Carlton Holmes (pianist) has captivated audiences and colleagues alike with his exceptional talent as both a classical and jazz pianist. His creativity revolves around his own personal philosophies about music: “The idea is to let go, be utterly honest, execute how I feel at the moment. There’s a kind of spirituality, universality, about it, which is why people respond. So I’m trying to pull people in, have them (metaphorically) on the stage, inside what we’re doing.”
Carlton is sought after by some of the world’s top musicians, including the late Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Garrett, Branford Marsalis, Max Roach, Stevie Wonder, Diane Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Regina Belle, Donald Byrd, Terumasa Hino, Charli Persip, Howard Johnson and countless others. Recording dates and performances with drum sensation Cindy Blackman have garnered him the following revelation: “…most memorable musical experience? It was with a piano player, Carlton Holmes…we went through different motions, different moods, and different movements. That was one of the best musical experiences I’ve ever had.’’ In addition to leading his own bands, Carlton’s performing and recording dates include saxophone great Carlos Garnett and guitarist Ronny Jordan. For what was almost 20 years, Carlton maintained a memorable collaboration with Master Drummer Michael Carvin, culminating in several recordings and musical projects.
As an active educator, Carlton Holmes has conducted workshops and master classes around the world. He is on the faculty of The University of the Virgin Islands.