“All original songs that sparkle with their modern beats, big band sounds and his flexible loungy voice. Hamel is simply divine!” - BN/De Stem, The Netherlands
Laidback, light and with a charming retro vibe, the sing-along tunes of Dutch pop artist Wouter Hamel blend big band, ska, calypso, swing-pop, 70s folk, 80s jazz-pop and more in an indefinable orchestra of horns, guitars, electric piano, mettalophone, glockenspiel, autoharp and Carribean steel drums.
Wouter Hamel came to the attention of the Dutch music industry when he won the Dutch Jazz Vocal Competition in 2005. Soon after, he and his band were invited to play at the Netherlands’ famous North Sea Jazz Festival, which led to a nomination for the Deloitte Jazz Award (2006), and appearances on popular Dutch TV shows such as Good Morning Holland, Barend en van Dorp, TV3 and PaPaul.
Two years later, it wasn’t just his voice but his songwriting skills which made waves, when he released debut album Hamel, a collection of 12 catchy self-penned songs, in 2007. Hamel climbed into the top ten on the Dutch Albums Top 100, and made Wouter a household name in the Netherlands.
Then came Wouter’s second album in 2009. Nobody’s Tune (2009) charmed its way into the hearts of critics and fans, receiving such descriptions as “it's like going back to the 1970s, mixing it up with folk, Burt Bacharach and some klezmer finishing touches. It is also well connected to the present, with the combination of old and new creating a unique musical playfield” (Guy Zinger, All About Jazz).
In 2011, Wouter released his third and most personal album, Lohengrin. Written partly in Paris and partly on a farm in Holland’s countryside, Lohengrin features song contributions by new pianist and songwriter Thierry Castel, and has been nominated for an Edisons Award.
Described as “a classic crooner and a hip twentysomething jazz artist” (Algemeen Dagblad), a “Blond Jazz God!” (Cosmopolitan), and “as if Frank Sinatra got out of a time machine and started two stepping on MTV” (Intermediar), Wouter’s looks and vocals have drawn comparisons with Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Elvis Costello and Jamie Cullum. He has won important Dutch music awards including the 2007 Originele Rembrandt Award for Hamel, the prestigious 2007 Erste Prijs award, the 2008 Noorderslag Festival’s Essent Award and the 2008 Zilveren Harp award, performed at the North Sea, Seoul and Hong Kong Jazz Festivals, and performed in Belgium, UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Spain and France.