Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
January 2010
Vol 6 no 1
                    A New Year, a new "gear" 
Overdrive, perhaps? As 2010 settles in, the multitude of opportunity to "connect" (with the music, and with people), encourages me greatly. It also challenges my daily planner. These days, I am saying (blathering?) that my professional life consists of 2 "full-time jobs": preparation/performance, and administration/sales (to which I have always been "challanged"). Am I complaining? Not at all! Am excited about the road ahead, and grateful to share it with you...    
Joe in Concert
SATURDAY 1/23/10: evening
Joe performs in concert at Central Baptist Church, Millville NJ
Joe presents improvisations on hymns, classical themes, popular song, and demonstrations of musical spontaneity, including his "A.D.D. Improvisation".
MONDAY 1/25: 7:30pm
Joe performs in concert in Wesley Hall at Heron Point, Chestertown, MD
Improvisations on familar melodies, and entertaining demonstrations of musical spontaneity highlight this concert for the residents of Heron Point - open also to the community. Come, you are welcome!
SATURDAY 2/10/10: evening
Joe performs in concert at Seacrest Presbyterian Church, Delray Beach Fla.
Joe presents improvisations on hymns, classical themes, popular song, and demonstrations of musical spontaneity, including his "A.D.D. Improvisation".

SUNDAY 2/21/10: evening
Joe performs in concert at the Lake Fort Worth Church of the Nazarene, Fla.
Joe performs a Sunday concert of familiar hymns and songs, and piano improvisation.

SUNDAY 2/28/10: 6pm
Joe performs in concert at the Denton (MD) Church of the Nazarene
Joe performs a Sunday concert of familiar hymns and songs, and piano improvisation.
SATURDAY 3/6/10: 8pm
Joe performs in concert at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown MD
Joe presents improvisations on jazz standards, classical themes, popular song, and demonstrations of musical spontaneity, including his "A.D.D. Improvisation". Joe will also perform music from his groundbreaking CD: "Stories Without Words"
"The joy when he plays is boundless and infectious" - Jazz vocalist Felicia Carter
Come, and share in the experience
Joe also performs with:
FRIDAY 1/22/09: 7-10pm
Shore Jazz featuring Holly Lane, at the Caroline County Public Library, Denton, MD
SATURDAY 2/6/10: 8pm
Beth McDonald - "From the Heart" - in concert at the Avalon Theatre, Easton, MD                                                    FRIDAY-SUNDAY 2/12,13,14/10: 6-10pm                         The Joe Holt Trio - presented by Presented by Dave Schiff Society Choice Productions - at the Kitty Knight House, on the Sassafras, in Georgetown, MD
From the Mailbag/Comment Box 
"We appreciate you coming all the way from Maryland to entertain us. I remember your first few performances many years ago, and how gifted you were. But what you are doing now is amazing!"
"Just enjoyed showing a friend, my friend, Joe Holt! A joy for both of us!! You are truly gifted, and a blessing to all of us that can listen to you play."
"This is really, really beautiful !!!! Regards from Germany."

This was a great spiritual joy for me! 
God is with your fingers."

"My favorite version !!! Happy New year from Italy."

"Joe, I am greatly enjoying "Stories Without Words" Bravo!"

"(Joe is) The "Sybil" of the piano."

"Nope! Never get bored listening to you!! Everyone that comes into my home listens to the genius of Joe Holt and they are all as hooked on your playing as I am. Got lots of fans here!!"

"Do You know that through You Joe, through your play God how much can warm the people's heart? I can not tell You how much: I just FEEL IT!!!"
"For what it's worth, here's my stamp of approval. Enjoy it - I don't like much of anything. ;)"
Joe's new Facebook fan page:
Interact with Joe, and keep up with the latest news
Become a fan
"Cheerful Little Earful" reviewed:
Danny Tobias' new CD release (Joe plays piano) has received it's first review, in the New Jersey Jazz Magazine. Short, but sweet.
New You Tube Channel: 
Joe's new 2010 video channel is now open . 
Joe's new Trio: 
The (new) "Joe Holt Trio" debuts at the Kitty Knight House (Georgetown, MD) for Valentine's weekend
A return to the Prince Theatre:
Joe's new concert concept: "Spontaneous Joy" debuts at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown, MD on 3/6/10, at 8pm.
Joe on You Tube
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 (2010) will archive videos from this year's recorded events. Choose your "channel" by clicking the link below. 
Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio:
Now completing it's 4th year, Joe's weekly (half hour) program is your ticket to exclusive performances, "behind the scenes" audio, and the latest news.   
listen now  
Joe on CD:
Joe's label; "Joe Holt's Notes" has now grown to 7 titles (not counting the many recordings of others artists on which he appears). These CDs continue to document the creative path, and are available online. 
order now
Quick Links
Thank you for reading this newsletter, and sharing the journey with me in this new year. May 2010 be a great year for you! 
Blessings and awareness,

From the Journal
This past Saturday night, I took a(nother) "social networking" plunge, and opened a Facebook fan page. Taking this opportunity to organize my thoughts (no easy task), I determined to represent my "calling" as I now see it. Was able to get the following uploaded from my mind (again, no easy task). As it turns out, this represents a "manifesto" of sorts for 2010 (and beyond), in my (Facebook fan page) biography field. As such, I wanted to share it here also:

"In a few months, I'll turn 50, when some say "life begins" (50 being "the new 40"). It may be particularly true with respect to the next "phase" of my career. I have always been a full-time performing pianist; identifying, and identified, most strongly with "stride piano" and "classic" jazz, since my teenage years. Discoveries, personal/spiritual realizations, and a deepened confidence and "connection" to creative expression, have brought me to a new place. With, it seems, a wider-angle lens, I now survey a landscape with new features to explore, and possibilities to entice. From here I travel a broadened path, or perhaps multiple paths together. Not to forget "where I come from", but to (purpose to) more fully embrace "who I am" (and who, I'm discovering, I have always been). Most important, I've learned, - in countless lessons, that it's not about me. Among the "game changers":
-The realization (working the Showboat Casino in
AC in the mid-'80s), that I make music to facilitate connections of service to others.
- The acceptance of service to others as a "calling", symbolized by attaining a certification as a Music Therapist (MT-BC), several years later. Working on developing an "others" focus (admittedly, at times, very imperfectly), set the stage for the big "epiphany":
- Understanding music making as, in essence, a Spiritual discipline.
This understanding allows all the aforementioned 'burdens" of performance, connection, and service, to be removed (or, at least, loosened). Making the "connection", is (now seen as) to lose my self (focus) and trust that which is "outside" of me. My friend, Bruce Kaminsky, is known to say (among many other "proverbs"): "That two people can make music together is proof of the existence of God". If I am to touch another (musician with which I perform, of listener to which I perform), who is doing the "touching"?
Throughout the evolution of all this, my view has been through the lens of Christianity, or, as I would lean to characterize it now, a "Christian Spirituality". As this evolution could be characterized (in this, and in my life as a whole), as a loosening of the grip on "agendas" (self-focus, and control), there is, underlying it all, a trust in God to "do the work", and to "get it right". In performance, what is most important to me is that the music touches you. If that is so, I'm comforted, and emboldened in the understanding that this is, ultimately, not my doing (in the larger, Spiritual sense).
Though I continue to perform with other musicians (both as a "sideman" and with my own trio), my main focus is to continue to deepen my "connection" (to the artistic expression, and to you) as a soloist. You will find, on my public schedule, an increasing array of opportunities to "journey with me". From event to event, the emphasis may change on the titles performed, but not on the "process". In addition to the "classic" standards I am known to perform, expect to encounter (depending on the nature of the event) - improvisation on classical pieces and themes, popular song, hymns, freely improvised original compositions, and the embracing of my own artistic uniqueness (most notably, the "A.D.D. Improvisation").
Freely improvised pieces are a recent addition to my public expression, and can be heard on the new CD release: "Stories Without Words". To explore further, visit Thanks for visiting my
Facebook page. I look forward to keeping in touch!"

As well as here. Happy New Year everyone!
posted on 12/13/09
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