Don’t Let Go is a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works commission for jazz octet with voice.  Structured as a song-cycle in the tradition of Robert Schumann, Samuel Barber, and Ralph Vaughn-Williams, this concert-length project explores the nuances and complexities of the concept of “hope” in the context of current social, political, and environmental realities. 


Mike Holober & Balancing Act:  

Friday, October 4th | 8:00 pm 
Aaron Davis Hall:  Theater B 
Aaron Davis Hall is located on the campus of the City College of New York at West 135th Street and Convent Ave. 
Tickets | General Admission: $20   Students & Seniors: $10 (with proper ID) 

Mike Holober & Balancing Act will present a concert and live recording of Don’t Let Go at Aaron Davis Hall, City College Center for the Arts, on Friday, October 4, at 8:00 pm. 

The concert will feature:   Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Dick Oatts (alto and soprano saxophone), Jason Rigby (tenor saxophone), Mark Patterson (trombone), Mike Holober (piano/composer), Mike McGuirk (bass), Dennis Mackrel (drums), and Jamile Staevie Ayres (voice - CCNY MM jazz vocal 2019). 

This concert/recording is funded in part by a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant (The Doris Duke Foundation of the Arts), a PSC-CUNY Grant, and the West Harlem Development Corporation

Mike Holober & Balancing Act

Mark Patterson, Marvin Stamm, Mike Holober, Dick Oatts, Kate McGarry, Jason Rigby, Brian Blade, John Hebert

Mark Patterson, Marvin Stamm, Mike Holober, Dick Oatts, Kate McGarry, Jason Rigby, Brian Blade, John Hebert

Balancing Act is comprised of vocalist Kate McGarry, saxophonists Jason Rigby and Dick Oatts, trumpeter Marvin Stamm, trombonist Mark Patterson, bassist John Hébert and drummer Brian Blade.

The group's premiere recording was released in 2015 (Palmetto Records) to widespread critical acclaim.  Downbeat Magazine’s Carlo Wolf described it as an “emotionally persuasive album,” and it was voted “Best Release of 2015” by multiple jazz critics.

Balancing Act is an exploration of contrasts brought into balance.  The album consists of old and new music, originals and covers -- some with lyrics, and some without.  The project enabled Holober to take a break from an extended period of big band writing to explore a more personal and nuanced musical statement.

Press Photos

Pictures from the Union Art Center concert (Jo Lawry and Gerald Cleaver subbing for Kate McGarry and Brian Blade)


Don't Let Go was premiered in June 2018 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City, and the Union Art Center in Sparkill New York.  For the premiere performances vocalist Jo Lawry (best known for her work with Sting) and drummer Gerald Cleaver replaced Kate McGarry and Brian Blade who were not available for the date.

Excerpts from live concert at Union Arts Center