Joe Holt's Notes
Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
May 2008
Vol 4 No 5 
Hope this finds you well. Was April a "dramatic" month for you? For me, a time of discovery, and a re-connecting with my calling. Thought for a few days that I might be pursuing a creative opportunity that would have been a "dramatic" change. It came clear, though, that I remain called to my current path (whew!); just needing a few "adjustments". Anyway, things are settled in, and am enjoying varied opportunities for expression and growth. Speaking of opportunities, this month affords many, and more are on the way...
Featured Performances
Each month an event is featured for special consideration
TUESDAY 5/13: 2pm
Solo piano entertainment concert - featuring jazz and popular standards, at the Downs Cultural Center, Wilmington, De

I'll return to the Downs Center for a solo performance of jazz and popular standards. Downs center performances are open to the public, with no admission charge. Reservations are requested. (302)-575-0250 x2244

SATURDAY 6/7/08: 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 7/25 - 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 the Midiri 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!
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.
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 month affords opportunities to hear me, not only as a soloist, but also in other groups with which I perform. If you haven't heard either the Midiri Brothers band or Holly Lane/Shore Jazz (and it is logistically possible), there should be ample opportunity in the coming months to catch something 
Also, check with the schedule from time to time as this is the season where things can pop up at any time (and at the 11th hour). Hope to see you!
April features:
Featured YouTube video - Blue Moon/2
Featured YouTube playlist (5 videos) - Concert Demo
"Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio" continues to feature a few minutes of exploration (for both musicians and non-musicians) on a musical concept during each show. These mini-lessons will address many issues explored in "Lessons For the Thoughtful Pianist
4 selections from this year's (anticipated fall release) new Christmas CD are now available to see/hear on YouTube:
My promotional poster (pictured on my website front page) is now available for (PDF) download. Use it for event promotion, or for a colorful paper airplane design (your choice).
Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio is now accessible for those who live out of station range, and have no, or limited Internet access. Contact Kim at for more information 
From the Journal 

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A busy weekend (of gigging) - and fun. Perhaps the highlight was subbing this morning for the regular pianist of Dixieland Direct for a Sunday brunch in DC. It's fun to make new associations - even more so when your contribution is greeted with "Where have you been?". I knew this was coming (more than they did), in that these guys (and in particular the clarinetist) are coming right out of that Benny Goodman era bag that I came up in. They just didn't (fully) know that until this morning. Often, for jazz musicians of a more traditional bent, the sidemen you hire are contemporary jazz guys who know how to adjust, or accommodate - which will fill the bill. In any pursuit, however, it's exhilarating to find people who are coming from the same place you are. It was fun for all of us this morning. Despite the confidence I have as a solo performer, it is nice to be appreciated as a sideman. This is a change from some recent experience (no further comment), and is welcome.
Wrote a long private journal entry the other day about mistakes and miscalculations I have made. and feel on firmer footing now. Keep in touch with my Youtube channels, as they continue to grow. This is the (current) means by which the music touches the most people. Oh - and about that opportunity referenced last post; although it would have been potentially a good opportunity (in Colorado!), I'm relieved that upheaval didn't happen. Continue to feel like I'm settling back, and digging in.
Lessons For The Thoughtful Pianist

The following is excerpted from Joe's original series.  Lesson Four: The Melodic Movement of Chords.

This lesson is written to make an important statement about chords, and in so doing, to inform (and perhaps transform) your thinking. With an understanding of what chords represent, you will use them more appropriately, and effectively. Whether you are experienced and knowledgeable about extended/altered chords, and harmonic progressions, or you are just starting out with basic triads - the same principle applies. It is simple, but challenges the presuppositions of many modern musicians. Many have forgotten, or perhaps never really understood, that chords - although they stand alone and are individually analyzed - are really groupings of melodies. These groups move (or ought to) as melodies from one to another. In so doing, they create the functions or harmony - particularly tension and release. In other words, the connection of a progression of chords is much the same as that of a single melody line. Imagine a good vocalist singing a familiar, pretty song; all of the notes flowing logically - one leading to the next. In order to be effective, chords must connect to each other in the same way. The purpose of this lesson is to "convince" you that harmony is also melody, and equip you to make some discoveries on your own. ...Once you understand the principle of "voice leading" and melodic movement, you can begin to make changes in the chords you are currently using, because you will begin to hear the difference...

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Thank you for your continued interest and encouragement. Will hope to see you soon!
Blessings and awareness,