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Nathan Holaway

cure whatever it is that ails you...through the power and the majesty of jazz music.

About Me

Music educator, Nathan Holaway, has been an active teacher for the past 23 years and a professional freelance jazz musician for the last 27 years. Holaway lives in Lakewood, Ohio where he maintains a private music studio and is the Artistic Director for the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra (a Musical Non-Profit Organization) in Oberlin, Ohio. Holaway also has his own Jazz Podcast called “The Dr. Jazz Podcast” (available on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher). Holaway currently holds three music degrees in total. Two degrees in music from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL (B.A. in Music, M.M. in Jazz and Arranging) and one from the University of South Carolina (Masters of Arts in Teaching - Music Education). Holaway’s collegiate career began at Jacksonville (AL) State University where he studied jazz and improvisation with Dr. Chris Culver. At the University of Alabama, Holaway furthered his jazz studies with Tom Wolfe and Dr. Jonathan Noffsinger. During his time in Tuscaloosa, Holaway has been involved with (teaching and leading) several jazz-influenced groups: The Jazz Aficionados, The Mood Swings, Meta-Four, The Zero Quartet, The Earth Art Ensemble, Electric Mayhem Fusion Band, Sensei Groove, The Zornography Project: The Music of John Zorn, The Soul Pocket Organ Trio, The Voodoo Saints, and Rick Henson’s Soul Tide. Holaway has had the honor of working with and participating in clinics with many amazing jazz legends, including Ornette Coleman, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Bud Shank, John Zorn, Frank Morgan, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Giacomo Gates, Gene Bertoncini, Marcus Roberts, Marcus Printup, Chuck Redd, Branford Marsalis, Joey DeFrancesco, Eldar, Kirk Whalum, and Roger Pemberton. In addition to playing the saxophone, Holaway also plays the flute, clarinet, trumpet and piano. Holaway is an avid jazz- history lover and has written for jazz publications such as All About Jazz (http://www.allaboutjazz.com) and Jazz Review (http://www.jazzreview.com). While Holaway was recently attaining his Masters of Arts in Teaching in Music Education (Emphasis: Instrumental Music, Band, K-12) at the University of South Carolina, he had the priviledge of working for the USC Jazz Department under Bert Ligon and Bryson Borgstedt where he instructed the undergraduate jazz combos (with performances at the 2015 JEN Conference) and performed with the Left Bank Big Band.

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because...like love, it chooses you, not the other way around. I was first exposed to jazz...by my grandmother who bought me a Jazz Best CD (and not a cheesy one either!) after I started middle school band saying "If you're going to play a horn, you might as well listen to REAL horn music!" I've met...Randy Brecker (who loves McDonald's), Bill Frisell (the humble introvert), Jack DeJohnette (forceful personality), Joey DeFrancesco (the prof.), Giacomo Gates (health advocate), Gene Bertoncini (who taught me that swing is in the way you move your ass to the music), Frank Vignola (taught me rugged individuality), Chris Speed (very humble), Joe Labarbera (like a sunny day), Cleve Eaton (always calling out cats on changes), Toshiko Akiyoshi (the harshest critic), Lew Soloff (don't get him started on Miles), Marc Ribot (always deep in contemplation), Chuck Redd (always calling beautiful obscure tunes - Zingaro), John Medeski (don't approach him on a sick day), Sue Mingus (very elegant & graceful), Joey Baron (full of smiles and hugs), Greg Cohen (very down to earth), John Zorn (always true to his word and a listening freak), Paul Ferguson (great compositional advice), Bud Shank (was happy go lucky), Phil Woods (loves beer, BBQ ribs, and to spar verbally), Ronnie Cuber (whose personality is as big as his sound), Marcus Roberts (a most gracious accompanist), Marcus Printup (very cool thoughts on the state of jazz today), Bob Mintzer (loves to talk about NYC in the 70s), Frank Morgan (loved to be showered with compliments), Branford Marsalis (always analyzing what he just played; very patient with fans), Bobby Millitello (always ready with a new joke), Lee Konitz (salty & sarcastic, but I love him anyway), Ornette Coleman (probably the most gracious musician I've ever met; called me his brother when I told him I play Alto Sax). The best show I ever attended was...a 3-way tie: Sonny Rollins, the Keith Jarrett Trio, Chick Corea / Gary Burton Duo. My advice to new listeners...take it ALL in, and don't be quick to judge. You might not be ready yet.

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