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Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto

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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 on a traditional 8-string “bandolim” (Brazilian mandolin). Later he 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 31 this musician from Rio de Janeiro 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.

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