About Corcoran on Bass


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

Training Grounds

While continuing 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 the jazz art form with educators Davey Yarborough, the late Keter Betts and Steve Novasel. During these high school years, Corcoran realized his affinity for the jazz bass and honed his performance skills by working frequently on the Washington DC music 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.

Career Blessings

Corcoran feels blessed and gives thanks to the many jazz legends and greats he has worked with including:

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, 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

To date,  Corcoran has performed across the USA and internationally at music festivals and sponsored tours throughout countries in West, South, and East Africa, Europe, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and Canada.  With his own band, he played the St. Louis Jazz Festival in St. Louis, Senegal, West Africa. In 2009, he toured the Middle East representing the United States under the US State Department with Alvin Atkinson & the Sound Merchants.  In September 2010, he traveled on 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 is honored to have been a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Bass Competition in 2009.

Currently Corcoran is the bassist in the Kenny Garrett Quintet, which received a Grammy nomination for the 2013 Kenny Garrett recording “Pushing the World Away” recorded on Mac Avenue Records.

Currently, he also serves as a djembe drummer/music therapist at a nursing home in Harlem, NY and offers private lessons on the bass.