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.
Holt is an emphatic, bop-based
pianist whose solos simply pop from
one phrase to the next.
- Mark Miller, Globe & Mail
Renowned as one of Canada's top
- Maria Tzavaras, Inside Toronto
His control over the keyboard
obviously comes from a lifetime of
devotion to his craft and the
evidence is clear that he is truly
- Bobbie Gallop, Gallop N Dawg
Music (Nashville TN)
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
Steve graduated with distinction in 1981 as McGill University's first-ever Bachelor of
Music majoring in Jazz performance. He was appointed as instructor of Jazz
Improvisation and taught ensemble and jazz piano during that time. It was also
during this period that Steve travelled regularly to New York to study piano with
world-renowned pianist Kenny Barron. He currently teaches private students in jazz as
well as small jazz improvisation ensembles.