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Steve Holt

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.


* JUNO Nominee Best Jazz Album 1983 * USA Songwriting Competition 2002 Honorable Mention Best Latin Song


Yamaha Grand Piano C3 Yamaha CP4 Stage Piano JBL Eon 615 Powered Speakers


"Holt is an emphatic, bop-based pianist whose solos simply pop from one phrase to the next." - Mark Miller, Globe & Mail (Toronto CANADA)

"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)

Primary Instrument




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.


Album Discography

The Doctor Is Out

From: Steve Holt - Kieran Overs /...
By Steve Holt



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