Saturday, December 6, 2014

Celebrate the Season at Germano's

Beth McDonald and I love performing at The Cabaret at Germano's, in Baltimore's Little Italy. This is our first opportunity to perform a Christmas/Holiday show there, and we're ready (and willing, and by most accounts, able. We've done this before). We know how important the weekends are for your holiday shopping excursions, so just for you, we've scheduled a Thursday evening: December 11. You didn't want to cook anyway. Or watch those same old television shows. So join us. 

"Fans love Beth’s freshly modern jazz stylings that wax nostalgic for the cool, polished vocals of a bygone era. Joe is best known for his imaginative, joyful improvisations that never fail to surprise and delight. Together they’re a musically magical duo whose holiday show will help make this the most wonderful time of the year!"


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas on the Square, in Leonardtown, MD

On (Black) Friday, November 28th, at around 7pm, Beth McDonald and I will be in concert at the Leonardtown MD Church of the Nazarene, as a part of Leonardtown's "Christmas on the Square" celebration. 

From the Leonardtown MD Facebook page:
 Ring in the holiday season on Friday, November 28th from 5 - 9:00 PM with Leonardtown’s annual "Christmas on the Square" and "Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony" held on Washington Street in the Leonardtown Square. 
Event activities start at 5:00 p.m. and include holiday music, rides, an ice sculpture demonstration, a petting zoo, live nativity, face painting, and much more!

Our concert begins immediately after the tree lighting, at approximately 7pm. You can enjoy the outdoor festivities for awhile, then come in out of the cold. This is our first time playing the event, and we are looking forward to it. Sounds like fun!

Link to the Nazarene Church event page 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ongoing Piano Bar Schedule

Bookmark this page to be kept current on the "piano bar" schedule at JR's Pub, in Chestertown MD. Dates will be refreshed periodically. Click here for Joe's complete schedule. Email for information on private instruction. 

Joe Holt performs solo piano, concentrating on jazz/popular standards and show tunes. 
Joe plays Wednesdays and most Sundays, all 5-7.
subject to dark dates - see schedule below.

Philip Dutton plays and sings an eclectic mix of music from song writers such as Randy Newman, Leon Russell, David Gray, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Warren Zevon, along with a few tunes from his Louisiana roots and the New Orleans piano legends: Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Huey "Piano" Smith, Jon Cleary, etc.
Philip plays 1 or 2 Sundays/month

Piano Bar schedule (subject to change - see below); all 5-7pm: Joe performs:

April 2015 - all
May 2015 - all

Sunday schedule:
4/5 - (dark)
4/12 - Joe
4/19 - Philip
4/26 - Joe
5/3 - Joe
5/10 - Philip
5/17 - Joe
5/24 - Philip
5/31 - Joe

note: schedule subject to change. To confirm any date, check Joe's schedule at, call 877-JOE-HOLT to hear an announcement of upcoming dates, or email Joe at

Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Joe in Concert at First Wesylan Church in Easton, MD on 11/23/14.

On November 23, 2014 at 3pm, I am looking forward to presenting a concert at the First Wesleyan Church, 620 Goldsborough Street, in Easton, MD. My friend, Dawn Steward has arranged this, first, with her piano students in mind, but also as a general public opportunity. My solo concerts have been though an evolution of titles: From "An Evening of Piano Improvisation" to "Spontaneous Joy" to "A.D.D. Improvisation". Taking a break from the imposition (by me) of a title, I let the host of my last solo concert (St. Mark's United Methodist, also in Easton) describe it for me. Their music director titled it 'Imaginative Improvisations". That works. Whatever it is, I will be doing it soon. With the (notable) exception of the "piano bar" gig at JR's Pub in Chestertown, I am performing (particularly in concert) less solo these days, and more with others, so this will be fun (not that everything else isn't). Hope you can join me. For more info call 410-822-8038 or email    

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival weekend

On October 16. 17 and 18, I will be in Rehoboth Beach DE, doing what many local and regional musicians do: NOT performing for the Rehoboth Beach Jazz festival; not the "official" one, anyway. While the festival has gone "smooth" over recent years, with it's headliner shows, the town itself transforms into jazz central, with many restaurants featuring local/regional mainstream jazz artists and groups. On Thursday night I will be at Just in Thyme with Shore Jazz, and on Friday in the happy hour slot at the Cultured Pearl with the Mike McShane Trio featuring Vince Lardear. On Saturday, we will move over to the new festival (that competes with the long established one): the True Blue Jazz Series for the following performances: from noon to three, local high school jazz musicians will hit the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, followed by the Eddie Sherman Show featuring Geoff Gallante. From 5 to 7, I will be at the Avenue Inn for a duo session with guitarist Ron Cole. Then I scamper off to The Cellar Door for an evening supper club show featuring Geoff. On Sunday, I will be a civilian   ;)
Looking forward to it all.

See the schedule (with more details) here 
True Blue Jazz Series info

Friday, September 5, 2014

St. Mark's Concert Series, September 26, 2014

On Sunday 9/26, at 3pm, I am privileged to kick off the concert season for the series at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Easton, MD, performing "Imaginative Improvisations". As most of my solo concerts are in closed settings (in retirement communities and for American Cruise Lines, predominantly), I welcome this public event, and invite you to attend. It's a wonderful facility and piano on which to perform. Expect me to go eclectic; from jazz and popular standards to classic pieces/themes to ragtime/stride to improvisation demonstrations to who knows what else. And expect to have fun. 
Find more info here.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New You Tube Playlist - solo piano concert

On April 26, 2014, I was privileged to perform at the home of Dr. Randy Bellows, in a fund raising concert for the Unitarian Church of the Chester River. Randy has been a wonderful supporter and friend and most encouraging of my attempts at classical theme improvisation. The 5 selections posted in this playlist reflect the eclectic nature of this program. I feel that some nice moments were found here. I hope you'll agree. You can watch the video posts, in order, in the box above, or click here to be taken to the playlist.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Press Release - Beth McDonald and Joe Holt at The Cabaret at Germano's on 8/23/14

On Saturday August 23, at 7:30pm (dinner seating at 6pm), Beth McDonald and Joe Holt return to The Cabaret at Germano's, in Baltimore's Little Italy, for a performance of "Melody and Meaning"; a melding of classic jazz, songs of substance, and new vintage material. 
 Beth McDonald is a singer/songwriter in love with the melody and meaning of another era. Her music bridges the Great American Songbook, and the heart and spirit of the present moment. In addition to performing shows featuring her original material, she also performs with the New Legacy Jazz Band and in gospel based concerts with Joe Holt, featuring music from their newly released CD: "All Nature Sings". Beth has released 4 CDs on her own "Classic Avenue" label.
"A stunning voice that breathes life into recordings old and new, Beth McDonald is a singer to behold."  - J. Edward Sumerau -
 Joe Holt is a pianist grounded in the traditions of both jazz and classical piano, performing over a broad range. He is known for his imaginitave improvisations and a joy of performing. In addition to "All Nature Sings", Joe has released a tribute CD to the late solo jazz pianist Dave McKenna, and has 8 additional releases on his own "Joe Holt's Notes" label.
"The ever tasteful Joe Holt is a soloist extrordarinare; an intense musician with terrific chops, who shows you he means business."  - Cam Miller - The American Rag.
Germano's is located at 300 S. High Street, Baltimore MD, 21202. Seating opens at 6:00pm. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased online at or seating reserved by calling 410.752.4515.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Piano Bar in Chestertown

In Chestertown, MD, there is a place to go, 2 nights a week, if you want to get away without leaving town, or close your eyes and feel like you are somewhere else, or open your eyes and feel that you are among friends, or get out of your chair and dance, or sit down and enjoy a fine dinner, or just hang and listen: the Piano Bar at JR's Past Time Pub. Actually, it's a piano room, and there's nothing like it in town, or anywhere nearby (or maybe even anywhere far away). On Wednesdays from 5-7pm, and Sundays (sharing the dates with Philip Dutton) from 6-8, the room comes to life with music, conversation, and an overall good vibe. As you can see in the picture, this is not a literal bar protruding from the back of the piano (I've played those gigs, too), rather a connection with the entire room. Partly underground, and off to the side, no one passes through here, rather it is it's own destination. Make it your destination sometime soon.  
see the piano bar schedule (on Joe's schedule blog)

Friday, May 9, 2014

New CD release: "All Nature Sings"!

Here's something really cool. And warm, too. "All Nature Sings" is the latest release on the Joe Holt's Notes label. My first CD release, back in 2000, was a collection of hymns and spiritual songs. I figured it was about time to put down a new marker on this path. This time I invited Beth McDonald to join me in a collaborative effort. She sings (beautifully) on 9 of the 14 tracks, and shared the producer chair with me (okay, sometimes she sat in it by herself, too). This recording leans harder to the gospel side than the previous one, but also contains some well loved meditative hymns, along with a few fun surprises. We will officially release this recording at Christ Methodist Church, in Chestertown MD, where Beth and I will be in concert on Sunday May 18th, at 6pm. 
Proud of this recording, and look forward to sharing it with you!
link to order form

track listing:
This Is My Father's World
Fill My Cup, Lord
Be Thou My Vision *
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God *
Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Have Thine Own Way
Joshua Fought the Battle Of Jericho *
I Need Thee Every Hour
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
When the Saints go Marching In *
I Surrender All
This Little Light Of Mine
Great Is Thy Faithfulness *

*solo piano

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Singing our Stories": A Beth McDonald Showcase

On Saturday, March 15th, Beth McDonald and her band (Jeff Davis and myself) returned to the Garfield Center for the Arts (Prince Theatre) in Chestertown, MD to perform "Singing Our Stories". Watch Beth perform Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, from the Garfield show:
"Beth McDonald was absolutely unbelievable!"
"Wonderful concert"
"Loved it and will go to the next one"
"It was fantastic!!!!!"
This format has become a vehicle for Beth to share her original songs, along with others that are meaningful to her. Beth began her singing career in primarily a classic jazz format, having fallen in love with the beautiful melodies and distinctive performers (such as Miss Peggy Lee) of the era when Jazz was popular music. Over the years, she has brought more of her own material into her performances, which has brought audiences and reviewers to take notice, even more so. Beth continues to perform in jazz settings, as well as presenting gospel concerts (another love of Beth's) in churches. "Singing Our Stories" is an additional path; an eclectic "many sides of Beth McDonald". The show is never the same; it evolves from one performance to the next. We will be performing "Singing Our Stories" again at The Cabaret at Germano's (another return engagement) In Baltimore, MD on Friday April 11, at 7:30pm. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Back to posting here with a reminder of Women Helping Women; the annual fund raising concert event to support the work of Dr.Maria Boria, held at the Garfield Center for the Arts, in Chestertown This event sells out each year (and may be sold out as I type this. There were only 50 seats left as of last Wednesday) for two reasons. First, our community (kind of famously) rallies around efforts such as this. Secondly, it is a darn good show. All of the top local female artists (and a few men) assemble in one place and pour out their hearts from the stage. Each year brings memorable performances, and this year will be no exception (I am the musical director for this show, so you can trust me on that). And if you can't get a ticket (or you aren't local), you can still watch the show via live webstream. Plan on it, this Wednesday evening (2/19) at 7pm. Your heart will be warmed.