Trained as a classical pianist and conductor, Mike Holober began his apprenticeship as a jazz pianist and composer after moving to New York City in 1986. He has released 5 recordings as a leader and can be heard on over 70 recordings as a sideman. He has also served as a producer and conductor for several recordings.
Mike’s projects include “Mike Holober & Balancing Act,” an octet including voice, “The Gotham Jazz Orchestra,” and “The Mike Holober Quintet.” He also regularly performs in duo settings with artists such as trumpeter Marvin Stamm and tenor saxophonist Jason Rigby.
Mike is a 2017-18 recipient of a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant for his octet “Mike Holober & Balancing Act,” whose eponymous premiere recording was released on Palmetto Records in 2015. The recording received a 4-star review from Downbeat and appeared on many best-of lists for 2015. Balancing Act features Kate McGarry, Dick Oatts, Jason Rigby, Marvin Stamm, Mark Patterson, John Hebert, and Brian Blade. It is his 5th release as a leader having previously released recordings on Sons of Sound and Sunnyside labels. The in-progress CMA Commission, Don’t Let Go, is informed by Mike’s classical training and is structured as a song-cycle in the tradition of Robert Schumann, Samuel Barber, and Ralph Vaughn-Williams. Don’t Let Go explores the nuances and complexities of the concept of hope in the context of current social, political, and environmental realities.