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Biography

Sonja van Hamel is a Dutch musician and graphic artist, currently active in the Amsterdam-based chamber pop outfits, The Leonids. She also released albums under her own name.

Between 1999 and 2006 Van Hamel was the female half of Amsterdam pop duo Bauer (the male half was Berend Dubbe). Bauer released three studio albums and one live album (the latter with Amsterdam's Metropole Orchestra) and won a Zilveren Harp ('Silver Harp') for their work, a prestigious music prize in The Netherlands.

After Bauer went on hiatus in 2006, Sonja van Hamel started working on her own songs. She wrote soundtracks for short films, worked in San Francisco and New York and wrote the songs that ended up on her solo début, Winterland (2009), an album named after a movie by artist/director Dick Tuinder and orchestrated by Martin Fondse.

Van Hamel performed the Winterland album live with the following musicians as her backing band: Mark van den Driest (drums & percussion), Rik Hansen or Gert-Jan Blom (bass), Annie Tangberg (cello & banjo) and Hanna Vink (backing vocals, banjo, guitar, mellotron sounds & melodica). Van Hamel herself sang lead vocals and played her trademark Wurlitzer 200A.

October 2011 saw the release of Van Hamel's second solo album: Transcendental Man, produced by and featuring Ken Stringfellow.

In the Fall of 2015 Van Hamel re-surfaced with her new band, The Leonids.

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