James E. Holdman
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James E. Holdman is a composer, performer, and improviser living in Minneapolis, MN. Originally from the Detroit area, he grew up immersed in 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, and others. His more than four decades of professional performing experience includes a number of genres: American vernacular styles, improvisational music, and various world musics, including the music of Eastern Mediterranean cultures.

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 Deep Midnight (a duo performing repertoire from the Greek rebetika tradition); Modal Operandi (trumpet-fronted electric jazz); Northern Latitudes Mandolin Quartet (traditional and popular string music);  Mandragora (Argentine tango); Ammala Middle Eastern Music and Dancevarious Greek music ensembles; The Festival of Nations House Band (international variety); Head Octet (progressive/free rock); The Dextet (jazz); The Puny Band (jazz/improv); Other Things and Co. (dance theatre for children: composer/performer); plus decades of playing jazz, rock, and popular music.

Holdman is a “recovering” adjunct professor of music, having 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. Considering world languages as another form of music, he has studied several. He is fluent in one.


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