Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter
February, 2012
Vol 8, No 2

That's what it's all about, right? Music makes connections, and for me, it is often my most connected place, overall. Connections go out, and come back. They grow. They multiply. And, though it may seem funny to say, we learn to trust them (it). Trusting is the ticket. Not always the easiest place to land, though. May I quote a (Old Testament) proverb? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding (never rely on what you think you know)". The mind is always churning, and (for me, anyway) has no off switch. I can (have learned to, at times) step to one side, though, and watch it all go by. As I trust.

Featured Performance
On March 9th, I'll make my debut appearance at Germano's Trattoria, in Baltimore, MD, for their Cabaret series.  "A.D.D. Improvisation" replaces "Spontaneous Joy" as the concert title. Recall this review segment from a year ago:
"Direction. Getting from point A to point B. How we get from those two points varies according to the individual. For some, the quickest route serves best, not attractive for sight-seeing, but saves time. For others, taking in some scenery, and an escape from the busiest highways with its congestion, short-tempered drivers et al allows for a more pleasant drive.

Then there's Joe Holt.

To illustrate visually a Joe Holt piano performance would go something like this: Getting in the car, starting the engine, go back in the house because he forgot something, get back in car, drive around the block three times to admire the Christmas lights, then go back to the house because he forgot to say goodbye to the pet dog, off again, one more trip around the block-this time to admire the neighbor's '57 Chevy, makes a U-turn, then arrives at a traffic light, makes another U-turn to go to an intersection where there is no light, takes a road less traveled to get to point B! It is an understated cliché to define Holt's playing as the mouse in the maze hunting for the elusive piece of cheese."

Learning to embrace my uniqueness. Come check it out for yourself



Joe's Appearances
Solo piano concerts:
FRIDAY 3/9/12: 7:30pm
Joe performs "A.D.D. Improvisation" At Germano's Cabaret, Baltimore, MD
Melding his classical background, extensive jazz experience, and a mind that can't seem to sit still, Joe presents an eclectic and entertaining evening of solo piano improvisation. This is Joe's first performance at Germano's, which will feature jazz and classical (theme) improvisation, Joe's signature "A.D.D. Improvisation", and more. Visit, or call 410-752-4515 for reservations, and more information.

SATURDAY 4/21/12:  7pm
Joe performs "A.D.D. Improvisation" at St. Margarets Episcopal Church, Annapolis, MD
From the St. Margaret's website: "Jazz Pianist Joe Holt returns for another fun concert of great jazz standards played in his unique, inimitable style. Clever, witty, and totally creative stride piano playing!" Classical theme improvisation, and Joe's signature: A.D.D. Improvisation are also featured. Visit  for more info

SUNDAY 5/13: 6:30pm
Joe performs 'A.D.D. Improvisation" for the Second Sunday Coffeehouse at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Centerville, MD.
A new venue for Joe, and close to home. A.D.D. Improvisation has something for everybody - perfect for the "all ages music venue". Come, and join in the fun!
Pianist Joe Holt is a soloist extraordinaire, an intense musician with terrific chops (who) shows you he means business.      Cam Miller  -  The American Rag

Joe also performs with:
FRIDAY 3/2: 7-10pm
Joe performs w/ Mike Buccino and friends at the Washington Tavern, Chestertown, MD
Jazz night! Chestertown's own Mike Buccino - bass, with Mike McShane - drums and Joe - w/ special guest Dave Schiff - sax

SATURDAY 3/31/12: 7pm 
The Sherman gang: Eddie, Peggy Raley, Mike McShane, Paul Midiri and Joe, perform for the Abbott Grill's Jazz Dinner Series. From the AG website: "Come experience Abbott's Grill like you've never experienced it before! Our Jazz Dinner Series combines intimate music performances and elegant dining in our private room, just like the Supper Clubs of the 1940's." Reserve early.

FRIDAY 5/18: 9:30pm-12:30am
Joe performs with the Dave Schiff Trio at Nomads Jazz Club, Wilmington, DE
Joe and Mike McShane join the inimitable Dave Schiff for an evening of high energy jazz.

Down the road
SUNDAY 10/7/12: 2pm
Joe performs "Happiness ... A Thing Called Stride" at the Wallingford Community Arts Center. Wallingford PA for the Tri State Jazz Society

SUNDAY 11/18/12: 7pm
Joe performs "Happiness ... A Thing Called Stride", at 49 West, Annapolis, MD for "Sunday Supper and Jazz"


Mailbag/Comment Box
The concert at Downs was superb.

Love it! and that's awesome how you're a music therapist. I'm studying to become a music therapist!

Yeah Joe! Monk, McKenna and Fats all mixed into one.

Joe's type of improvisation is not only understandable, but so joyful - He looks as if he is discovering all these connections for the first time (which maybe he is) and he wants to share them with the audience. The concert was full of good stuff.

You sounded great last night. I tried to come up with a favorite, and I've narrowed it down to If Only, Canon in D, Fur Elise, Fly Me to the Moon, and All of Me. I think.

Glad to see your performances gaining much deserved recognition!  In a culture that cares less and less about art, that is hard to achieve.  Keep doing what you're doing :)

Have fun with your travels. And keep on making people feel good.


In the News (blog)
New video playlist - A.D.D. Improvisation"

A.D.D. Improvisation at the Cabaret at Germano's

New video playlist - 49 West - 1/14/12

Joe's 2012 video channel now open


Lessons for the Thoughtful Pianist
The big news for the month in the lesson department is the introduction of private instruction via Skype. Skype is a free service for on-line video chat. Alternatively, you could drive to Chestertown, MD and skip the video chat part (but who lives near Chestertown?). E-mail Joe at for more info. The other big news is that the video for lesson 1D will be posted (finally!) in early March.

Join the Street Team

This doesn't mean you need to walk the streets. John shared my flyer for the Germano's Cabaret show on his Facebook page last week. This is a huge help, and much appreciated. Mary and Beth routinely post my performances on their Facebook pages. Yay - thank you! I'm just an indie musician , with no big "machine" behind me. But - who needs that? Especially with wonderful friends and fans! If you want to become involved, or have ideas to share, we'd love to hear from you! e-mail  Thanks!
From the Journal
What has happened here? Typically, I would redirect that question to ask: "what is happening here", and then go on about my (gradual) transition to Santa Claus. The real question, though (if there is one) is why, at 51 (in 2012), have I (for the first time) made the hairstyle transformation to the 1970's? I can say that I didn't anticipate my hair growing this long. When I decided (along with my 20-something hair stylist, with no firsthand experience in the '70s - not that we were thinking about that) to go in this direction, it was more of a "whatt'ya know, it woirks" kind of response, each time the hair grew a bit longer. Mid-life crisis? Well, I don't feel in crisis, but perhaps something like a sense of urgency. Not unrelated to my improved practice discipline (and other things) I suspect: Make it happen now, while the sun shines.


read the journal 

Join Our Mailing List
Links to Joe's World