Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
October/November 2008
Vol 4 No 10 
  Nearly 4 (!) years of newsletters, and this is (only) the second time I've missed a month. With the theatre, and it's unique demands on my time and energy, right into a nearly 2 week road trip; many of my "routines" have fallen flat. What isn't flat is the awareness of God at work in each of the aforementioned circumstances (and many other places). A recent journal posting (shown below) breaks, perhaps, the "big story" of the moment. The coming months are full, as before, but without the "splattered" agendas. Instead, and in contrast, the vision seems now to be taking hold. In so many respects I sense it is now time to extend the "connection" (from the piano - to God - to you) to a broader audience. Not to  sound dramatic, I'm not talking about the (fairy tale) "big break" or anything - just a heightened sense that my understanding and application of God's purpose may be moving in a little tighter. It's good to feel a called purpose. May it also be for you (...Seek and you shall find...). Here's some of what it all looks like...
from Joe's Concert Schedule
FRIDAY 11/14/08: 8pm
Joe performs in concert - "An Evening of Piano Improvisation" at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown, Md (410) 810-2060

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 his 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.

FRIDAY 11/21/08: 7:30pm
Joe performs in concert at the St. Martin's Lutheran Church, Annapolis, Md (410)-263-4723
Joe shares across the scope of his artistic, and spiritual experience in this unique, integrated presentation. Christian hymns, piano improvisations, classical themes, and jazz standards are performed from the heart.

TUESDAY 12/2/08: 2pm
Joe presents "The Night Before Christmas", at the Downs Cultural Center, Wilmington, De (302)-575-0250 x2244
Joe returns to the Downs Center for a fun solo piano performance built around the famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore. Centered on a "dramatic reading", this program twists and turns around the story, bringing the warmth of the season, and lively renditions of holiday favorites. Downs center performances are open to the public, with no admission charge. Reservations are requested.

THURSDAY 1/1/09 (check web schedule to confirm date): 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 his "venues", this program is an opportunity to enjoy a warm and friendly evening.

SUNDAY 3/15/09: 5pm
Joe performs solo piano for jazz vespers at Newark (DE) First Church of the Nazarene. (302) 737 - 1400
Joe steps out of his usual supporting role to take "center stage" for this service. He explores improvisational expression in a variety of approaches and styles - from the traditional to the contemporary. The Jazz Vespers services in Newark are scheduled monthly: January through April, and are a welcoming, encouraging, and "non-threatening" window to the presence and work of God in the creative arts. Plan to attend.

Other Opportunities
SATURDAY 11/1,12/6: 7-10pm
Joe performs with Holly Lane and Shore Jazz at the Globe, Berlin. Md
Continuing as the "regular guy" for this group, I get to hone the ADD (or, multiple personality disorder) by performing on the keyboard with left-hand bass. Check us out at the fine venue, if you're nearby.
 THURSDAY 11/20/08:7-10pm
Joe performs with the Mike Allen Trio w/ guest Holly Lane at Ovations Restaurant & Lounge, Celebration Mall, 20 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE. (302) 227-9310.
A new venue for jazz in Rehoboth, on Thursday nights. Stop in, if you're nearby, and help us keep it going.
SUNDAY 1/11/09: 5pm
Joe performs with featured artists Sue Matthews - vocalist and E. Shawn Qaissaunee - guitar, with Tom Anthony - bass, and Ray Anthony - drums, for jazz vespers at Newark (DE) First Church of the Nazarene.
This service "kicks off" the 2009 jazz vespers series at First Church with Sue's strong, dynamic vocal presence, Shawn's creative originality, and Tom and I ''holding down the fort". These services are a welcoming, encouraging, and "non-threatening" window to the presence and work of God in the creative arts. Plan to attend.
Keep in touch with the schedule for the latest.
From the Comment Box
I wish you lived next door. I would leave my windows open....
November features:
 Featured YouTube video - Somewhere Out There  Featured YouTube video playlist -Swinging Solo Piano  Featured GodTube video - His Eye Is On the Sparrow  

"Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio" continues on 840am WKDI, Denton, MD Sundays @ 2pm. Learn more and listen now
The release of Joe's next CD has been delayed, but not for long. See details below. 
 With the departure from the Midiri Band, Joe's performing emphasis will be in solo piano concerts. The schedule blog has been re-vamped to reflect this emphasis.
The decision has been made to postpone the release of "Do You Know What I Know" (3rd of 4 planned Christmas recordings) until the fall of 2009. Watch video of selected tracks here. Look for an announcement in the coming months of a new solo piano CD to also be released in 2009. 
Jazz Vespers services for 2009 are now scheduled for January through April at the Newark (De) First Church of the Nazarene. Stay in touch with the schedule for information. 
 posted 10/22/08 Back home from the Sun Valley Festival. I purposely did not blog from the trip because, initially, of the uncertainty of my relationship with the band. As the trip progressed, however, the uncertainty faded into an embracing of the current reality: that my time (as a regular - at least) with the Midiri Brothers touring sextet was finished. Tensions have been building throughout the year, but handled professionally, on both sides, to my view. On the trip home, we both (discovered that we) planned to broach the subject to each other. In my case, the determination was solidified during the festival, in their's, it was a predetermined move. No bridges were burned, at least in our personal rapport, which (the brothers knew) was my first priority. There are a lot of implications to this, of course, and without expounding now, I'll just say that God is at work, and it's all good. With the exception of local sideman work, my focus now will be solo piano concert performances. I'll soon be tweaking my web schedule to reflect this. One disappointment here will be the disruption of my rapport with those outside of my local area, with whom the festival traveling allowed me to visit. God will work that out too - we'll just have to wait to see how. The Midiri band is in a very good place now, in several respects, and I wish the guys a great ride!... 
Read the Journal


 Lessons For the Thoughtful Pianist 
 The following is excerpted from Joe's original series: Lesson 17: "Take a Breath"
Music, like language, is an organized discipline. Theory: rules, structure, and order are worked out to the finest detail. Music, also like language, requires no formal knowledge of the "rules" in order to participate. The skill of communication is innate (by whatever means we learn to communicate). Some, of course, are more gifted than others, but we all have the foundational skill. The rules of language are not requisite learning before one is qualified to hold a conversation. Many a two year old (I remember when...) can communicate effectively with no learned understanding of sentence structure. When we land on what sounds good and effective (either by accident or formal training), we know it (hopefully). Just as a child's language/communication skills continue to grow and build upon itself as the child experiences more of life, so does our musical ability. Many musicians play and perform with little or no formal knowledge of/training in music theory (the "rules"). However, as with language, the more we learn and understand, the more refined our skill of communication becomes. With knowledge and experience(s) comes the "maturity" that we sense in an effective public speaker or a good musician. The art of phrasing, in music, is a cornerstone of effectiveness in communication, just as speaking in sentences is in language. Listening to a two year old, and then a six year old child speak, you'll encounter a sense of the development of sentence structure. The older child sounds more "mature", in part, because of the ability to speak in organized sentences. Without this structure (whether learned intellectually or intuitively), the speaker can come off as unknowledgeable or immature (A lack of sentences, or a repeated use of short two and three word groupings). One can also appear disorganized or lacking focus (rambling and run-on sentences). A lack of appropriate phrasing in music can also come across as unknowledgeable, immature, disorganized, or lacking focus...

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Thank you for your continued interest. Hope all is well for you , and remains so.
 Blessings and awareness,