Jim Holman's Chicago Jazz Explosion

Jazz pianist Jim Holman (BA 2010) has made a place for himself in Chicago’s jazz scene since his undergraduate days at Pitt. Holman performs regularly at venues such as the Green Mill and the Jazz Showcase, collaborating with outstanding artists like tenor sax man Frank Catalano and multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan.

Thus far, Holman has two CDs to his credit, both on the Delmark label. Explosion, features frequent band mate Catalano, who composed the title track, along with alto bebop legend Richie Cole and Chicago-based artists Rusty Jones, Rick Shandling, and Brian Sandstrom. Holman’s second release, Blue Skies, features the playing of Ira Sullivan with drumming legend (and Pittsburgh native) Roger Humphries.

Writing about Explosion, Jazz Times critic Bill Milkowski says that Holman,

“…flaunts prodigious chops and a seasoned approach to piano that belies his 23 years on his impressive debut as a leader.”

Holman has nothing but praise for how his time at the Department of Music prepared him for career in music.

“To have access to people who went out and really did it like Nathan Davis, Leon Dorsey, Greg Humphries, Frank Cunnimondo, and Roger Zahab is really something,” Holman says. “These men have led accomplished musical lives outside of academia and each of them harbor a generosity I hadn't anticipated. In fact all the faculty I came in contact with helped create a culture of support and generosity.”

You can find out more about Jim Holman and his music by visiting JimHolman.com. If you’re heading to Chicago, check out his performance calendar and catch him at a Chicago jazz venue. In the meantime, here is some wonderful video footage of the recording session for Explosion.