Carlton Holmes is a pianist of exceptional talent, musicality, and creativity. His sensitivity and inventiveness has allowed him to be one of the most sought after musicians in the New York area. An increasing number of students seek him out because of his knowledge and experience.
Born in Michigan, raised in Seattle, Washington, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Carlton’s musical training began at the age of eight. After studying trumpet, then drums, Carlton picked up piano at age eleven. By the age of fifteen, Carlton was playing professionally. He also won several best soloist awards in the All State jazz band competitions during his youth.
Carlton Holmes’ career in New York began after he completed his Masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music. He found himself playing diversified gigs, and soon became known as one of the ‘Young Lions’, playing with drum great Charli Persip for six years and beginning what is now a fifteen year relationship with Master drummer Michael Carvin. Along with extensive studio work Carlton also composed and performed for a number of film and television productions as well as Broadway.
In addition to leading his own bands, Carlton’s performing and recording credit includes work with Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Garrett, Branford Marsalis, Max Roach, Stevie Wonder, Diane Reeves, Regina Belle, Donald Bryd, Terumasa Hino, and many others. Carlton continues to play and record with drum sensation Cindy Blackman, saxophone great Carlos Garnett and guitarist Ronny Jordan.
Carlton is also an active educator of piano, music theory and keyboards for all levels of students. He maintains correspondence with students from around the world.