Ian Coury

Bandolinist Ian Coury was born in Brasilia in 2002. Do the math, then note that he is already considered one of the great virtuosos on his instrument.

Ian started playing when he was 8 years old, taking lessons with Marcelo Lima at the Escola Brasileira de Choro Raphael Rabello in Brasília. Growing up, his main influences were Hamilton de Holanda, Armandinho Macedo and Jacob do Bandolim. By the time he was 11, he was sharing the stage with de Holanda.  At 12, he had his first solo show at the renowned Clube do Choro in Brasilia and was invited to play that same year with Armandinho Macedo.  When he was 13 he took up the 10-string bandolim, following in the footsteps of Holanda.

Now all of 20 years old and a student at the Berklee College of Music, Ian has already garnered critical acclaim from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Arts, History, and Literature, the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil and Choro Magazine. He won the best instrumentalist award in the Brazilian National FM Radio Festival in 2020 and came in second (by popular vote) in Brazil’s eFestival in 2021, both with compositions that he composed.

The video that follows was recorded for Ian’s Peghead Nation course,  “Brazilian Choro Mandolin”. He’s accompanied by Valério Xavier on pandeiro, William Ribeiro on cavaquinho, and Fernando César on seven-string guitar. The tune is Astor Silva’s classic choro/samba, “Chorinho na gafieira“. This would be a good tune to know for evenings rodas at Choro Camp!

Since Ian arrived in the US to study at Berklee College of Music he has frequently performed with Catherine Bent, who teaches there… and joins us on staff at Choro Camp New England in 2024. Here they perform Dominguinhos’ “Choro pro miudinho”.