Who is Brenda Hopkins Miranda?
Eclectic artist, daring composer, groove maker, fearless improviser, wordless storyteller, freedom generator, magic chaser and bridge builder.
Brenda was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her father Harold left his farm life in Stanwood, Michigan at a very young age and became one of the first to join the Peace Corps. His group traveled to Puerto Rico where he met Margarita, Brenda’s mother. Her mother grew up in the mountains of Puerto Rico in a town called Corozal.
Brenda’s childhood home was filled daily with sounds from all over the world. This led her to intuitively reject stylistic boundaries. Having grown up with the sounds that encompass Puerto Rican and Caribbean music, she has continued to expand her sound by adding soul, blues, funk, jazz, classical, bluegrass, rock, flamenco and all sorts of multicultural influences.
Brenda has been playing the piano since she was five years old. She had nobody that could explain what being a musician meant because she was the first in her family. She started working as a professional musician while still a teenager and had a very successful career as a first call pianist for international artists. One night in the middle of a tour with singer Ricardo Montaner she had a life-changing experience.
Brenda decided to go to a small movie theatre in Buenos Aires on her own. She picked the movie called “Dark Side of the Heart” by instinct. Watching it reminded her what her love of music and art was all about. It also made her aware that there are two main paths in music: the professional and the artistic. That night she returned to her hotel room and decided to dedicate her life to sharing her essence through her own music and she has never looked back.
A consummate traveler and beneficiary of a bilingual and bicultural environment, her sense of purpose has always been to genuinely exploit the piano as a personal extension and to convey melodious concepts with deft imagery and drama. Her compositions can be labeled a musical autobiography, self-portrait or diary. As a performer she is known for her expressive sensibilities, daring compositions, powerful grooves and fearless improvisations.
Undoubtedly her favorite thing to do is to improvise or as she describes it “to launch into the danger zone”. Brenda considers herself a percussionist more than a pianist. For her the piano is just a giant drum. “Dedos de fuego” (fire fingers) as some will call her mixes rhythms together with the intensity of a mad scientist and comes up with something quite unlike any other ethnic Jazz mixture out there.
Her sound is percussive, lush, melancholic, vibrant, energetic, compelling and uplifting. Hopkins is one of those exceptional artists who have the capacity to capture the listener’s attention and express infinite emotions with just one note. While you listen to her you have the sense that nothing is missing or superfluous, that each sound arrives in the perfect moment.
Throughout her life Brenda has spent countless hours watching the 360-degree water-wrapped horizon that surrounds her. The combination of wonder and isolation triggered by island living has inspired her to view music as a bridge building method. Her mission is to create and share honest, unique, magical and liberating experiences that can bring people together.