Born: May 9, 1954 Primary Instrument: Piano
Steve Holt was a child prodigy starting to play piano at the age of four. Born in Montreal Canada, he began his professional career at the age of seventeen - self-taught - playing the clubs in and around Montreal. Since that time, Steve has built an international reputation as one of Canada's premier Jazz pianists, having worked with, among others, Archie Shepp, Larry Coryell, Eddie Henderson, Pat Labarbera, James Moody, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, and Michel Urbaniak.
It was not until the age of twenty-two that Steve began formal music studies; he entered McGill University and graduated with distinction in 1981 as McGill's first-ever Bachelor of Music majoring in Jazz performance. It was also during this period that Steve travelled regularly to New York to study piano with world-renowned pianist Kenny Barron. Also in 1981, Steve was appointed to McGill's Faculty of Music as instructor of Jazz improvisation. In 1983, Steve produced his debut recording, The Lion's Eyes. It was trio on side A and sextet on side B - the sextet including Michel Donato, Bass; Camil Belisle, Drums; Bob Mover, Alto Saxophone; Steve Hall, Tenor Saxophone, and Charles Ellison, Trumpet. The LP won critical acclaim around the world, and was one of the five final JUNO nominations for best Jazz album that year. Jazz Times called it a well-crafted album of music played to the hilt by all concerned. During the next several years, Steve played the Montreal Jazz circuit, taking time out to participate in many of Canada's Jazz festivals. Steve was also an active studio musician, as a performer and arranger for radio and television commercials and third party recordings.
In October 1987, Steve moved to Toronto, where he recorded two more important jazz CDs for the Sackville label. In 2002 Steve recorded his first CD as a vocalist as well as pianist and keyboardist - an CD of Adult Contemporary music for the Trilogy label. This CD led to him winning an Honorable Mention at the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition, the largest songwriting competition in the world. The award included a showcase tour of major U.S cities including New York, Washington DC, Nashville, and Los Angeles. In 2008 Steve returned to his jazz roots and began preparations for a new CD to be recorded in late 2009.
Steve currently lives and works in Toronto.
Awards:* JUNO Nominee Best Jazz Album 1983 * USA Songwriting Competition 2002 Honorable Mention Best Latin Song
Renowned as one of Canada's top jazz pianists. - Maria Tzavaras, Inside Toronto (Toronto CANADA)
His control over the keyboard obviously comes from a lifetime of devotion to his craft and the evidence is clear that he is truly a master. - Bobbie Gallop, Gallop N Dawg Music (Nashville TN)
Tracks: The Helicopter of Love (Downes); Madhuri (Holt); Catwalk (Holt); Take Me Out to the Skydome (Holt); Dhiresha (Holt); Up Jumped Chuck (Downes); The Importance of Nothing (Downes); All the Things You Are (Kern).
Personnel: Steve Holt: Piano. Mike Downes: Bass. Kevin Turcotte: Trumpet/Flugelhorn. Daniel Barnes: Drums.
Tracks: Splitting Apart (Holt); Criss Cross (Monk); Dear Old Stockholm (Getz); Madhuri (Holt); The Doctor Is Out (Holt); Bouncin With Bud (Powell); Beautiful Love (Young et al).
Personnel: Steve Holt: Piano. Kieran Overs: Bass
The Lion's Eyes
Plug (JUNO nominee for best Jazz album)
Personnel: Bob Mover: Alto and soprano saxophone. Charles Ellison: Trumpet. Steve Hall: Tenor saxophone. Michel Donato: Bass. Camille Belisle: Drums. Steve Holt: Piano.
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