Stefano Bollani and Hamilton de Holanda met in 2009: two fantastic hummingbirds who fly and improvise together, playing the role of leader in turn. Or rather, there is no leader; it is Music itself that pushes and leads the two instruments wherever and however It feels like going (and dancing). The duo’s energy on stage and love for Brazilian music can be heard on their live recording O Que Será (ECM, 2013).
Brazilian multi-award star musician de Holanda began his career as a six-year-old bandolim prodigy on national TV bewitching 50 million people. In 2020 he reinvented the traditional 8-string Brazilian mandolin: by adding two strings tuned to low C and thus giving it a deeper voice, he emancipated the emblematic instrument from its legacy. De Holanda, profoundly knowledgeable about the plethora of Brazilian popular music traditions, considers himself “a musical explorer in search of beauty and spontaneity”. Which makes him the perfect duo partner for Stefano Bollani, and viceversa.
Bollani has cherished, studied and performed Brazilian music since the beginning of his multifaceted music making, totally interiorising it to make it his own. On his recent album Que Bom (Alobar, 2018), mainly consisting of his own original tunes informed by Brazilian music culture, Bollani is joined by the same outstanding Brazilian rhythm section as in his earlier, extremely successful Carioca project (2008), and by the guest stars Caetano Veloso, João Bosco, Jaques Morelenbaum and – of course – Hamilton de Holanda.
Photo by Marcos Portinari.
Stefano Bollani – piano
Hamilton de Holanda – 10-string bandolim (Brazilian mandolin)