Joe Holt's Notes
Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
February, 2009
Vol 5 No 2
                     Steady as she goes...  
Welcome back (or just welcome if you are receiving this for the first time)! I hope the new year is treating you well, and that the current economic situation has not effected you negatively. Most of you know that I've been a gigging musician ever since I've had a driver's license (to get to the gigs). Over the years I've come to understand that my perspective on things related to "work" may be different than some (or most). One thing that my experience has taught me is that a gig (job) is not an entitlement. Rather it's something you earn, from one gig (day) to the next. Another was learned some years ago when my next door neighbor, a union painter, lost his job. I saw, up close, the "all or nothing" circumstance that many face with unemployment. I'm grateful to feel (much) less vulnerable as a self employed individual (as, for me, rather than "all or nothing", it's "more or less"). In fact, things are moving along just fine, with a busy February (generally a slow month). Most of my work (as always) remains off the public calendar, but there's some neat stuff on the public schedule as well. Other projects are also moving ahead - look for "Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist" subscription downloads to be available in the next few days. Details below... 
Joe's Concert Schedule
FRIDAY 2/13/09: 7pm
Joe performs with John Schratwieser and Melissa McGlynn in Wesley Hall at Heron Point, Chestertown, MD
John and Melissa bring lighthearted fun along with solid vocal performances, and piano by Joe. An evening of Broadway and popular favorites will be enjoyed by all.

FRIDAY 2/20: 7pm
Joe performs solo piano for "A Night of Broadway" at the Melwood Church of the Nazarene, Upper Marlboro, MD
Joe performs improvised arrangements of "Broadway" classics as the featured performer for this evening, sponsored by the Melwood Church. Between Joe's sets, members of the church will also present their "Broadway" favorites.

THURSDAY 3/5: 7pm
Solo piano entertainment concert - featuring jazz and popular standards, at the Philadelphia Protestant Home , Philadelphia, Pa. For info (215)697-8564
A "warm and fuzzy" event. Joe entertains regularly at PPH, and has for years. Some residents remember a visit when Robbie (now 12) was in diapers crawling around the auditorium, and Charie (now 16) was hiding under a table. It's like one big family, and you are welcome to join in!
Other Opportunities
SATURDAY 2/14: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Joe performs with Holly Lane and Shore Jazz at the Frogg Pond, Rehoboth Beach, De.
Holly is in heaven singing love songs - but she can really swing too!

THURSDAY 2/19: 7pm
Joe performs as accompanist/musical director for "Women Helping Women", Prince Theatre, Chestertown, MD
An annual benefit concert to support the local work of Dr. Maria Boria, featuring the areas finest female performers.

SATURDAY 2/21: 7-10pm
Joe performs with the Mike Allen Trio at the Globe, Berlin, Md
Joe joins John Ewart and Michael Allen McShane for an evening of instrumental jazz. 


From the Comment Box
 Love it, shear poetry at the keys. If I was in the nursing home, I would't let you go home! They are very fortunate people to have you.

Wow Joe! You've done it again! Blown me away with another brilliant rendition of one of my favorite songs. Thank you for posting your interpretations of this classic song for us to listen to and enjoy.

I'm not sure if you take requests, or if this your style of song to play, but I would love to hear your interpretation of the song 'You're Still The One I Love' by Shania Twain. I think you would turn it on it's head and take it from a work of art into a work of genius. Regardless, keep it up!!

This shows you have a hermeneutical and arresting understanding of music. To make clear what I mean (Wikipedia):
"The possibility of communication between different beings depends on them being able to agree on the meanings of the signs they may exchange. The great question is, how do we know whether someone else understands the same thing we do when we use language to try to communicate with them, and how do we know that we understand the language the same way the other person did when they issued it?"
Now listen to the crowd while listening to your music
This is true improvisation, performed on a level that most of us only dream of.......

YouTube featured video for February, 09 -
Featured Playlist -
Look for new postings coming soon on my new 2009 YouTube video channel
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.
A new year, a new video channel (yes, again). JoeHoltsNotes2009 is now active. Posting continues on my Original channel, and 2008 channel (for now).  
"Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist" are no longer available in the hard copy format. New revised and expanded lessons downloads will be available by subscription prior to the end of this month. Check it out! Joe has accepted the position of Musical Director for the production of "Triumph of Love", to be performed at the Church Hill Theatre, Sept 25 thru Oct 11, 2009 

From the Journal
 Friday, January 09, 2009 
Today it happened, we passed 100,000 total views on my video channels. Although I have a (slow but) steady stream of new subscribers and commenting visitors, my channels have not achieved the momentum of some of the pianists who post (particularly those who post jazz education videos). I'm actually in a funny kind of non-category, as categories go. Not purely "trad" jazz, not (to some) truly "modern" jazz, certainly not "smooth" jazz, sometimes not even "jazz" at all (fine with me, as I am largely avoiding that word in describing myself these days). This I'm used to: people "find" me, one listener at a time. Discoveries are good, vital, really. As you may know, although jazz fans are among those who "find" me, I'm really not playing to this narrow niche. Rather, seeking to "connect" with whoever is in the room (as much as I can). This is misinterpreted by a few as "compromise", or a lack of proper substance. I believe (and hope) that it is best understood as authenticity. It took many years to come to understand who, as an artist, I am. Now, I feel I can run with it.

read the journal
On Making Music
For all of the "formalities" involved with making music, it becomes necessary, sometimes, to step back and adjust your perspective. For all that you might structure yourself to do in your reading and practicing, you mustn't overlook a most essential discipline: listening.
Listening to others
- The modern musician has a gift that would make us the envy of every musician prior to the 20th century: recordings. The value of this "tool" cannot be overstated. It effects the process of learning and understanding music in so many ways, the most obvious being that you can listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. As you find particular musicians who inspire you, make a study of it by listening not only to as many recordings as you can find, but also by immersing yourself in those recordings that especially move you. As you listen repeatedly, particularly in conjunction with growing musically, you will continue to make new "discoveries".  
 Listening to yourself -
Sometimes we become so absorbed the process of with making music that we never really "take it in". As you are playing, particularly with music with which you are comfortable, try to step back and hear what's happening. Also,
consider recording yourself and listening "from the outside". Honest self-evaluation will facilitate new discoveries, and artistic growth.
Want to 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 

Have a musical topic on which you would like Joe to comment? E-mail Joe now 

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Thanks for your continued interest. Hope to see you soon!
Blessings and awareness,