Brazilian bandolinist and three-time Latin Grammy Award-winner Hamilton de Holanda’s playing and improvising transcend limitations and genres.
Hamilton de Holanda’s first instrument, at the age of four, was the Melodica. Two years later (1982) he began his professional career as a six-year-old mandolin prodigy on a national TV show with an audience of over 50 million. Today, as a composer, improviser, bandleader, and educator Hamilton’s music transcends genre as his improvisational genius dazzles audiences around the world.
Hamilton’s music comes from the encouragement of his family, the consolidation of his college degree in composition, and the freedom of jam sessions in the streets of the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, where he grew up. His first genre was Choro, a Brazilian cultural heritage and the cousin of Jazz.
Also in 2000, an emblematic year for him, Hamilton reinvented the traditional 8-string Brazilian Bandolin (Mandolin) by adding a pair of extra strings tuned to low C (going from 8 to 10), giving it a deeper voice that emancipates the emblematic Brazilian instrument from the legacy of some of its influences and genres. The increased number of strings, combined with the fast solos and improvisations, inspires a new generation to take up the 10-string mandolin.
Hamilton has shared the stage or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, The Dave Mathews Band, Snarky Puppy, Paulinho da Costa, and many others.