OUR ARTISTS

JACOB DO BANDOLIM
Jacob do Bandolim was the greatest mandolinist Brazil has ever produced. He is also one of its most gifted and prolific composers of Choro music. "He did for the mandolin in Brazil, what Segovia has done for the guitar world wide." This according to renowned music critic, Eurico Nogueria Franca. Jacob brought the mandolin into the realm of "virtuoso performance," with Choro music as his vehicle.

The only son of a pharmacist, he was born, Jacob Pick Bittencourt, on December 14, 1918 in Rio de Janeiro. His musical journey began in elementary school where he played harmonica and sang in the choir. At 12 years of age he was frustrated by his attempts to learn the violin, and switched to the Mandolin after receiving one as a gift from his MotherÝs friend. Jacob was something of a child prodigy. Self-taught and highly motivated, he was already performing music on Brazilian radio by the age of 15.

Within a year, Jacob and his band were winning contests judged by some of the most famous Choro composers and musicians of all time. Inspired, Jacob spent the decades of the 1940s, '50s and '60s promoting and developing the Mandolin and diligently researching the vast repertoire of the "Chorinhos."

Surprisingly, neither Jacob nor the people he played with relied on music to earn their living. By day, Jacob had a variety of jobs including, travelling salesman, insurance agent, pharmacy proprietor, and court reporter.

JacobÝs recording career as a solo artist began in 1947 with the release of a 78 rpm single on the "Continental" label. The songs were a waltz named "Gloria," and an original composition called "Treme Treme." In 1949, he signed a contract with RCA Victor where he recorded for the remainder of his career. His career ended with his death on Friday, August 13, 1969. His most famous group recorded in the 1960s and was know as "Epoca de Ouro," or "Golden Epoch."

This group is heard extensively on our Acoustic Disc recordings, spanning the years 1952 to 1966, when Jacob was in his musical prime.