Official Short Bio

Greg Holmes is an award-winning musician, composer, and producer. He has worked with many bands (Rush, Lee Aaron, Platinum Blonde, Honeymoon Suite, Sebastian Bach) and provided sound design services for major clients (Lucasfilm, Nelvana, CTV, HBO). Greg has been a technology educator, data architect, QA specialist, and project manager (Gov't Ontario, MTO, Panalpina, Marsh & McLennan, SNC-Lavalin, Ceridian). He is an expert in data synchronization and replication technologies (Bell Canada, Hydro One). Greg is also a fitness instructor (Zumba, yoga, massage), journalist, visual artist, carpenter, electrician, and is interested in kinesiology, organic chemistry, aeronautics, sailing, accessible technologies, artificial intelligence, and technoethics. He is a member of the W3C and WHATwg. 5V10

Greg Holmes playing NS/Stick


I have lived in the Niagara area for more than 30 years, but I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I studied classical guitar with Eli Kassner at his academy in Toronto, and attended the Humber College Jazz music program, majoring in bass, where I impressed the head of the department when I auditioned with a rendition of Autumn Leaves in the style of Joe Pass - but on electric bass.

I was twelve when I first picked up the guitar, and played it for 8 hours straight on that first day. When I learned that chords were constructed using stacked major and minor thirds, I remember thinking "what would happen if the stacks went down instead of up?" So, in 1974, I independently invented what is commonly called negative harmony.

I play guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, and worked with the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument, the pioneering digital sampling system. I'm also experienced in producing, record engineering, live audio, and instrument repair.

Greg's Fairlight studio.
All of this equipment (except for amp rack, speakers, and TV) could be relocated to recording studios on a moments notice.
Left to right: 1/2" 8-track reel-to-reel, 1/4" 4-track, amp rack on wheels (with phono and pro VCR on top), Fairlight CMI Series II CPU, Fairlight keyboards and monitor, amber PC-compatible monitor and keyboard, road-case rack unit (Korg MS-10 mono analog synth, MIDI routers [Roland MPU-103/104/105], Roland SDE2500 digital delay, Yamaha REV 7 digital reverb, Dynafex D-2B noise reduction unit, rack-mount computer behind grey faceplate, Yamaha TX 816 FM tone generator [equivalent to eight DX-7 modules], two Ashly SC-50 peak limiter compressors, patchbay), A-frame keyboard stand (top row: Roland SBX-80 Sync Box, Roland TR-707 drum machine, middle row: Yamaha DX-7 direct from Japan, bottom row: Tascam M-216 16-channel mixer, MP180 8-channel mixer). In the background are Bose speakers and a JVC TV/video monitor.

I am two-time "Jazz Artist of the Year" at the Niagara Music Awards, 2010 and 2012, and nominated again in 2011 and 2013. My stage performance in 2011 was described as a "show stopper". I was also a finalist in Downbeat Magazine's Reader's Choice poll.

I'm currently focusing my performing skills on the NS/Stick, an 8-string instrument with the combined range of guitar and bass. On this instrument, treble and bass parts are played at the same time, making me sound like two or three people.

My vocal style has been described by audience members as being smooth and articulate. A cross between Michael Bublé, Chet Baker, and Kurt Elling.

My solo shows are like a trio of voice, guitar, and bass, with percussion effects on the strings. Occasionally, I'll play drum parts on a foot pedal unit or play keyboards at the same time. I also perform in duos (usually with drummers or wind players), trios, and larger groups. I really enjoy the interaction and exploration that happens with good players when performing together for the first time.

My musical influences include: Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, Carmen McRae, Caroline Drury, Chick Corea, Chris Squire, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy, Geddy Lee, Jane Monheit, Kurt Elling, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn, Susannah McCorkle, and Tony Martin.

I'm currently listening to:

I've performed with Louis Albanese, Peter Appleyard, Wendell Blue, Maureen Brown, Jim Casson, Rob Christian, Bill Culp, Dave Curry, Brian Dinsdale, Julian Fauth, Michael Fonfara, June Garber, Paul Greco, Steve Grisbrook, Jeff Healey, Chuck Jackson, Mark Kelso, Gary Kendall, Michael Keys, Mark Kieswetter, Hugh Logan, Jeff Luciani, Terry Martell, Bill Melymuka, Lindsey Mills, Ricky Paquette, Michael "Shrimp Daddy" Reid, Bill "Mojo Willie" Reimer, Alistair Robertson, John Sherwood, Randy Stirtzinger, Warren Stirtzinger, Dan Thomas, Norm Villeneuve, Garth Vogan, Jim Yorfido, Solid Brass Swing Orchestra, and others.

Professionally, I have provided composition and performance services for musical groups and media companies, including Rush, Lee Aaron, The Irish Rovers, Platinum Blonde, Honeymoon Suite, and TV series' such as The Care Bears, The Hitchhiker for HBO, and Lucasfilm's cartoon series' Ewoks and Droids. I also composed and recorded a classical-style soundtrack for a 70mm 3-D movie at the Science North Science Centre in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and composed music for CTV's The Last Frontier nature series.

I am North American Partner for BassLab Instruments of Germany, maker of high-end custom musical instruments, and I also represent Acoustic Image amplifiers, and other quality audio products. For more, visit my business site at