Full Testimonials

Wedding button


In addition to being a great musician, Dave is one of the kindest people and easiest individuals to work with. He is accommodating, respectful and communicative. His Gypsy Jazz trio made our wedding day a truly memorable and joyous occasion. Our guests were very moved by the wonderful energy Dave’s group brought and the diverse range of songs they played, from the Beatles to Hava Nagila. They received numerous compliments from young friends and grandparents alike. We are very grateful to have found Dave and highly recommend him for his musical abilities, his friendliness, and his professionalism. -Robert and Cristelle Shilov

Dave Holodiloff’s Gypsy Jazz Trio are amazing talents, cheerful and personable. They were a great addition to the festivities, and played with great positive energy, skill and creativity. Even non-musical people would recognize their abilities.  All my guests loved them. -Rudy Patton

jazz trio

Dave Holodiloff is a talented fellow who I can’t say enough good things about. He’s a multi-talented individual with a true gift. He is one heck of a fine mandolinist, and plays a variety of other instruments as well. He plays constantly, plays with everybody, plays Bluegrass, Celtic, Jazz, and Rock with equal adeptness, and whatever he plays, he grooves. -Arden Eaton (KPIG/Kelly Productions)

Dave Holodiloff approached the music with exuberance and clarity. A virtuoso, he was ready to try anything and I enjoyed his unique style. –Mark Lewis (pictured with Mark Lewis and David Morwood Jazz Band)

There are lots of great players out there and plenty of wonderful human beings that I have been fortunate to meet and do business with, but it’s rare to find an individual with virtuoso musical abilities to also be kind, humble, totally responsible and truly professional in their musical endeavors. David Holodiloff is one such musician. It is my fortune to know him and to be able to employ his talent. The client loved the band and their music. -J.P. Mosoff (Owner/President, BackBeat Talent)


Dave Holodiloff and band kept us dancing and their sound fit the mood of the event perfectly.  Our first dance song choice of “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison, was a tribute to my father, and he would have definitely approved of this version.  They played songs that we know and love; which kept us dancing all night.  Some of the trio played multiple instruments which brought complexity and diversity to the set.  The guests had great things to say and even the neighbors came over to enjoy the music (and not to complain).  Dave was easy to work with, professional and quick to respond to my emails.  I felt confident that he understood our vision, and I was right. Dave and the band were on-time, transitioned the party from food to fellowship, and even brought on some magical moments on the dance floor. Talented yet humble, experienced but fresh, and able to “go with the flow” when needed; the group rocked our small wedding and kept the guests talking about the good times they had for weeks.  -Cat and Casey Peterson

Dave is an insanely talented musician and a fantastic music teacher. As a beginning mandolin student with absolutely no experience, I value his focus on teaching good fingering and picking technique, as well as his attention to fundamentals… scales, chords, rhythm and music theory. He is infinitely patient, chooses great songs to play and makes each lesson totally fun! He has a knack for inspiring me to work hard and have a good time learning things that are new and difficult. Dave has a relaxed manner I appreciate, is skilled in many musical styles and demonstrates just how beautiful and varied the mandolin can sound. -Nikki Nedeff

Dave Holodiloff enabled me to pull off the surprise marriage proposal I envisioned for my fiancé. I was in need of somebody that was creative, talented, and enthusiastic about a unique proposal. Dave Holodiloff was willing to think outside the box and help me pull off a fun and very special marriage proposal.  During a hike out in Carmel Valley, Dave was there to serenade us during the proposal.  He went above and beyond to make it an exclusive, one-shot moment.  Dave was willing to learn and perform the song of my choice and hike out 45 minutes to the destination.  He is extremely professional, genuine, talented, and accountable.  He came through big for me on that day and my fiancé loved it. -Daniel Phillips


When my fiancée and I decided we were going to have a down-to-earth yet personal wedding day that represented the best of our local community, the choice for music entertainment was easy. Not only did Dave Holodiloff’s Bluegrass Quartet knock everybody’s socks off at the reception, but having Dave’s duo accompany the wedding ceremony brought an elegant touch to our special event. I would recommend their energized brand of bluegrass for any occasion where life needs to be celebrated. -Jeremy Moulton

Thank you a million times over! You were so great to work with and everyone loved the music. As soon as you started playing that everything came together and all the ideas and planning gelled. -Natalie Moitoso

Wedding Shilov 1

Dave Holodiloff’s Bluegrass quartet played my wedding, though it would be a disservice to classify them as a “wedding band.”  Their repertoire is broad and they have original material and musicianship that vastly surpasses that tired stereotype. The all-acoustic sound suited our intimate venue perfectly.  The weather was actually quite bitter, but the band setup on the leeward side of one of the buildings, and had dozens of people dancing, forgetting all about the cold wind.  Lots of guests asked, “Who are these guys, they’re great?!”  The song selection flowed, great energy was maintained and the band was connected to the audience.  Mundane but important things like being on-time, being prepared, and communications before and during the event were flawless.  I highly recommend them for events, and even more so just as a source for great live music. Experience it! -Dave Dostal

Thank you so much the music at our ceremony and wedding reception. Everybody had such a great time and raved about it! You guys made it such a wonderful night for both of us and we really appreciate it! – Shannon Highfield

Working with Dave in planning wedding music was an absolute pleasure, from start to finish. Dave is a consummate professional of the highest degree. From our first email contact, he was engaged, responsive and full of ideas. He helped steer us with the flow of the day and how the music would enhance each aspect. We trusted in his expertise relating to the timing and trajectory, and were surely not disappointed. He provided ample lists of music from which to choose, and was very open during our conversations regarding the tone and mood of the party. And what a party it was! We really wanted live music to be a focal point of the event, and with Dave’s guidance, we were able to manifest our vision – from the ceremony duet, to interim playlists, to a rocking quartet barn party! He allowed ample time for set-up and was meticulous in his preparations. Even though we chose not to have a wedding coordinator, we were able to maintain our overall vision due in large part to his organization and foresight. We danced for three straight hours! Everyone we spoke to loved, we mean LOVED, the music and went to great lengths to tell us so. We will always fondly look back on the care and passion behind the band’s entire approach to making our night indelibly etched in our memory. -Casey and Tristan

People loved your Jazz duo and the music was the perfect touch to our cocktail hour! -Amy Cale Peterson

We wanted to create an unforgettable experience for everyone visiting Big Sur. The mingling hour before the ceremony was made magical with the hot Jazz and Bluegrass tunes played by Dave Holodiloff’s jazz trio. Most of the first remarks I received after the wedding were about how great the band was. The trio even learned a song that was special to me and my husband, and I surprised him by having them play it during the ceremony. It went off beautifully and he was so touched! Moreover, they are professional, flexible and great to work with.  -Courtney

Thank you for the care, attention to detail and quality of you and your band’s performance at my daughter’s wedding Saturday evening. I really appreciate the time and effort spent by you in preparing for and presenting it and I will recommend you anytime the need for quality music arises. -Bob Cushing

The music from Dave Holodiloff’s Jazz Duo was just beautiful and perfect! We are especially grateful that you learned our song for the processional and played it with so much heart. Your song selections were all fantastic and my 85-year-old great uncle was delighted that you played one of his requests. We got so many compliments from our guests and just couldn’t be
happier with having asked you to provide the music for our most amazing day on the beach. You were gracious, welcoming, relaxed and so professional. We really appreciate how accommodating and talented you are. It made our day that much more wonderful knowing that not only did we have one less thing to think or worry about, but that we had definitely made the right choice when it came to our entertainment. -Sarah and Oliver

We got floods of compliments for your Bluegrass quartet! Much love and respect going your way! -April Allard

We knew we wanted our first dance to be “Lovin’ in my Baby’s Eyes” by Taj Mahal and were hoping for a live band, but worried it would be hard to find one that knew the song.  Dave Holodiloff’s Bluegrass Quartet was playing at a work event, when all of a sudden they started playing the Taj Mahal song we wanted for our first dance. The music is great and they do a wide range of traditional and contemporary songs. They even learned a new song for our ceremony, which we really appreciated. Several people came up to us during our wedding reception to ask us, “Where did you find these guys? They’re great”! It was so much fun! -Lindsay



Dave is one of a kind. He’s organized, timely, talented, friendly, professional and sincere. He gave an absolutely outstanding performance for Monterey County Free Libraries’ Summer Reading Program, to a crowd of over 30 kids and adults. One can tell immediately that he is a musician of rare beauty and skill, both in spirit and talent. It was more than amazing, it was perfect. -Julia Mazerik

The Duo was originally scheduled to play in the background for a wine pick up party, but as soon as they started playing they gathered in the crowd. They were so talented and they completely changed the atmosphere of the tasting room. They opened it up and added class with their own sense of style.  I would love to have them again and again and again! -Ally Fisher, Georis Tasting Room

Thank you once again for an awesome performance. It was really wonderful and I’ve received tons of praise for you guys. -Benjamin Steel

As a local music lover, I have seen Dave perform at many functions and events over the years both as a solo artist and with many combinations of amazing musicians. He’s just so talented that he attracts and nurtures other talented musicians too, which is a real gift in itself. As the Executive Director of Arms of Angels Grief Counseling, I had always wanted him to play at our Annual Benefit Concert (held in June every year). He’s become such a popular performer and has been booked so heavily that it took 2 years for us to finally get him into the lineup of our show. He was great to work with ahead of time, always responding quickly to questions and also making sure his trio’s involvement in our Benefit was mentioned in all his own publicity and marketing. At the concert itself, the trio showed up, set up – and then wowed the audience – many of whom had not seen them before. I wish him every success in the future, and can only hope that we might be able to have him at another Benefit – if he will ever have time for it again -Leigh Susan Fitz (Executive Director, Arms of Angels)

Dave Holodiloff’s Bluegrass Quartet play a wide variety of tunes in different tempos that were great for a variety of dances. They were definitely a hit with the crowd and the highlight of the reception! A friend who spent a lot of time dancing remarked that though the music was new to many of the guests, they couldn’t keep themselves out of the rhythm and quickly learned that any move goes. How often does the wedding dancing include couples swinging, waltzing, hopping, lift contests, hand clapping, foot stomping, occasional break-dancing, and basket tossing the bride and groom? They kept us so busy we hardly had the time to grab a drink. –Steven

Dave is a great musician and adds joy where ever he shows up. I hired him to come to play at my book launch party and he added to the festive delight of everyone there!  -Elizabeth Murray

Dave’s professional attitude and kind nature made planning our event a breeze. He and Gene rocked our library and our patrons are still talking about the good time that they had. Mandolin playing while beat boxing??!!! That was awesome. -Amy Rector (Circulation Supervisor,  Harrison Memorial Library)

Thank you for being a part of our special day at the Santa Lucia Preserve. We so appreciate the flavor you brought to our celebration. You were great to work with and we loved having you there. -Dafna Soloman

We loved having you as an integral part of the ambiance last night!  Thank you for being so professional, yet easygoing for such a long set. I enjoyed your music, as I know everyone did. The compliments poured in throughout the evening! -Elizabeth Manning (2nd Annual Red and White Wine Tasting Gala at Anton & Michel, benefiting the Carmel Foundation)

We had Dave Holodiloff’s duo play for a couple hours at our rehearsal dinner, and he was incredible! We were looking for some casual bluegrass music after dinner. Dave played a combination of some of his own music, and some classic covers. They did an amazing job, and I would recommend him to anyone looking for some great bluegrass/folk music. My only regret was not having him play longer! -Ryan Payne

DH Trio 2 (2)

You made the event!  Everyone loved your music. -Virginia

I was grateful for how well Dave Holodiloff took the day in stride and provided such great music with little direction or management on our part. The photographer sent us a follow up e-mail that closed with, “You guys sure know how to throw a party!”, but I would say that we just had great luck in picking a band! -Katy Decker

The Dave Holodiloff Trio was an excellent group to have at the Champions of the Arts 2014. They are accomplished musicians, playing Gypsy Jazz, that is especially fun to hear because of its rarity. We boarded a “Caravan” that visited the diverse rhythms of Spain and France, with compelling stories and colorful melodies. This group was flexible and worked with the needs of our program. They pleased the spectrum of ages at our event and were a pleasure to work with. And they were snappy dressers. I will no doubt hire them again! -Jaqui Hope (Arts & Education Director, Arts Council for Monterey County)

Dave Holodiloff is an amazing artist. He adds elements to his act that enhance the listeners experience… We approached Dave with short notice the past two times he’s performed and he has been extremely accommodating and generous with his time. One the best mandolin players I’ve ever heard and an overall great guy. -Cody Compau (Whole Foods Market)

It was wonderful having both your music and your delightful spirit at our art reception. The presence of the Jazz Trio made the opening a fantastic success. You guys have a casual, yet musically skilled way about entertaining that makes everyone want to join in the fun. -Robin Sawyer

Dave Holodiloff and Peter Mellinger are masters on their instruments individually, together they are synergetic – creating more excitement and fun for dancing and listening. -Elizabeth Todd (Programmer and President, Monterey Country Dance Community)

Dave and his Bluegrass Trio made my birthday really special. I received so many comments from friends about what great musicians they are and now much fun they are to listen and dance to. -Susan Hubbard

Trio Black and White

Dave Holodiloff really made the party joyous with his lively, toe-tapping, hip-swinging music. You can’t listen and keep a smile from your face! Terrific musicians! I was delighted they played for my book launch event. They made everybody happy. -Patrice Vecchione

Dave is a very accomplished and personable musician. Dave recently played my daughter-in-law’s baby shower champagne reception. He was amazing. I was impressed by his very diverse song book, including “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”! He brought so much joy and warmth to a milestone event in our lives. -Martha DeYoung

I really enjoyed Dave Holodiloff’s Grateful Dead Tribute. The mandolin, bass, and banjo combination was fantastic. The extended sets during which the three played seamlessly from one song to the other was like gliding, floating, swooping, and dancing on wind chimed with musical notes. I particularly enjoyed the more obscure Garcia tunes. -Timothy Barrett

dht with john michael

Dave Holodiloff’s band was great! Just what our Parent’s Place Open House needed. -Gail Root

Thank you so much for the lovely background sounds the Dave Holodiloff Duo provided at my Grand Opening. I really appreciated how you stayed in touch throughout the process, listened to the type of music I wanted, and provided paperwork for my records. At the event, I appreciated that you were punctual, professionally dressed and performed superbly. The selection of music was perfectly suited for the feeling of the event with just the right touches of holiday tunes. Your wonderful accompaniment to my talented opera singing friend led to a spontaneous mini concert that will be long remembered. I will definitely hire you again anytime live music is called for to make a party extra special. Hiring you for my grand opening was the best thing I could have done to enhance and elevate my party to a memorable event! -Anna Marie Lopez (Indigo Seas Spice and Trading Company)

The Cowboy BBQ is such a fun event, but without the right tunes it can be a little boring. Dave Holodiloff’s Bluegrass Duo did a great job filling the air with beautiful Bluegrass sounds that were so fitting for the environment amongst the redwoods, cowboys and cowgirls! -Jen Anello (The Santa Lucia Preserve)


Dave Holodiloff and his band were absolutely fantastic! I left it up to them to decide what to play, and they read the crowd perfectly and performed a really nice combination of new and old tunes. They absolutely made the party the success that it was! -Plasha Will

Our Tribe just loved Dave Holodiloff Band’s mix of fantastic music during the Winter Solstice Gathering. Thank you for making what was an incredible and memorable event even more amazing! So many folks complimented your fun, tight, and talented band. -Nikki Nedeff

Everyone was raving about Dave Holodiloff Band’s music afterwards and it was just perfect. Thank you for playing “Further on Down the Road”. That song is really special to us, and I love how you guys played it. There is nothing better than having good friends, good food and good music all wrapped up in a beautiful place filled with sunshine. You made our day. -Renata Abma

Dave and Steve were terrific and put on a show that delighted the group. -Sharon Sue 

I enjoyed the contra dance Dave Holodiloff Trio played in Felton a few weeks ago. You did a nice job. I especially enjoyed the bass work- nice combination of plucking, bowing, and soloing that really added a lot of interest to the sound. Looking forward to seeing you at another event. -Jim Schibler


Wedding button

What an outstanding show! I felt so grateful to have been there; it would seem almost tragic to have lived my whole life without experiencing your music. Each and every one of your band members added sooo much! We can hardly get over the talent of “Gene Krupa,Jr ” on drums!  We were astonished that so much talent could fit inside those 4 walls! BRAVO! -Kathy Cuen-Ashby

Thanks for rockin’ out at DQ’s last night and starting our new year off right! The variety of music, played with exceptionally great chops and with a superduper dose of humor tossed in, was rich and satisfying… It took quite a while for the big wide grin to leave my face. I cannot wait to see your band again. You Guys are ALL Rock Stars!! -Dish de Lish

Every time I mention that I have a wonderful mandolin player, Dave Holodiloff, to accompany me on the Santa Lucia, people swoon! -Valerie Lumley

I’ve been a fan for some time. Your music, your aura, and your spirit have always brought a smile to my face. -Jason Kozun (Spero School)

He’s young, good looking, can play virtually any stringed instrument and play them well, he can go from Bluegrass to Jazz to Grateful Dead tunes as easily as I change shirts and he can sing… So go check Dave Holodiloff out… you will be highly entertained. -Mac McDonald (Mac About Town)

Dave, just have to tell you again how much Alice (Mama P. Jama) and I love your “Jazz Trio” cd!!!! You are our most listened to artist, it is an honor to know you! -Rama P. Jama

We contacted Dave to play music with our impromptu Bluegrass Band because we had heard that he was one of the best Mandolin players in the Monterey area.  Dave was a great asset to our band and his positive energy on stage along with his solid mandolin playing made our event a great success!  I would highly recommend Dave to anyone wanting to hear some classic Bluegrass mandolin or Gypsy Folk music from a home grown Pacific Grove local.  Our group of over 800 architects loved the setting and music at Asilomar and the authentic mandolin that Dave added made the event even more classic. -Michael Holliday

Your music is so immediately engaging. -Ed Eyth


Dave Holodiloff’s concert at Pacific Grove Art Center was amazing beyond words. My husband said it was the best music he has seen in a long time, and some of the best musicianship ever. He was right on both counts. Dave Holodiloff’s original music was the highlight of the show for both of us. It was a tremendous pleasure to see his trio in a room with good acoustics, and Dave Holodiloff, Steve Ucello, and Kenny Stahl sounded great both together and individually.  Truly brilliant music that everyone should get out to witness. -Amy Warren

AMAZING! The Best performance of this group I’ve seen yet. Kenny Stahl on flute, piccalo and “bass flute”, Nik on drums and clarinet (as Dave said “half man, half amazing”), and a great bass player! The group did some skating, some Irish, some traditional, some bluegrass, and tons of improve. What a fantastic two hours of music–the packed house gave them a standing ovation. -Liz from Monterey Jazz Junkie

I love hearing you play whether it’s at the market or with the full septet, and I love hearing Foggy Coast whenever you play it! -Leigh Fitz

I enjoyed all of Dave Holodiloff’s CDs. I think the one I like best is the “Jazz Trio” album. I like it when a musician takes an instrument into territories that it is not normally heard. -Randy Farran


Everyone is enjoying your Enchanted Winter CD, and the baby rocks out to it, which is very cute. The album is truly beautiful. I especially like the rendition of Jingle Bells. Wonderful work. -Alina Orlov

Really diggin’ Dave Holodiloff’s album ‘”Traditional Duets”. Jam to it on the daily. -Steven Siglin

Adam Joseph’s article is nice, and 100% true. Dave Holodiloff is the hardest working musician in Monterey! -Arden Eaton (KPIG/Kelly Productions)

I’m a big fan of Dave Holodiloff and so is my son. Dave’s talent convinced him to pick up the mandolin and then banjo. He also started playing rockabilly and listening to blue grass after he saw Dave and realized it was a ‘cool’ genre. -Steve Ellzey (AMP Media)

“Beloved Songs of Ireland” is Dave Holodiloff’s best CD yet. Peter Mellinger’s fiddle is fabulous. The two play very tight. The instrumentals are rich and Dave’s voice is very strong. -Terry

Wow. Dave Holodiloff’s playing is outstanding! I love that kind of freedom of playing. He really does get a jazz/funk sound out of that mandolin. -Crabgrass (mandolincafe.com review of original song “Funkin’ A”)


In all the years that I have been taking guitar and bass lessons, Dave Holodiloff, is the best teacher I have ever experienced. He is the most professional, thorough, and makes the most use of teaching time. Dave is reliable, friendly, and responsible. I recommend him for beginners as well as virtuoso performers for mandolin and guitar. For recording, Dave is a real pro also. He shows up on time and gets the job done with superb excellence. There are not enough adjectives to describe how highly I think of Dave Holodiloff as a music teacher, recording artist, and overall person of high character. – Robert Josey

Our son James has become a confident, self-motivated, and capable mandolin player and musician with Dave Holodiloff. We’ve loved seeing our boy enjoy and improve his music and in public performances. We’re thankful for James’ experience with Dave’s musicianship, patience, and teaching ability. – Mary & Joe Welsh

Thanks again for taking time out to teach me more about the wonderful world of music; been a long time coming for this cowgirl. I can not tell you how happy I am that God arranged for me to run into you. It has given me an enthusiasm for playing and creating music again. The things we have gone over the past 6 months have inspired and changed my life.  -Joyce DeCou Hamann

_MG_1848(E) - Selective Color2

It is so great that my son comes home pumped up to show off the song he learned from you – love that! Thanks so much!! -Tracy Sanborn

When starting acoustic guitar lessons I decided to lesson with Dave Holodiloff because I admired his musicianship. He plays with a great combination of technique, expression, and versatility. In lessons he has done a great job of communicating insights in all of those areas. The lessons are so useful- they inspire me to practice and I am improving faster than I could have hoped. Dave is one of those very rare people who is both an excellent musician and an effective teacher. He has a real talent for fostering musicianship in others and I feel lucky to be learning from him. -Amy Warren

I vowed to learn mandolin years ago, and while I played with friends or along with CD’s, I would only strum lazy chords on the first three frets. My untrained fingers flew about and I couldn’t play the right note if life itself depended on it. Better musicians would try to explain scales and techniques, but I would accuse them of speaking in a foreign language. In just four lessons with Dave Holodiloff, I play scales, understand them, and am even learning to read music! – Joy Colangelo