Cornetist Dave Holo passed away November 25, 2021, he was 73. After moving from his home state of Montana to Seattle several decades ago he became a fixture in many of the notable jazz bands of the North West. Dave was probably most well known as a long time member of the popular Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band. He also lead his own Holotradband, Holo’s Four Rhythm Aces, and New Orleans Quintet, and has been a regular member of the Black Swan Classic Jazz Band. He also appeared with the Evergreen Classic from Seattle, the Handpicked Jazz Men of Vancouver, B.C., The Good Time JB of Montana, and The Riverboat JB from Portland, and was frequently part off all star bands at the Olympia Jazz Festival.
The below was first published in the January 2022 issue of Jazz Soundings, the newsletter of the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society.
Remembering David Holo, 1948-2001, by The Holo Family
Beloved son, brother, uncle, friend, and band-mate Dave Holo passed away November 25, 2021. Though he was a top high school trumpeter in his area, his first “gigging band” was a guitar-driven surf-rock band called The V.I.P.s, replete with Teisco guitars, Beatle-boots and groovy-glasses. But Trad Jazz became his musical life and a lifelong passion from which he never strayed.
In the 1970s, as a young engineer in the Aerospace industry in Seattle, he found himself at the Seattle Center on a beautiful sunny day listening to Bert Barr play Traditional Jazz cornet. Dave was hooked. He found Trad Jazz to be soulful and dynamic with a sense of drive and purpose, and it re-wrote his musical DNA.
During those formative years, friends and family watched his record collection transform from Beatles to Bix. Many times in this era, upon coming to visit, we’d be greeted not with “How was your trip?”, but rather with something like “Hey, come on in and listen to the “B” section on this song—this is the tightest groove I’ve ever heard.” And with a quick hug he’d turn and head toward a bookshelf sagging perilously with stacks of vinyl LPs. From Kid Ory through Bay-Area Revival up to the New Northwest Sound, he was drinking it in with exuberance.
A short time later, he joined the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band, and that is when the wonderful man who was, and will always be, our beloved friend and family member became your friend and companion as well. Gigs, festivals, and studio sessions, “Oh my!” But you know that part. What you may not know is how much you meant to him. As we approach each day as the gift it is, let us remember that there are so few important pieces of wisdom one needs to live a full life. Among these are to do what you love and to build a community. Family, community, purpose; in the end that’s what stands. Throughout the whole of it, right up to the final moments, Dave felt he had all of that. Some of his final words were: “So lucky—couldn’t have wanted more.”
And you folks, the musicians and members of the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society, were a big part of that to him. So, we thank you for seeing the heart of the man we loved so much, and choosing to make and enjoy music with him for more than four decades. Dave’s needs are all met, but if you feel led to do so, you can make a contribution to the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society.
There will be no formal public services at this time, but this summer, when the sun comes back to the beautiful Northwest, we will have a remembrance. We’re envisioning something like the one the Goldsberry family held for George. Dave mentioned that a few times, saying: “That was exactly what I needed to settle my thoughts and feelings about George’s passing—to be around our friends, with good music, remembering George.”