Check out Holly’s latest recording projects:
with Bossa Nuevo, a band who takes their name from an equal love for Brazilian bossa nova and Argentinean tango nuevo. Holly is the featured vocalist on their debut album Bossa Nuevo (2010) not on CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/bossanuevo.
with Robson Santos, a Brazilian composer and wonderful friend. Holly is featured on his new album Límbico Trem (2008) now on CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/robsonsantos.
Her debut album, "the Climb," reflects Holly's varied influences of Brazilian music, unusual arrangements of jazz standards, and jazz-tinged covers of popular songs. She is particularly fond of penning lyrics to instrumental jazz standards as demonstrated by Wayne Shorter's "Fee Fi Fo Fum," renamed "Siren Song" with the addition of the lyric. Holly stays true to Pat Metheny's delicate ballad "the Road to You," seen here as "the Road to Me." The first recitation is a beautiful wordless solo, followed by an elegant piano solo, and it closes with her original lyric. Holly’s work as an inventive improviser is tastefully demonstrated on several tracks including Siren Song and I Thought About You. As well as being the bandleader for the album, Holly also co-engineered, co-mixed, and produced it.
Holly earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Following her graduation in 2000, Holly was awarded an internship with the jazz programming department at Washington DC's prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. There she assisted with the Dr. Billy Taylor radio series as well as working as an audio engineer for other live performances featuring Nnenna Freelon, Kurt Elling, Freddy Cole, and several others.
In 2003, Holly traveled to Brazil as guest vocalist of a student and alumni jazz quintet representing WMU. The success of the tour inspired her to plan a return trip in order to study Portuguese language and the guitar. In June 2004, Holly was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo to help make this happen. Holly spent six months living in Salvador and Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2004-05. There she became fluent in Portuguese and studied guitar with Celso Moreira, a well-known teacher, player, and brother of Brazilian guitarist and recording artist Juarez Moreira. Holly's next recording project will feature works by and inspired by the Brazilian artists she met on this trip.
Holly received a Masters in Jazz Performance and is currently completing work towards a PhD in Musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Holly’s research interests include Brazilian popular music and jazz.