About Corcoran on Bass

 

Beginnings
Corcoran Holt, a son of Washington, DC, began playing djembe and other West African percussion at the age of 4 as a member of Wose Dance Company under the tutelage of Baba Aidoo Holmes & Mahiri Edwards. As a keeper of the rhythm, Corcoran began his study of upright bass at age 10 with the renowned DC Youth Orchestra (DCYOP). Soon he learned that his great- grandfather, with whom he shares a birthday, was a bass player who grew up in High Point, NC and lived next door to a very young John Coltrane. Legend has it that he gave Trane music lessons. Corcoran feels called to the bass and his work is about honoring the ancestors.

Training Grounds
While continuing his classical training at DCYOP, Corcoran attended the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC from 1996 to 2000 where he studied classical bass with Carolyn Kellock, and jazz music with educators Davey Yarborough, the late great Keter Betts and Steve Novasel. During these high school years, Corcoran realized his affinity for the jazz and honed his performance skills by working frequently on the Washington DC jazz scene.
Always performing, he completed a Bachelors of Arts in Jazz Studies from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2004 where he studied bass with Michael Bowie. He received his Masters degree in Jazz Studies from Queens College in New York City in 2006 under the tutelage of Buster Williams, Michael Phillip Mossman, and Antonio Hart.
Corcoran feels blessed and gives thanks to the many jazz legends and greats he has worked with which include:

Trombonists: Curtis Fuller who gave him his first real break, Slide Hampton, Benny Powell, Steve Turre, Wycliffe Gordon, Robin Eubanks, Fred Wesely, Delfayo Marsalis, amongst others

Saxophonists: Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Kenny Garrett, the late Frank Morgan, Red Holloway, Billy Harper, Bobby Watson, Azar Lawrence, Charles Davis, David Murray, Joe Ford, Tim Warfield, Javon Jackson, Renee McLean, Antonio Hart, Steve Wilson, Vincent Herring, Greg Osby, Donald Harrison, Hamiet Bluiett, amongst others

Trumpeters: Nicholas Payton, Roy Hargrove, Terell Stafford, Randy Brecker, Wallace Roney, Marcus Printup, Jeremy Pelt, Freddie Hendrix, Josh Evans, Duane Eubanks, Michael Phillip Mossman, amongst others

Guitarists: Bucky Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Ed Cherry, amongst others

Pianists: the late John Hicks, the late Hilton Ruiz, Ronnie Mathews, Larry Willis, Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Benny Green, amongst others
Drummers: Jimmy Cobb, Al Foster, Louis Hayes, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Billy Hart, Carl Allen, Winard Harper, Billy Drummond, amongst others

Flutist: Dave Valentine, Brother Ah (Robert Northern), and others

Vocalists: Carmen Lundy, Vanessa Rubin, Diane Shur, Kevin Mahogany, and others

Corcoran performs regularly at many of the top music festivals and venues around the world. Some have included The North Sea Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola to name a few. Corcoran has performed through North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2009, he toured the Middle East as a Jazz Ambassador representing the United States under the US State Department with Alvin Atkinson & the Sound Merchants. In September 2010, he traveled part of The Rhythm Roads tour with Nasar Abadey and Supernova to East Africa, a collaboration between the U.S. State Department and Jazz at the Lincoln Center.
Corcoran was semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Bass Competition in 2009.
Currently Corcoran leads his own group and is the regular bassist in the Kenny Garrett Quintet, which received a Grammy nomination for the 2013 recording “Pushing the World Away” recorded on Mac Avenue Records.
Corcoran also works with numerous bands throughout the world and is based in NYC, and also serves as a djembe drummer/music therapist at Greater Harlem Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he plays for his elders