Over the past few years as the Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum, igniting protests over police brutality and systemic racism, people everywhere have been confronted anew with the ugly history of slavery, racism, and discrimination of people of color all over the world. Routes of Discovery is a very special project created by two world-class musicians who are icons in their own countries of Brazil and South Africa. Hamilton de Holanda and Nduduzo Makhathini mix the DNA of their cultural heritage to explore the diaspora of African musical culture to North and South America through the slave trade. In the New World, Slaves had only their culture, rich in music, language, folk tales, and spirit, the few shards of their past life which could not physically be taken from them. Routes of Discovery is an unprecedented musical suite, created from the perspective of Hamilton and Nduduzo that tells the saga and the drama from colonization to the present day.
HAMILTON de HOLANDA Virtuosic, brilliant and unique just a few adjectives given to Hamilton as he developed his career studded with awards. In his own hands, the 10 string Mandolin is almost a new instrument, disentangling this emblematic Brazilian instrument from the legacy of some of its influences and styles, to make it a global instrument. Hamilton has composed 24 Caprices for mandolin and In the US, the press soon dubbed him the “Jimi Hendrix of bandolim.” Hamilton’s phrasing, the extra strings, and his powerful sound, combined to the speed of the solo passages and improvisations, has inspired a new generation and a new sound.
NDUDUZO MAHKHATHINI Over the course of his eight previous albums, perhaps what one can learn from the career of pianist, composer, and producer Nduduzo Makhathini is that an artist has achieved a tremendous breakthrough when they can tell a story so layered that its reach is limitless. 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 motivation and healing.