Virtuosic, brilliant and unique - those are some of the adjectives used to describe this musician who sets world audiences ablaze, developing a career studded with awards.
Hamilton de Holanda started to play at 5 and today ,10 years after added two extra strings, to a total count of 10, and reinvented it: he disentangled this emblematic Brazilian instrument from the legacy of some of its influences and styles, to make it a global instrument. In the US, the press soon dubbed him the “Jimi Hendrix of bandolim”.
At the age of 35, 30 years of professional musician, he has evolved a characteristic way of playing. His phrasing, the extra strings and his powerful sound, combined to the speed of the solo passages and improvisations, are inspiring a new generation and a new sound.
Is this jazz, samba, rock'n'roll, pop music, lundu, choro? Who cares? Hamilton is not so much after innovation than music focusing on beauty and spontaneity. He has in front of him a new world rife with possibilities. His North Star is the notion that “Modernity is Tradition”: the point is neither the past nor the future, but their relationship, as they merge in the present moment, here and now.
Choro, his main influence as a child and youth, finds itself transformed - not in a purist way, but in addition to his other references. “I'm asked whether what I do is 'new choro'. New choro? I don't understand. That's perhaps because I play the bandolim. Choro is like the Mona Lisa: do you think she needs a touch-up? No! Choro too is continued by the wonderful artistry of musicians like Luperce, Jacob and Pixinguinha. Since the tradition is perpetuated, you don't have to do anything but appreciate it. In fact, what I do is a synthesis of this information with an influence from choro, bossa nova, jazz, sounds from the street… It is a music that does not need labels to exist. It just has to be beautiful.”, says Hamilton.
His trajectory includes the double Best Instrumentalist Awards (unanimously), in the two categories of academic music and popular music, of the single edition of the “Icatu Hartford of Arts” in 2001. This prize enabled him to live one year in Paris; this gave international wings to his musical work. In January 2005 at Midem (the main music trade show in the world), he performed the launching concert of the Year of Brazil in France, and his CD “1 byte 10 strings” - the first 10-string solo bandolim album ever - receive the notable distinction of [musical ]“Choc” from Europe’s premier musical periodical Le Monde de la Musique. Hamilton was affectionately dubbed “Prince of Bandolim” in the French press, and “King” in the Brazilian press (Revista Bravo). Such figures as Ivan Lins, Hermeto Pascoal, Maria Bethânia, Djavan and João Bosco consider him as “One of the best musicians in the world”.
Did the show's official opening of the year of Brazil in France, the opening ceremonyof the Pan American games-, the official opening of the centennial of Japanese immigration to Brazil and has played at ceremonies for presidents and officials. He was nominated 03 times for the Latin Grammy in 2007/2008/2010 best instrumental album "Brasilianos", best jazz album "Brasilianos 2", " best instrumental album "flowerof life" respectively competing with the likes of Chick Corea and Bela Fleck. Hamiltonde Holanda Quintet was also consecrated by TIM award, Prêmio da Música Brasileira e JAZZ + magazine as the best group and Hamilton de Holanda best performer.
Hamilton appears in various major events and festivals in Brazil and internationally. He has shared stages with Maria Bethânia, Ivan Lins, João Bosco, Seu Jorge, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Richard Galliano, Richard Bona, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones,…His discography also includes guest appearances in CDs and DVDs by Djavan, Cesaria Évora, Beth Carvalho, Zélia Duncan, Dona Ivone Lara, Ivan Lins and João Bosco, among others….
With a splendid technique and absolute brasilian-ness, onstage or in the studio, Hamilton combines dazzling playing and performance filled with emotion. He is utterly versatile, and feels at ease in any type of line-up: solo, with an orchestra, duet, power trio, quintet….