Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
April, 2009
Vol 5 No 4
Hope this finds you well, and that your Easter holiday was meaningful and enjoyable. As we move now deeper into the Spring things often get busier (or seem to, at least), and that is certainly true with the musician's schedule. I am grateful to have continued, and expanding opportunities to share with you: in live performances as well as radio show and video postings, and now, instructional articles and video. Read all about it...    
Joe's Concert Schedule 
SUNDAY 4/19: 6pm
Joe performs hymns, Christian songs, and jazz piano in concert at the Newark Church of the Nazarene, Newark De. 
Joe returns to First Church for an improvised concert of familiar hymns and songs, as well as jazz standards, and demonstrations of improv. A warm and friendly setting.

THURSDAY 5/7 - 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 85 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. 
SUNDAY 5/17: 6pm
Joe performs in concert at the New Castle Presbyterian Church, New Castle, DE
Joe performs for the first time, at this historic church. An improvised program of Christian hymns and songs, jazz/popular standards, and demonstrations of improvisation. A casual, and fun evening 
THURSDAY 5/21 - 2pm
Joe performs in concert: "Piano Improvisations" at the Downs Cultural Center, Wilmington, DE
Joe returns to the Downs center for a wholly improvised piano concert with a varied palate of familiar melodies, and, perhaps, a surprise or two. Downs center performances are open to the public, with no admission charge. Reservations are requested. (302)-575-0250 x2244

see the schedule
From the Comment Box
You must start learning piano at like 5 year old to play like this right?
I just wish I would have been there at the Church Hill Theatre. I think it was a evening with a top artist playing that piano.  RESPECT!
You always have unusual answers to common questions, musically. I really love your playing.

Yet another superb pianist-is there an inexhaustible supply of them in the US? Wonderful music. Thank you Mr.Holt

Now, THAT was FUN ..
to which I replied:
Fun is why we do it! What other good reason/excuse is there to be in this business? :)

Featured new videos for April, 2009:
YouTube featured performance video:
YouTube featured performance playlist:
YouTube featured instructional video:
Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio" continues on 840am WKDI, Denton, MD Saturdays @ 5pm, and Sundays @ 2pm. Join me as I play the piano for you, and share thoughts about music and it's makings.
Fall and winter concerts are scheduling now. Look for Joe to return to familiar venues, as well as "initiate" some new ones. Among the 'familiar', look for Joe's return to the Mainstay (possibly this fall) for a solo performance. Also planned are concerts at the Prince Theatre (Joe accompanies John Schratwieser and Melissa McGlynn), and a December weekend trip to New England. Check often with the schedule as these and others are posted.   
As of "press time", the final "verdict" is still out on the start of Sunday Brunch gigs at the Peacock Restaurant and Lounge, in Easton, MD. If, indeed, we are moving forward, it should appear on the schedule within a week from the publishing of this newsletter. 
In support of "Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist", the Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist YouTube Channel is now open. Watch for new videos to added as new lessons become available.  
From the Journal
Yesterday morning I had the privilege of being the invited guest for the dedication of the newly acquired piano at the Melwood Church of the Nazarene, in Upper Marlboro, MD. Doesn't sound like the name of a town that sits just outside the Washington, DC beltway, and a neighbor to Andrews Air Force Base, does it (must be the Marlboro part)? Though I live in the very rural Eastern Shore of MD, 30 miles from any town of more than 5,000 people, I'm actually only about an hour and a half (or less) from several metropolitan areas, including (much of) greater DC. My connection with this church is largely through my personal connection with the pastor, John Nielson. When you sift it down, it all rests on relationships. Performing mainly as a soloist now, the relationship with an audience is more clearly in view. Continue to feel I am on a called path
Thanks for your continued interest!
Blessings and awareness,

Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist
The following is excerpted from Lesson B1: "Tension and Relaxation"
In this lesson, you will be introduced to some detailed concepts, but for a larger purpose. This purpose is for you to begin seeing (hearing, and understanding) tension and release as the engine that fuels all movement in music. Often subtle, but always present. Though you may not identify it as such, the engine of increasing tension; necessitating, at some point, resolution, propels not only music, but (arguably) all of life. Questions like: "How regularly would you eat a meal (resolution) if you never became hungry (tension), or how reliable would a grade school student be at homework if the work were never due?" will hopefully suffice to make the point. In these (and all other) examples, a series of events and/or circumstances work to create an environment that necessitates movement, or, the resolution of the building tension. Perhaps you can already sense that, although the overall concept is simple, it's application (particularly in music) can create layer upon layer of seemingly complex structure. Don't be overwhelmed by this apparent complexity of harmonic (harmony, chords, progressions...) theory. It isn't complicated at all if you understand that it all comes back to the same thing: tension and release. Trust me. As I often say: " I overwhelm easily. If this (music making) were complicated I'd be stuck in the mud at the starting gate".
So let's begin simply...

 Want to see, hear, and read more?

Listen - to Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio. Each week, Joe devotes a portion of the program to sharing his thoughts on making music.

Read - Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist. 
Downloadable lessons available by subscription 
Watch - Video on the new Lessons For the Thoughtful Pianist YouTube channel.

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