Corcoran Holt, a son of Washington, DC, began playing djembe and other West African percussion at the age of 4 as a member of Wo’se Dance Company under the tutelage of Baba Aidoo Holmes & Mahiri Edwards. As a keeper of the rhythm, Corcoran began his study of classical acoustic bass at age 10 with the renowned DC Youth Orchestra (DCYOP). Soon he learned that his great- grandfather, with whom he shared a birthday, was a bass player who grew up in High Point, NC with John Coltrane. Legend has it that he gave Trane lessons. Corcoran feels called to the bass and his work is about honoring the ancestors.
While continuing classical training at DCYOP, Corcoran attended the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC from 1996 to 2000 where he studied classical bass with Carolyn Kellock, and the jazz art form with teachers such as Davey Yarborough, the late Keter Betts and Steve Novasel. During these high school years, Corcoran realized his affinity for the jazz bass and honed his performance skills by working frequently on the Washington DC music scene.
Always performing, he completed a Bachelors of Arts in Jazz Studies from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2004 where he studied bass with Michael Bowie. He received his Masters degree in Jazz Studies from Queens College in New York City in 2006 under the tutelage of Buster Williams, Michael Phillip Mossman, and Antonio Hart.