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Holly Holmes

is a jazz vocalist, musicologist, voice teacher and freelance editor

About Me

I have a head for research and a heart for singing jazz. After two degrees in jazz performance, I have officially added research to my bag of tricks while I complete a PhD in (ethno)musicology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. My major areas of research are Brazilian popular music, jazz and improvisation, politics and music as propaganda. Last year, I held a fellowship for research in Brazilian Portuguese language and culture. Some of the highlights of my varied career have been working with Dr. Billy Taylor on his radio show at the Kennedy Center, working as a recording engineer with the Wailers, and living and studying in Brazil. In 2008, I performed and premiered my arrangement of Edu Lobo's "Ponteio" at the International Association for Jazz Education Convention in Toronto. I am currently a research assistant to musicologist Jeffrey Magee while he authors a book about the life and music of Irving Berlin. I was also honored to serve as music editor for Magee's article that will be published in the Cambridge Guide to Duke Ellington in 2010. I continue to perform in the Midwest and Canada as well as teach private voice lessons.

My Favorites

  1. Milton Nascimento - Clube da Esquina
  2. John Abercrombie - Open Land
  3. Carmen McRae - Great American Songbook: Live at Donte's
  4. Joe Henderson - Double Rainbow
  5. Caetano Veloso - Livro
  6. Cassandra Wilson - New Moon Daughter
  7. Fred Hersch - Leaves of Grass