Performance Testimonials

I am proud that the Rick Holland - Evan Dobbins Little Big Band calls Tala Vera cantina home once a month. Rick is a consummate professional as well as a top tier musician. His Band comprises the best players Rochester has to offer. Such talent coupled with an amazing book of swing and traditional jazz, presents a special evening of music every time they play at Tala Vera.

Bernard Matthews, Owner of Tala Vera, Rochester, NY

I have had the pleasure to do some arranging and writing for Rick's groups and I have to say that his groups are always chocked full of the best musicians around. It's a pleasure to have music played with precision and integrity - no matter what the style or genre. I would highly recommend any or Rick's groups for a jazz or commercial setting.

Jim Martin, Grand Rapids, MI

We had the pleasure of having the USO-10 piece play at our wedding in May 2017. From the minute we met Rick Holland and heard the band play we knew they were the band for us. It was a pleasure to work with Rick, who was so professional and helpful in many ways especially song choices from everything to cocktail music, our entrance song, first dance, parent dances to our exit song. The dance floor was never empty. We are thrilled with the USO and look forward to hearing them again in the near future!! Thank you for making our wedding so special!

Maureen and Mark Deckman

Sometimes it all just falls into place. The setting, the situation, the scene, the tone -- everything is going your way. That describes last night for me. And at the heart of this mid-week Xanadu was the Rick Holland Uptown Orchestra, a modest, brass-centric outfit led by the trumpet-blowing Holland that swung with equal parts effervescence and laid-back cool at Lovin Cup. And come to find out, five of his Hollands regular guys were sidelined, and the holes on the bandstand were plugged with subs --- hired music muscle like Po’ Boy Erik Jacobs on the slide trombone. By the time the Orchestra heaped on a helping of Count Basie, there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I dragged my mom out in the cold for this show and she was thrilled when they stomped on the Savoy. Holland led the affair with a relaxed air, coaxing more than conducting under his porkpie lid. He went around the bandstand numerous times so every cat there got his fair shake, including pianist extraordinaire Bill Dobbins. This is one sweet band, yes, yes.

Frank De Blase, Roch City News

With all the hype going to Wynton Marsalis, you might not guess that there are other, lesser-known, straight-ahead trumpet players out there who are consistently ripping the hide off the ball. This, Rick Holland's auspicious debut, is an impressive effort. The trumpeter leads his quartet, backed by a solid Michigan-based rhythm section: pianist Terry Lower, bassist Ed Fedewwa, and drummer Larry Ochiltree, through a fiery trail of originals and standards, interspersed with some fine balladry. Holland's sensitive ear translates to some tight arrangements and a well-organized program. On flugelhorn, he boasts a rich, full tone that purrs with warmth. On the faster tunes, he steams. This is the kind of jazz that feels just right on a wintry day, with the fireplace in full throttle, and the feet resting on a cushion: it hits the spot perfectly, drenched with emotional power and skillful fortitude.

Steve Loewy, All Music Guide

You get the feeling from Holland’s recordings, that Holland and his compatriots are not only talented musicians, but fully formed human beings with wit, style and elegance---folks whom you would enjoy sharing a fine dinner and stimulating conversation.

Bill Barton, Green Mountain Jazz Messenger

"Rick brought his quartet and the little big band to our wedding and reception. He was wonderful to work with, being both receptive to our requests and knowing where to fill in the gaps with his expertise. Not to mention I could call him anytime, and he worked around our schedule. They played a tasteful mix of songs great for just listening to and a few that got everyone up on the dance floor. In the end, everyone was raving about how great the band was. We couldn't be happier!"
 

P.S. Lindsey was amazing, the two comments I heard most were "Wow, they are great!" and "That girl can sing!"
 

Sam and Ellie Carrell

I hired Rick Holland Productions for my wedding and I thank my lucky stars I did. They were just an absolute solid band. I live in Toronto so the 10 piece band crossed the border for my wedding - our wedding coordinator said she'd never heard a band that good over her decade long career. I like to think I'm a genius for finding them ??

Kian K., Toronto, ON, CA

From the bride: "The music was wonderful! We could not have asked for a better band. Our guests were really impressed; the Uptown Society Orchestra really made our reception special.” 


From the groom: "What a professional group. Their exceptional musicianship brought a real element of class to the party. There is nothing like the sound of a live band, and this group made our reception better than we could have hoped for.”


From the father of the bride: (Dennis Nowicki): "The band was fantastic -- they really exceeded our expectations."

Anders Dahlberg and Stacy Nowicki, Wedding at the Chicago Art Museum

The Uptown Society Orchestra may have had six members, but it sounded as if it had twice as many as members blew triumphantly throughout New Years' eve night. (Front page Kalamazoo Gazette, regarding the New Years Eve Festival 2004, Kalamazoo, Michigan)

Bill Wood, Arts and Entertainment critic, Kalamazoo Gazette

Amazing! Rick Holland Productions worked seamlessly with our wedding, where we had three separate "performances" that were adpated to by Rick's use of different members of the Little Big Band. We had a cocktail reception where a trio played, then a brass quartet accompanied our Wedding ceremony. After our guests were transported by horse-drawn carriage to a lake side reception site, the Little Little Big Band got things started and the full Little Big Band played the night away to the extreme pleasure of our entire party. They even let Joe Robinson jam with them in the chill of the autumn, fire-lit evening! Thank You so much Rick!

Matthew Cooper, Bradford, PA

Rick brought his quartet and the little big band to our wedding and reception. He was wonderful to work with, being both receptive to our requests and knowing where to fill in the gaps with his expertise. Not to mention I could call him anytime, and he worked around our schedule. They played a tasteful mix of songs great for just listening to and a few that got everyone up on the dance floor. In the end, everyone was raving about how great the band was. Lindsey Holland was amazing, the two comments I heard most were "Wow, they are great!" and "That girl can sing!"We couldn't be happier!

Sam and Ellie Carrell

When we heard the Uptown Society perform at a New Year's Eve concert we knew that we wanted them to play at our wedding. They had the perfect blend of jazz, swing and romantic ballads. They are excellent musicians and we were thrilled to find that they were available for our wedding. Our guests were thrilled that we hired them; we received so many compliments. Uptown Society provided a wonderful 'soundtrack' for our storybook wedding.

Eric and Kim von Oeyen, Battle Creek, MI

Rick Holland and his band played our wedding on August 28, 2010. Rick could not have been more accommodating to my husband and my wants and needs for music at the wedding. We communicated through email, over the phone, and met with each other once to go over the details. Rick was very thorough and always set our minds at ease. During our ceremony, his quartet played us up the aisle with a romantic song and down the aisle with ''Fireworks'' which set the mood for the festive evening to begin. The cocktail hour began immediately following the ceremony and Rick''s band did not miss a beat....the little big band entertained guests while they mingled and got a bite to eat. When the wedding party was ready to be announced, Rick took the microphone as we were all introduced. After the speeches were out of the way, Rick and the band let loose! With a full band and two singers, a male and a female, we partied for the next four hours! The guests were dancing, singing, and truly having a great time as did we! The band definitely made the night! The songs were exactly what we requested and the sound quality was superb. I would gladly book Rick and his band for another occasion as well as recommend them. Thanks again Rick!

Erin and Mike Victor, New York

I'm a professional musician in Detroit MI, and have shared the stage with some of music's greats, including Natalie Cole and the late Mel Torme. I have seen and heard Rick Holland over the years, and believe me, He belongs on any list of 'Music Greats' you want to make! Rick's trumpet playing (and flugelhorn), band-leading and customer service is top-shelf, nationally. Rick Holland Productions WILL meet, and exceed, your expectations; you'll be glad you called!

Carl Cafagna, Detroit, MI

Dr. Rick continues to deliver perpetual musical gratification on his recordings, as well as live performances. I have seen his bands several times over the years, and each time thrilled and fulfilled my musical jones. It's real jazz, and real be-bop, as inspiring as the jazz music my Dad played growing up in the late sixties and early seventies. Dr. Rick continues to epitomize a virtuoso that transcends time, talent, and passion. I highly recommended his band for any of the listed musical offerings on this web page. Book this band, NOW!!

Mark Dyson, Chicago, IL

And it is this individual musicianship, particularly with trumpeter Holland, along with the quality of the original compositions that makes In Time’s Shadow a treat. Rick Holland (Trumpet) and Evan Dobbins (Trombone) lead a group of New York area musicians who could give the more well-known big bands in New York and Los Angeles a run for their money.

Ollie Bivins, All About Jazz LA

Rick Holland’s flugelhorn improvisations flow with a seasoned musician’s imagination and a hard working trumpeter’s ability to play whatever comes to mind. His piquant touches to the top of the staff (or above) from wherever he happens to be in the improvised melodic line are a great example of where daily practice can take you. His sound is attractive, in fact the sonority he gets from the flugelhorn is an essential component of the group’s impact, and his love of Chet Baker’s melodic invention is completely internalized. Holland’s ability to improvise melodically from his imagination, as opposed to fitting memorized patterns of notes into the chord, is worth careful listening. That’s the way it’s done, folks

Lazaro Vega, Blue Lake Public Radio

I find it very important in todays jazz environment that a player of Rick Holland talent gets heard and recognized because he carries on a tradition of swing and melodic playing that I consider most important in jazz.

Hendrik Meurkens, Jazz Harmonicist, NYC

Rick Holland’s music is certainly not radical or innovative, but is some of the best group playing in it’s genre of Jazz Bop.

Robert D. Rusch, President of Cadence Records

I make it a point to hear the Rick Holland-Evan Dobbins Little Big Band whenever I can. They stand out as a top-notch jazz band even in the musically-endowed environment of Rochester NY. The Little Big Band plays great arrangements with great professionalism. If you haven’t yet had a chance to see them live, treat yourself to their ‘Trilby’ CD; it’s become one of my favorites in my jazz collection. And you have to hear the Rick Holland Quartet with Lindsey Holland on vocals; a smaller but no less talented combo playing a collection of vocal arrangements featuring the talented Lindsey Holland.

Art Mustico, Rochester, NY

Just a short note to thank you ever so much for the great show and dance for us here at the HAG. I have waited until today to write this as we had a meeting on Wednesday and it confirmed everything that I told everyone about the upcoming show and dance. I was told, the band said this was the first time you have played in a hanger and I must say, the acoustics were awesome and the sounds were great even where I was sitting. At the time I thought you had more than enough on your plate but how in hell did you save the song "At Last" for the very last number. It was the very song I would have requested and it back to my Junior and Senior days in high school. Nuf said about that. Yup, I might have had a small tear in my eye, hearing the music, you absolutely stunning! And the Band, exceeded my expectations. Got to get you guys back—Rick Holland is just a splendid musician!!

Bob Biron, Chair of Hag Committee

This is the kind of jazz that feels just right on a wintry day, with the fireplace in full throttle, and the feet resting on a cushion: it hits the spot perfectly, drenched with emotional power and skillful fortitude.

Steven Loewy, AMG

Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and the rest of the "big" band leaders would be proud of your leadership and musical skills-the music was so amazing!!!m studying the great American Band Leaders for my PHD in American Musical History. I have to say, there hats would have been off to your splendid performance. Your daughter was great too.’Take care and thank you again so much for the great music!

Katie Smith, Buffalo NY

The broad repertoire his groups encompass and the care with which he deals with musical details are a welcome exception in this age of super specialization and an obsession with quick results at the expense of real quality.

Bill Dobbins, Eastman School of Music

What a surprise! This band and musicians were unknown to me, but they are absolutely great! For listeners to hear musicians challenge themselves, and be taken along for the ride, records like this are a must! The musicians in the Rick Holland-Evan Dobbins Little Big Band are all reaching the high musical standards realized by playing in this excellent Little Big Band! This music will be featured in my playlists for many months to come.
Thank you again for sending this exceptional cd to me.

Peter Kuller, Jazz Presenter, Radio 101.5 FM Adelaide, Australia