Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
May/June, 2009
Vol 5 No 5 
                                 Trimming the sails 
Hope this finds you well. This is one of those occasional times that this newsletter has skipped a month. This has also been (as it has for many) one of those "nose to the grindstone/take assessment seasons". 
As you might imagine, many working musicians have taken a hit during this time of economic uncertainty. Some, particularly horn players, and some music contractors, have been hit particularly hard. Times like this require a special emphasis on the "business" part of the music business. For me, however, something additional is in play: a belief in, and comittment to my own calling. Ultimately, a trust in God to continue His purposes, and a turning of my focus away from circumstances in general, to my own path, specifically. Not to say that I have a necessary expectation of anything falling in my lap (though it's always nice when something does), but that my efforts, both in artistic growth, and creating enhanced opportunity, are not without provision. This provision will continue to be reflected in the schedule in the coming weeks and months, so check back often. Also am excited about the "growth" part, as I learn to "connect" more fully, and consistently, through practice and discipline. Perhaps the recent video postings will reflect this aspect of the provision. I'll leave that up to you. Okay, here's what's up...  

Joe's Concert Schedule
SUNDAY 6/7: 7pm

Joe performs for a piano (Yamaha Clavinova) dedication concert at the Central Baptist Church, 25 E 2nd St., Millville, NJ (856) 825-2737
Come and celebrate with Central Baptist Church as Joe performs an improvised concert of Christian hymns and songs.

THURSDAY 7/2/09: 7pm
Solo piano entertainment concert - featuring jazz and popular standards, at the Philadelphia Protestant Home social hall, 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 his "venues", this program is an opportunity to enjoy a warm and friendly evening.
THURSDAY 10/15 - 7:30pm:

"An Evening of Piano Improvisation" at the Mainstay,
Rock Hall, MD
An Evening of Piano Improvisation is just that: a wholly improvised concert event: featuring popular melodies, classical themes, and demonstrations of musical improvisation.
"Leading scientists from around the world concur that it is physically impossible to display any more pleasure than Joe does when he performs. It's borderline selfish, because, as amazing as it is to hear him, he still looks like he's having more fun than anyone else in the room." - Rik Ferrell, (Whats Up Eastern Shore).
"Joe Holt is Mr. Happy. The joy when he plays is boundless and infectious. You just cant be sad. Joe is a cure for the blues." - Felicia Carter (Baltimore/DC jazz and blues vocalist).
Tickets are $15. The Mainstay is a delightful and intimate venue, with limited seating.
Reservations are strongly encouraged. For directions, and additional info: or call 410-639-1933.
Come, and share in the experience.

Other Opportunities
SATURDAY 6/13: 8-11pm
Joe performs with the Mike Allen Trio at the Globe, Berlin, Md
Joe joins Michael Allen McShane and special guest Dave Schiff for an evening of instrumental jazz.

SATURDAY 6/27: 6-10pm
Joe performs with Holly Lane and Shore Jazz for jazz night at Crabber's Cove, Dewey Beach, De
A swinging evening in a family friendly bayfront setting

From the Comment Box
"Very good! I liked the smile on your face all the way through! haha"
"The best piano cover ever!!!!"
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Joe for many years now. He never plays any song the same way twice. What a musical genius. Keep listening and tell all of your friends."  
"Great job Joe!! Your energy and enthusiasm is quite infectious...they are lucky to have you. Keep up the great work."

You've got so much feeling in your playing that some of the "greats" of today do not. Like they're all chops and hype but no feeling and innovation.
You Tube 
 Featured new videos for May/June, 2009:
YouTube featured performance video:
"You're a Grand Old Flag"
flag day (US) - 6/14/09 
YouTube featured performance playlist:
Selected concerts and events are recorded, and individual selections posted on YouTube as a "video diary". 
Joe's "video hub" channel contains performance highlights from 2006 though the present.
Joe's current channel (2009) contains complete archives (playlists) of videos from this year's recorded events. Choose your "channel" by clicking the link below.
Joe will return to the Mainstay, in Rock Hall, MD for a solo concert performance: "An Evening of Piano Improvisation" on Thursday October 15, 2009, at 7:30pm.
Select concerts will now feature on-line "invitations" with performance video. Look for the "send an invitation" link on the concert listing, and help spread the word!
"Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist" have been temporarily taken off-line. Look for a future announcement of the return of this series.  
From the Journal
Here is a view that I haven't had in about 15 years. Some don't know that, from 1979 to 1990 (age 19 to 30) I was the organist and music director of a church in NJ (where I grew up). In fact, my major instrument in college wound up being split between piano and (classical) organ, where I had the benefit of studies with Dennis Elwell. The organ is a entirely different beast than the piano, and, back in the day, I enjoyed traveling that unique path, alongside of the piano. When I put it down, though, it was for good. Well, maybe. Over the past months of enjoying (yes, enjoying) worshipping at the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown (and "hanging with the musicians" "after the gig" :) ), the bug that has either remained dormant within me, or that Kate (the smiling organist) has somehow passed on, appears to have bitten. Took my first crack (in many years) at it today. It's a waaaay different animal. Okay, first, I need to find shoes....  
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