Born: December 6, 1982 Primary Instrument: Piano
JOEL HOLMES BIOGRAPHY
Joel Holmes began teaching himself tunes by ear at age 10. He grew up playing with local bands and primarily in church. His family soon moved from Virginia to Baltimore so that he could attend the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts. Later, Joel Holmes became the Director of Jazz at his alma mater. He attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music at John Hopkins University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance.
Over the years, Joel has received numerous honors including 2 Grammy Nominations, a gold medal in the Act-so competition of the NAACP, and honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, a finalist in the fifth annual Independent Music Awards and an honorable mention in the VH1 Song of the Year Awards.
Over the last several years, Joel has toured the world with Grammy winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, vocalist Nnenna Freelon. He is currently in the Quartet of the great Saxophonist Javon Jackson who is an ex jazz Messenger with Art Blakey. Joel Holmes has performed all over the world solo,duos and with his trios touring Italy, France, Taiwan, Japan,Ukraine, Kazakstan, Krygystan, Russia, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Holland, England, Spain, Chile,Ecuador, Uruguay, Canada, USA,Colombia, etc.
Joel Holmes has played with Curtis Fuller,Terrace Blanchard, Gary Thomas, Jimmy Cobb,Victor Lewis,Roberta Gambarini, Azar Lawrence,Tim Warfield, Greg Osby, Tim Green, Butch Warren, Reggie Workman, Cecil Mcbee and many more. With such a diverse educational and performing background, it is no surprise that his music blends so many styles and influences. From contemporary jazz to gospel to funk to R&B, Joel can be heard fusing these genres and traditional jazz piano stylings such as Art Tatum, McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson.
Awards:Over the years, Joel has received numerous honors including 2 Grammy Nominations, a gold medal in the Act-so competition of the NAACP Baltimore chapter, and honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, a finalist in the fifth annual Independent Music Awards and an honorable mention in the VH1 Song of the Year Awards.
Joel Holmes is the right artist that has created the right album at the right time. African Skies is a plush adventure of styles, genres and cultures. From the African continent to Cuba to the Far East...from contemporary jazz to fusion to R&B Joel Holmes takes his listeners on a global sonic journey that is not to be missed. - Blue Canoe Records, Cuban Rhythms meet the African Skies (Jul 09, 2009)
Joel Holmes is a name to file and track. His well-crafted compositions are expressions of his Christian faith, with titles like “Holyspirit” and “Divine Revelation” and “Tomorrow’s Light.” - Thomas Conrad, Jazztimes (Jun 07, 2006)
Baltimore, MD — Joel Holmes , a traditional jazz pianist from Baltimore, MD, has released his brand new album Eternal Vision. The CD contains 13 tracks of inspirational music that soothes the soul, taking the listener on an unforgettable journey through jazz standards, arrangements and originals. “This debut by Baltimore pianist Joel Holmes is without question a serious jazz album full of tightly executed ideas and strong chops, Eliot Caroom of the Baltimore Jazz Alliance writes - Eliot Caroom, Baltimore Jazz Alliance Magazine
At the age of 22, Joel Holmes chose to record Eternal Vision in 2005. On his first album, Holmes gives an indication of his enduring and future interests. Combining religious allusions in songs like “Holyspirit” with several jazz standards like “Solar,” Holmes nonetheless connects all of the music with spiritually charged emotion and musical imagination. - Don Williamson, Jazzreview.com
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Professor of Jazz piano at University of Maryland Baltimore County