Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
August, 2011
Vol 7, No 4
                                          The Heat is On

Hope you are enjoying a nice summer (or whatever it is where you are). A special welcome to you who are receiving this for the first time, including my new friends from this summer's American Cruise Lines performances. I used to call this my monthly newsletter, though (as visable in the header), this being only the 4th newsletter mailing this year, I may need to check my math. At any rate, this is the time for many (in addition to trying to keep cool), to gear up for the tasks and projects soon to come. That works. Check out the news and information below": new venues, video, live webstream and more ... 


Joe's Performances
Joe performs with:

SUNDAY 8/7/11: 8pm

Joe performs with song stylist Larzine 

at the Rehoboth Beach (DE) Bandstand 

Mike McShane, Gary Cattley, and John Ewart join Joe in backing this versatile and entertaining performer.

Join us for a great evening at the boardwalk

SATURDAYS 8/13, 20: 7-10pm

Joe performs with Shore Jazz at Beseme, Lewes, DE

Saturday night is jazz night at Beseme. Shore Jazz: the house trio, performs weekly.he above dates reflect Joe's August schedule. If you're in Lewes, DE on a Saturday evening, check it out. Always a good time.


highlights down the road: 

selected public concerts in the months ahead:


SATURDAY 11/12/11: 8pm
Joe performs with Felicia Carter at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown, MD

Felicia takes the Prince Theatre stage along with bassist Amy Shook to perform music from their new collaboration CD: "Nothing to Do", and along with swinging jazz favorites. Joe is privileged to join Amy Shook (bass) in accompanying this captivating performer.


SATURDAY 11/19/11: 8pm 

Joe performs "Stride Piano - A Continuing Legacy of Spontaneous Joy" at the Mainstay, Rock Hall, MD

 Joe Holt can be called a "piano man" in the tradition of the great single acts of the piano world....While he focuses on the stride tradition, his range is great.....Joe Holt is fine; to see, to listen to, and experience. I am deeply impressed.
Tom McHugh - Founder/Director - The Mainstay


TUESDAY 11/22/11: 2pm 

Joe performs in concert at the

Downs Cultural Center, Wilmington, DE

 "Spontaneous Joy" - A solo piano improvisation concert. Jazz? Yes - and much more. Spend a fun afternoon with Joe at the Downs Center. All Downs Center events are free to the community. Reservations are requested.


SUNDAY 1/14/12: 8pm

 Joe performs "Stride Piano - A Continuing Legacy of Spontaneous Joy" at 49 West, Annapolis, MD

Joe's debut performance at this popular venue. Joe performs an evening of solo piano jazz, rooted in and inspired by the stride tradition. Imaginative improvisation, familiar favorites, and swinging stride piano are the musical bill of fare this evening . Join us!


note: Thru Oct, Joe performs for American Cruise Lines, in Cambridge, MD.Contact Joe to learn more


 see the schedule




Mailbag/Comment Box

Fantastic performance on Saturday evening. You played marvelously!!!


Your video's deserve far more views than they have. Listening to you is wonderful, very inspiring, thank you.


The intro is so perfect ! Congratulations for being such a good musician !


You have an incredible talent and we are so lucky to have you...


Not that I needed any convincing, but I was deeply impressed by your work last night...


Polite applause doesn't even begin to cut it.


Every bit of it was delicious. 


In the News
5 Video Playlists Posted

3 CDs Available for Download and Purchase on CD Baby


First Live Webstream - Success!


Private Instruction Now Available


Join the Street Team
Are you interested in seeing me perform in your area? Would you be willing to help to get the word out for an upcoming performance? Your ideas and involvement are most welcome. Email us at


Get There From Here

From the Journal

Corny joke of the day (which, atypically, is not attributed to my wife): Having this view of my keyboard at Beseme' last weekend, a friend quipped that I'm "not playing with a full set". And yes, the king of clutter now stacks stuff on the upper end of his keyboard rather than fix his (chronically) broken music rack. It is what it is. As for the "gig"; now well into our second year as the Saturday night house band (for jazz night at Beseme'), what "it is" has evolved into something, indeed. Not a week goes by without "old friends" returning to share in the experience, and "unsuspecting newcomers" (often responding to the "live jazz" sidewalk sign) passing through the portal to find musicians; connecting with each other, and sharing the joy liberally (and usually leaving as new friends). The management and staff is as committed to the concept, as well as the substance of it all, as much as we (the musicians) are, which takes it to an even deeper level. As Mike McShane likes to put it, we "sling it out there". And no one's complaining. 


read the journal

Lessons For the Thoughtful Pianist
The following is excerpted from Lesson 1D: Being Your Own Editor - to be made available later this month:

Soon after setting up the structure for this course, it became clear that the art of interpretation needed it's own space, distinct from the consideration of physical technique. It is (at least) sometimes the case, in formal study, that proper interpretation is presented as the end product of sound, informed technique. "Do this with your wrist there, to get that result ... when the notes go the other way ... over there ... to lighten this ... and emphasize that ...". Makes me dizzy. Though you will be presented with general "rules", the bottom line goal, or primal consideration (for true artistic maturity) is not in technical execution, but rather in thinking musically....


 When you boil it down, much of traditional/classical piano performance and study involves managing the transition from notation (symbols) to performance (expression). The symbols of notation, properly interpreted in performance, allow appropriate expression to be realized. Put another way; there is a true art to making the notes/symbols on the page come alive in performance. The same is true in the effective reading of a speech. A good orator more than simply recites words. Rather, the words become the chalice, or the vessel for a deeper meaning. Meaning is best conveyed when it is understood. The effective speaker understands the deeper intent of the communication (what he wants the hearers to "get", and uses the words to get there). So it is with the musical notation on the page. Ask not; what is this telling me to do, but instead, what is it saying?


learn more


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