Tag Archives: Hamilton de Holanda

Artist Profiles: Hamilton de Holanda

Hamilton de Holanda – Photo by Michel Petit

Hamilton de Holanda was born in 1976. He is a gifted virtuoso mandolinist who has revolutionized the mandolin. He developed his own music thorough a polyphonic playing technique, as well as an enriched timbral and percussive palette on his extended range mandolin as he added a low C string for a total of 10 vs. 8. He always speaks of “my instrument, as the name says, is only an instrument to express my gratitude to life, to this moment in time we call now“.

Having won many national and international prizes and often acclaimed as the Jimmy Hendrix of the mandolin, his talent went rapidly beyond the borders of Brazil. In December 2001, Hamilton vied with the cream of Brazilian performers of both academic music and improvised music, and won a Brazilian Award the Icatu Music Prize in both popular and erudite disciplines. This earned him a fellowship at the Cite des Arts in Paris until February 2003. Thus, he has built a bridge with the Old Continent, which he has been regularly touring since he returned to Brazil again.

On stage, Hamilton’s charismatic and communicative enthusiasm, his flawless playing and his sophisticated harmonic and rhythmic sense make him one of the most remarkable musicians of the new Brazilian generation of performers and composers. He has played with Hermeto Pascoal, John Paul Jones, Cesaria Evora, Seu Jorge, Joao Bosco, Maria Bethania, Ivan Lins, Buena Vista Social Club, Richard Galliano, Richard Bona, Bella Fleck, Gilberto Gil, Michel Legrand, Djavan….to name but a few.

Hamilton de Holanda leads the Hamilton de Holanda Quintet featuring Daniel Santiago on acoustic guitar, Andre Vasconcellos on electric bass, Marcio Bahia on drums, and Gabriel Grossi on the chromatic harmonica. Their producer is Marcos Portinari. The Quintet has just been awarded the most prestigious 2007 Brazilian music award equivalent to Grammy for the best instrumental group while Hamilton de Holanda received the best performer award.

The concept that underpins the Quintet’s music making is that diversity in music ought to know no boundaries. Speaking about M?sica Popular Brasileira (MPB), Hamilton de Holanda states “this concert is a homage to the Brazilian people and Brazil’s young musicians, that intuitively have been creating a novel way to express their art – the Modern Instrumental Brazilian Music – underpinned by Brazilian inherent features and tradition without loosing sight of current universal themes.”

Hamilton de Holanda explains that the young musicians are indeed citizens of the world that bring Brazilian flavor to the universal pot. The concert Brasilianos 2 is homonymous with the CD released recently based on the most notable names in Brazilian instrumental music, as for example, Hermeto Pascoal, Pixinguinha, Baden Powell, Egberto Gismonti, Toninho Horta, Raphael Rabelo among others and with inspiration drawn from world music such as Jazz, Flamenco, Cuban and African. He adds that “most of the songs lend themselves to be executed with the same fluency either by whistling or orchestra, eloquent melodies with rhythm, harmony and improvisation, singularities of sophisticated Brazilian music.”


Destroçando a Macaxeira, with Dois de Ouro (1997)
A Nova Cara do Velho Choro, with Dois de Ouro (1998)
Luz das Cordas, with Marco Pereira (2000)
Dois de Ouro, with with Fernando César (2000)
Abre Alas (2001)
Brasilianos (Biscoito Fino, 2006)
New Words / Novas palavras, with Mike Marshall (Adventure Music, 2006)
Íntimo (Deckdisk/Adventure Music, 2007)
Contínua Amizade, with with André Mehmari (Deckdisk, 2007)
Brasilianos 2 (Adventure Music, 2008)
De Bandolim a Bandolim, with Joel Nascimento (2009)
Luz da Aurora, with Yamandú Costa (2009)
Sessões com Hamilton de Holanda, with Ensamble Gurrufío (2010)
Esperança – Live in Europe (2010)
Sinfonia Monumental (2010)
Gravações Inéditas (2011)
Delírios e Devaneios(2011)
Gismontipascoal, with André Mehmari (Adventure Music, 2011)
Brasilianos 3 ((Adventure Music, 2011)
O Que Será, with Stefano Bollani (ECM, 2013)
World of Pixinguinha (Adventure Music, 2015)
Trio (2016)
Casa de Bituca – The Music Of Milton Nascimento (Adventure Music, 2017)


Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto Honors Milton Nascimento

Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto – Casa de Bituca (MPS/Biscoito Fino, 2017)

The Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto plays a tribute to the music of one of Brazil’s greatest musicians, Milton Nascimento. The Brazilian quintet, led by mandolin master Hamilton de Holanda is one of the finest acts in Brazil, known for its remarkable instrumental albums where Brazilian music and jazz come together.

Most of the material on Casa de Bituca are well-known songs by Milton Nascimento that are recreated elegantly by Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto, highlighting the instrumental skills of the ensemble. Although Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto is generally an instrumental band, Hamilton de Holanda sings for the first time on one song and Casa de Bituca features several guest vocalists including the honoree himself.

The lineup on Casa de Bituca includes Hamilton de Holanda on 10-string mandolin; André Vasconcelos on electric bass; Daniel Santiago on guitar and vocals; Gabriel Grossi on harmonica; Márcio Bahia on drums) and (guitar). Guests featured: Milton Nascimento on vocals; Alcione on vocals; and Antonia, Rafaela, Gabriel, Cinara and Joana on backing vocals.

The CD physical version is a 2-disc set with the audio album and a DVD featuring video versions of Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto’s pereformances.



Casa de Bituca is an outstanding album that showcases the Brazilian melting pot, where Afro-Brazilian rhythms meet the European string tradition, indigenous influences and American jazz.

Buy Casa de Bituca


Mandolin Recipes

Mike Marshall & Hamilton de Holanda – New Words / Novas Palabras

Mike Marshall & Hamilton de Holanda – New Words / Novas Palabras (Adventure Music, 2007)

Two remarkable instrumentalists join forces on a mandolin fest. American musician Mike Marshall is a renowned mandolinist who has played in numerous ensembles, performing a wide range of styles: newgrass, contemporary instrumental, jazz, etc. Meanwhile, Brazilian Hamilton de Holanda is a master of the bandolim, an instrument closely related to the mandolin.

For their collaboration, Marshall and De Holanda have chosen an impressive and eclectic mix of pieces, including originals by Marshall and De Holanda, together with Brazilian compositions by masters such as Hermeto Pascoal, and a piece by banjo revolutionary Bela Fleck.

If you want to see how these two marvels collaborate, the CD comes with a companion DVD of live footage.

Buy New Words / Novas Palabras


Hamilton De Holanda’s Brasilianos Earns Latin Grammy Nomination As “Best Instrumental Album”

Hamilton de Holanda – Brasilianos

Mandolin phenomenon Hamilton de Holanda has just been nominated for his first Latin Grammy award. The nomination is for his critically acclaimed debut for Adventure Music, Brasilianos, which was released in the summer of 2006.

I am thrilled to be nominated,” said De Holanda, speaking from Rio. “It is a personal honor and it also acknowledges the new generation of young virtuoso musicians who are mixing the best Brazilian spices into a universal musical pot,” he continued. “Maybe the best way to define what we are all doing is ‘modern is tradition,’ since we strive to remain true to the many artists who have inspired us, such as Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti, Baden Powell, Pixinguinha, and Villa Lobos.” On Brasilianos, the 32 year-old De Holanda fronts a quintet of those top flight young Brazilian musicians, including guitarist (and Adventure Music label-mate) Daniel Santiago, bassist Andrew Vasconcellos, drummer Marcio Bahia, and harmonica player Gabriel Grossi.

Most recently, De Holanda collaborated with fellow mandolinist Mike Marshall on New Words – Novas Palavras (Adventure Music) and has just released a solo mandolin recording for the label, titled intimo. He is currently at work in Brazil with on a follow up quintet recording to Brasilianos, titled Brasilianos 2, which is scheduled for release in 2008.

Buy Brasilianos.