Max Holm at home in Spain

Question: What kind of music do you play?

Answer: I am somewhat know as a young jazz pianist, as a bandleader and sideman with jazz combos, jazz trios, jazz quartets in and around Boston, Massachusetts, in Valencia, Spain; Warsaw, Poland and Stockholm, Sweden. Jazz is a broad genre, and these are the styles I play: Big Band, Blue Note, Contemporary Jazz, Cool Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Dixieland, Jazz Fusion, Hard Bop, Latin Jazz, Mainstream Jazz, Ragtime, Smooth Jazz, and Traditional Jazz. I consider myself a versatile player and am always looking to play something different. I get called to do R&B, funk, pop, classical, cabaret style, and even EDM. I’m adaptable because I love and enjoy playing all types of music.

Question: What other styles of music do you play?

Answer: I’ve played hundreds of performances at venues of all sizes and private events. Some of the styles of music I’ve played are: classical (I love Debussy, but have played Bach and even John Souza marches!), Broadway show tunes, Cabaret-style, Rock ‘n Roll, Pop, R&B (Rhythm and Blues), Funk, Blues, Country, Middle Eastern, Klezmer, Brazilian Bossa Nova, Samba, and Portuguese Fado.

Question: Is it true that you almost died and then you became a jazz musician?

Answer: Yes, it’s true. I had a near death experience when I was around 13 years old. 7 blood transfusions from 7 strangers saved my life. Then I had an overwhelming desire to play jazz piano. I did a TEDx talk about it. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/maxblood .

Question: Do you always play alone as a solo artist?

Answer: Often I play as a solo artist. It’s something I love to do, but I also often play with a band. I have jazz duos, jazz trios, jazz quartets and even big bands that I put together for performances, depending on what the requirements are. I love playing with other musicians because it truly is a conversation. Great musicians listen to each other constantly and “talk” to each other through their instruments. Bad musicians play in their own little bubbles and wait for their solos. Don’t be a bad musician. LOL

Question: Do you always play with the same jazz band members?

Answer: No. I’m very versatile as a musician, but many of my musical colleagues prefer to specialize in one genre of music. They don’t switch around from jazz to funk, for example. I do. So, I keep lists of my friends and colleagues who play, and I invite the ones who are right for the project to play a performance. If I don’t have someone who can do it, I ask trusted people for recommendations. I never run auditions or work with people I don’t know. It’s too risky. You can’t let the clients down. It’s my reputation and my name that is on the line. 

Question: Where do you play?

Answer: I have my two passports ready at all times! Seriously, I’ll go almost anywhere to play. Sometimes I just want to play with certain people, so I make an effort to get an inexpensive flight to another country or city. If the payment isn’t quite what I need it to be, I have my manager try to book other gigs in the area, so that the expenses are covered. Normally, though, clients pay for all travel, accommodation and meals.

Question: Where are you based?

Answer: At the moment I’m based in Valencia, Spain, but I fly between Spain, France, Sweden and the US. I spend a lot of time in the South of France, where my father lives. Lars Holm is a classical violinist who toured with Max Roach as part of Max’s Double Quartet experiment, and he’s on the Max Roach Live at Vielharmonie album for the Italian Soul Note Label. 

As someone who got on his first airplane at the age of 2 months, I’ve been on hundreds of flights and see the whole world as my home. Geographical limitations don’t exist for me, so for me it doesn’t matter where I’m “based”. I’m based wherever is convenient for my music.