Bring your dancing shoes and your roaring '20s outfits to LowDown on Thursday, September 28! Oklahoma's finest musicians with international jazz sensation pianist Max Holm are performing a high energy, big band-style evening that will keep you on your feet, tapping your toes. Don’t miss an evening of fun, food and drink!
The band features Max Holm (piano), Tommy Poole (clarinet and soprano/alto/tenor saxophones), Mike Cameron (tenor/alto saxophones), Bishop Marsh (trumpet), Glenn Dewey (bass), Cade Crone (drums), and Brian Belanus (guitar and banjo).
Dress in your 1920s outfit and get a selfie with the band!
Max Holm is an award-winning jazz pianist and composer who has performed at more than 200 venues, including opening for Journey at the Stadium of Fire Arena in front of 60,000 fans.
Holm won the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition for Jazz, receiving honorable mention in the combined classical, contemporary, and jazz categories. He has toured with the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet; performed with Wynton Marsalis, Robin Eubanks, Kirk Whalum, and Jon Batiste's Stay Human; and was the keyboardist on the The Inside of the Outside, a 2016 album with Jeff Coffin, Branford Marsalis, and Victor Wooten.
At the age of 13, musician Max Holm had a brush with death. Internal bleeding from dozens of previously undetected stomach ulcers left him unconscious and convulsing. Doctors told his mother to prepare for the worst. Thirteen years later, the Swedish American pianist looks back on that event and the seven blood transfusions that followed as a “blessing in disguise.”
“Needless to say, that whole experience, it really changed me,” says the now 26-year-old Holm, who recently moved to town with his mother Maggie Curran, a Tulsa Remote participant.
The son of a Swedish professional classical violinist, Holm spent the first decade of his life in Sweden where he picked up the violin at the age of 6. He discovered the piano and a passion for jazz a year after the blood transfusions.
“I discovered jazz, and I became obsessed with learning about the music and playing it. I would play for eight hours every single day — playing it, learning it, digesting it and just listening,” Holm says. “Getting each of those blood transfusions from a different stranger, we always joke now about it. What if one of those seven was a jazz master and that just changed me in some way?”
After his junior year of high school, Holm was accepted into the Jazz Band of America, a national honors ensemble. He later joined the Crescent Superband, moving to Utah for a year to tour with this select group of high school musicians where he performed in front of stadium-sized crowds and participated in an award-winning jazz album featuring tracks from musicians like Branford Marsalis and Trombone Shorty.
“It was the best experience ever,” Holm says.
Holm eventually finished his studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, enjoying a final semester abroad in Valencia, Spain, where he and his mother remained until the pandemic hit, forcing a return to the States. Holm describes the Tulsa Remote opportunity and the move to Oklahoma as a “godsend,” opening up new possibilities for both of them.
“I believe in energy,” Holm says. “If one door closes over here, then another opens over there. I think Tulsa Remote was one of those doors that just opened for both of us. I’ve been introduced to so many great musicians here. I’ve been able to play with them and really get into the scene.”
Holm’s music has been placed in Fox network’s sitcom “Call Me Kat,” “College Hill: Celebrity Edition” and an upcoming film starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.
At the age of 13 Max Holm lost half his blood and had a near death experience. Seven units of blood from seven strangers saved his life. Suddenly he had an uncontrollable passion to learn jazz, though he had only just started to learn piano. He did a TED talk about it when he was 22. He is now 27.
Soon he was getting attention, eventually receiving over $500,000 in scholarships. Over the years he’s received many awards, including Outstanding Jazz Piano Soloist from Wynton Marsalis at the Essentially Ellington Competition and the Outstanding Jazz Piano Soloist Award from Downbeat Magazine.
Max was featured on 9 of the 10 recordings on the award-winning jazz album, The Inside of the Outside, by Jeff Coffin, Branford Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Victor Wooten, et al.
Max performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats, including Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum, and Donny McAslin (David Bowie). He studied with NEA Jazz Masters Joanne Brackeen (Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers), Dave Liebman (Miles Davis), Stefon Harris, Danilo Perez (Wayne Shorter), and many others.
He’s performed professionally hundreds of times across the US and Europe, including the Formentera Jazz Festival in Ibiza with his namesake trio, the Jazz L’Estartit Festival with his quartet, even appearing on the same bill as the legendary band, Journey at the 60,000-seat arena, The Stadium of Fire.
Several of Max’s original compositions in various genres have been placed in television shows and films, including Call Me Kat, College Hill: Celebrity Edition and an upcoming film with Academy Award winners Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.
His book How to Ace Your Sight-Reading Audition! Is out on Amazon.com with translations coming soon in Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese and French. Lessons based on the book will soon be available at EasyMusicHacks.com.
Max recently relocated to Tulsa and selectively performs locally. His focus is on producing for film and TV.
I met Max & his mother Maggie at the Tulsa Symphony Chamber Music performance at the First Presbyterian Church. He invited me to a Jazz concert at the LowDown at the end of March where I used my cellphone to record parts of that performance. For the above performance, I used a tripod and a good external microphone on my camera to record at 3840x2160 pixels (4K = 8.29 Mpixels) and then rendered at 1280x720 for website display.