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 17, 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 the likes of 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, studying jazz piano with Armas Maiste and graduating 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 (Canadian equivalent of a GRAMMY) 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.
Montreal International Jazz Festival c.1985
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 is currently working on material for a new CD.
Steve currently lives in Trent Hills Ontario, about 2 hours east of Toronto and 3 hours west of Ottawa.
CD Launch, Cafe Centro, Toronto