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James E. Holdman
composer
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BIO

James E. Holdman, Ph.D., is a composer, performer, improviser, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN. Originally from the Detroit area, he grew up influenced by that city's musical richness and history. Holdman completed both M.A. (2006) and Ph.D. (2010) in music composition at the University of Minnesota.

Holdman's compositions have been performed locally and nationally by ensembles such Zeitgeist, Struck Percussion EnsembleRenegadeEnsemble, Duo46, counter)induction, the Minneapolis Trombone Choir, and others. His more than three decades of professional performing experience includes a number of genres: American vernacular styles, improvisational music, and various world musics (including Greek, Arabic, and African, among others).

Current ensembles include the Marimba Bullies, an ensemble performing traditional Zimbabwean and contemporary diatonic marimba music; earWorm, an electroacoustic improvisation ensemble of composer-performers; and jazz combos with rotating personnel. Other recent and past ensembles include the Semiconductor Orchestra (a large improvised music ensemble); Deep Midnight (a duo performing repertoire from the Greek rembetika tradition); Modal Operandi (trumpet-fronted electric jazz); Northern Latitudes Mandolin Quartet (traditional and popular string music);  Mandragora (Argentine tango);  Universal Homelands (free jazz) with Gobrosis (Hmong spoken word artists); Ammala Middle Eastern Music and Dance; African Music Ensemble (at the University of Minnesota); Middle East Music Ensemble (at the University of Chicago); various Greek music ensembles; The Festival of Nations House Band (international variety); Head Octet (progressive/free rock); Jetsam Organic Ensemble (world music/jazz); The Dextet (jazz); The Puny Band (jazz/improv); and Other Things and Co. (dance theatre for children); plus decades of playing jazz, rock, and variety gigs.

Holdman has taught at the University of Minnesota, Indiana University East, Inver Hills Community College, the Art Institutes International Minnesota, and in other community settings, including prison.




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