Mike Holober & Balancing Act
Balancing Act is a jazz octet featuring vocalist Kate McGarry, saxophonists Jason Rigby and Dick Oatts, trumpeter Marvin Stamm, trombonist Mark Patterson, bassist John Hébert and drummer Brian Blade.
The group's premiere recording was released in 2015 (Palmetto Records) to widespread critical acclaim. Downbeat Magazine’s Carlo Wolf described it as an “emotionally persuasive album,” and it was voted “Best Release of 2015” by multiple jazz critics.
Don’t Let Go is a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works commission for jazz octet with voice. Structured as a song-cycle in the tradition of Robert Schumann, Samuel Barber, and Ralph Vaughn-Williams, this concert-length project explores the nuances and complexities of the concept of “hope” in the context of current social, political, and environmental realities.
Don’t Let Go was premiered at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space in New York City, and at the Union Arts Center in Sparkill New York in June 2018. In October 2019, the group presented a live recording at Aaron Davis Hall, City College Center for the Arts, which is scheduled for release in September 2020.
Live recording at Aaron Davis Hall City Center for the Arts, October 4, 2019 (photos by Perry Hall)
Don't Let Go was premiered in June 2018 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City, and the Union Art Center in Sparkill New York. For the premiere performances vocalist Jo Lawry (best known for her work with Sting) and drummer Gerald Cleaver replaced Kate McGarry and Brian Blade who were not available for the date.
Pictures from the Thalia concert (Jo Lawry and Gerald Cleaver subbing for Kate McGarry and Brian Blade)