Jordan Hamilton’s Musical Road to Recovery

Familiar names populate the March Hot Top 5, but the resurgence of the Kalamazoo hip-hop cellist’s year-old album also reflects his comeback after a devastating accident. The story of Local Spins.

Back on stage: Jordan Hamilton will perform on March 31 at Tip Top Deluxe. (Photo/Anna Sink)


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Like all artists, Jordan Hamilton has felt the pain of the pandemic and the formidable challenges of navigating a music career.

But Hamilton has also endured the physical pain, adversity and complications brought on by a shocking car accident in 2021 that left the Kalamazoo hip-hop cellist unable to play, work and perform for several months.

In August, Hamilton was driving through a Kalamazoo intersection when his car was hit and run over by a stolen vehicle that ran a red light. He suffered a broken collarbone and a concussion, remnants of those injuries still affecting him today.

Lucky: Hamilton and his crashed car. (Courtesy picture)

“It’s miraculous he’s not in worse shape,” fellow musician and friend Seth Bernard wrote when announcing a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help cover Hamilton’s medical bills and lost income. “His car is completely destroyed.”

Fans and fellow musicians responded, raising over $33,000 for the cause.

And with the help of his mother and sister – and rehabilitation exercises – Hamilton returned to the stage doing what he does best: wowing audiences with his musicianship, catchy songs and rhymes and attitude. uplifting.

“It’s still a bit unclear. There are times when everything is fine and there are times when I just feel like everything is ringing and I’m in a daze,” Hamilton said, adding that moving his left arm to play the cello can still be “a bumpy ride. … Other than that, I’m good to go.

Hamilton’s comeback even extends to airing an album, “Vibrations,” which he released over a year ago: the instrumental recording returned to the Local Spins Hot Top 5 chart for March, a table representing the local and regional releases receiving the most airplay at the WYCE in Grand Rapids (88.1 FM).

This album recorded with Andy Catlin, which Hamilton describes as addressing “the classical part of my life”, is the first entirely instrumental project he has released. And he hopes to add to that discography in the months to come.

He plans to release a series of singles and EPs called “Freedom Project” starting in May, when he will also launch a host of public performances and summer festival appearances.


“I’m always surprised when people listen to my music, let alone like it. I am always surprised and grateful,” he said, thanking radio programmers such as those at WYCE who have a “listening ear” for his boundary-pushing tracks.

“My fan base is always very generous. They always try to support me, not only me, but also various artists. They are generous with their time, generous with their energy. … I want my fan base to be more of a community I want them to come for each other, not necessarily for me.

Hamilton, a member of Kalamazoo’s Last Gasp collective who was named Local Spins Emerging Artist of the Year in early 2020, will be featured as part of a star-studded Local Spins 10th anniversary celebration in May. He will join Julio Gomez, Eric Engblade and Patty PerShayla at Listening Room on May 17 in a special Local Spins edition of Nicholas James Thomasma’s “Songtellers” series. Get tickets online here.

Beyond that, Hamilton’s busy summer includes performances at Blissfest, Cowpie Music Festival, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Hoxeyville Music Festival and Pumpstock, as well as two appearances at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Like Hamilton, most of the other March Hot Top 5 names are familiar to West Michigan fans.

For the third month in a row, Kalamazoo-based progressive bluegrass band Greensky Bluegrass retained the top spot on the chart with their latest album, “Stress Dreams.”

And Grand Rapids vintage country actor The Bootstrap Boys continued his run up the chart with the band’s latest release, “New Beginnings,” which came in at No. 4.

An album by fellow Kalamazoo artist, WOOTS, which premiered on Local Spins in April 2021, found its way to No. 2 on the March chart, along with new album by songwriter Anna Ash- Michigan-born, Los Angeles-based performer, “Sleeper,” at #3.

Listen to tracks from all releases below and check out previous Local Spins Hot Top 5s here.


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