (over 80 performances)! This event is like one big family, where Joe shares personal and family stories, and presents a solo piano concert. Unique among Joe's "venues", this program is an opportunity to enjoy a warm and friendly evening. 
THURSDAY thru SUNDAY, 10/16-19:
Joe performs with the Midiri Brothers Sextet and Trio, and solo piano at the Sun Valley Jazz Festival, Sun Valley, Idaho.
The beautiful Sun Valley Resort hosts one of America's premier festivals. The Midiri Brothers Band performs along with top circuit groups and musicians - and the festival experisnce is one of a kind

 FRIDAY 11/14/08: 8pm Joe performs in concert,  "An Evening of Piano Improvisation" at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown, Md
Joe returns to the Prince Theatre, this time with the stage to himself. An evening of solo piano; from classical themes to popular standards to contemporary melodies (and a surprise or two) - all improvised. Of Joe's solo piano performances; reviewers, musical colleagues, and fans agree: "Joe is fun to listen to. He's even more fun to watch." "Joe Holt is Mr. Happy. The joy when he plays is boundless and infectious" "Joe touches lives wherever he goes" "When you listen to Joe, listen with your heart" Come, and share in the experience.  
Other Opportunities 
This summer finds me, in addition to the Midiri Festivals in Mammoth Lakes, Costa Mesa, and Conneticut (and the ongoing slate of corporate and music therapy gigs - off the public schedule), working more frequently with Holly Lane and Shore Jazz in the DelMarVa beach/resort area. There will be opportunities throughout the summer to find us across the region
May features:
Featured YouTube video - Meet the Flintstones
Featured YouTube video playlist - Jazz Vespers...2008
"Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio" continues in it's revised format - including Joe's explorations into music and it's makings, as well as "live-in-studio" performances, and "behind-the-scenes" features. If you have trouble listening on-line, or you just want to get away from your computer, the show is now available each week on CD. Contact Kim -  for details.
Recording preview 2008 - now 5 selections from 2 upcoming CDs. Watch them now.
-Due to a change in circumstances, I will not be participating in the Midiri Brothers jazz cruise in September. The cruise itself remains (they won't miss me, really   :)   ), along with the entertainment schedule.
-In order to share some of the comments on individual YouTube video posts (without you having to watch every single one), a new segment begins this month: "From the Comment Box" (see below).
-I have accepted the position of musical director for the production "Once on This Island"; to be performed at the Church Hill Theatre from Sept 19 to Oct 5. I'm pleased to begin an association with the theatre 
From the Comment Box 
"This is mind blowing Joe. There are very few piano players in the world that can improvise like this. I gotta go home and practice!!! My goodness!!! " 
"Gorgeous bit of playing Joe! One of the nicest performances I've heard all year."
"Any piano player who can automatically adjust his glasses while in the middle of playing is good." 

"Good stuff! I especially liked the "bass" solo. For a moment there I forgot I was listening to a piano!"

"This is the most mature rendition of the piano version of this song. It is original, moving, soulful. I had visions of past great jazz singers and pianists. Absolutely superb, a uniquely original interpretation.
You touched my black aesthetic.
White men got soul."
From the Journal 
 Friday, May 16, 2008
It's fun (for me, anyway) when things are swirling around - and lately, they have been, especially today. The summer gigs are starting to fill in. I might remain a little behind for a time in posting dates out in my schedule, but it'll get there. Speaking of getting there:
-Closing in on my goal of 50,000 youtube views by the 1 year "anniversary" of posting - 6/3/08. Right now at 47,500, and with a pace of around 2,000/week (and accelerating), it's looking good!
-In addition to the gig schedule (public and private) filling out, the long term goal of growth in solo piano concerts is staying on the tracks. Check out the schedule for info on my concert at the Prince (Chestertown) in November. More will be coming.
What I have finally come to understand, however, is that my YouTube channels are my most important concert, making new "connections" daily. The encouragement and camaraderie has been great! Suggestion - if you are inclined to "subscribe" to my YouTube videos (for which you must be a YouTube member), sign up for the JoeHoltsNotes2008 channel. This is where the current posting is happening.

(note - 50,000 views passed on 5/27/08)
Lessons For The Thoughtful Pianist
The following is excerpted from Joe's original series: Lesson 5 - Your Inner Rhythmic Time
When listening to any music, there are certain core elements that bring clarity to the experience. Arguably, the most important brick in the foundation is the rhythmic underpinning. Within this, music is ordered and structured, thus making "sense" to us. Beyond making sense, the skillful and mature use of rhythm can touch us deeply. This lesson will bring focus to your inner sense of time: the "ticking" of your rhythmic clock, and how you can strengthen it.
First, let's distinguish between rhythm and rhythm. On the one hand, rhythm is (constructed by) the proper interpretation and use of note values, rests, and articulation. On the other hand, rhythm is the "feel" and foundation that exists independently of anything else in music - providing the structure into which everything else fits (When Gershwin wrote: "I've got rhythm, I've got music...who could ask for anything more", he wasn't referring to quarter notes, eighth notes, and rests). Musicians often refer to this second definition as "time". Repeating then the original sentence, let's distinguish between rhythm and time. As we have now defined it, the first involves mechanics, the second, the foundation of musical expression. If you've had any formal piano instruction, you've already learned about the first part: rhythm. It's time now to concentrate on the second part: time...
When making music we want to feel and control the "time". In so doing, our music becomes understandable (and enjoyable) to the listener because of the structure provided. This structure has nothing to do with any particular piece, phrase, or note value. It has to do with steady, reliable, "in the pocket" time. Not just steady counting, but a "relationship" with the beat that allows you first, to find it, and then to communicate using it.

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