The World inside Great Amber
Multiple Grammy aureate, master of the bandolin Hamilton de Holanda, and world-renowned pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, invite listeners to explore Brazilian and South African roots connecting classical music, jazz, hip-hop, and thrilling improvisations with hot southern rhythms.
Liepāja Concert Hall Great Amber will host the musicians’ only concert in Latvia as part of their world concert tour Routes of Discovery.
From the American side of the Atlantic, we will meet award-winning improviser, Brazilian composer Hamilton de Holanda, whom critics call the Jimi Hendrix of the bandolin – a 10-string Brazilian mandolin. Hamilton has a mixed-race heritage, and his music combines Brazilian traditional rhythms and jazz. From the African side of the ocean, we will get to know pianist, composer and healer Nduduzo Makhathini, the first South African jazz musician to be represented by the prestigious Blue Note record label.
The two musicians were introduced by world-famous jazzman Wynton Marsalis, and their collaboration has resulted in the program Routes of Discovery, a musical suite in which de Holanda and Makhathini tell the odyssey of both nations from their perspective, from the arduous period of colonization to the hopeful modern days. In this concert program, the musicians mix the DNAs of both cultural heritages and highlight the unifying and healing power of music.
“This program is symbolic of the fact that we are all equal and we have to walk in the same direction, on behalf of our planet and our community. Music has the ability to tell stories and show us where we came from and where we can go,” de Holanda describes the essence of the concert.
De Holanda and Makhathini’s music will travel through stages - a blissful day in paradise, chaos and crossing boundaries, the power of adaptation and spirit, a new world that comes with compassion and acceptance, and hope for a brighter future.
Hamilton de Holanda is a multiple winner and nominee of the Latin Grammy Awards. He co-founded the first choro school in the world and got this Brazilian folk music genre recognized with an official public holiday. In 2000, de Holanda reinvented the traditional 8-string Brazilian mandolin by adding an extra pair of strings to it, which gave it a deeper sound. For the past 14 years, the musician has worked on perfecting the technique of this instrument and turned the mandolin into a global instrument by composing 24 exceptional instrumental pieces for it that feature many original and unexpected musical phrases and effects. Hamilton’s phrasing and strong sound, combined with the speed of solo passages and improvisations, have inspired a new sound of this instrument and a new generation of musicians.
Nduduzo Makhathini has received several South African music awards for his creative work, as well as other accolades. The musician has released a total of 10 albums. His latest album, In the spirit of Ntu (2022), earned high praise from critics. The musician can tell a story in such a layered way that it can get through to anyone. Makhathini grew up in the lush and rugged hillscapes of uMgungundlovu in South Africa, a peri-urban landscape in which music and ritual practices were symbiotically linked. The area is significant historically as the site of the Zulu king Dingane kingdom between 1828 and 1840. It’s important to note that the Zulu, in fact, the African warrior code, is deeply reliant on music for motiva
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