Laughing Hands


Laughing Hands performs their own unique blend of “fusion” music, combining elements of jazz and rock with various ethnic styles, including eastern-European gypsy music, Latin-American, Spanish flamenco, Asian, and American Bluegrass music.  The ensemble includes mandolin, mandocello, upright bass, acoustic and electric guitars, flute, chinese erhu, bulgarian tambura, Greek bouzouki, percussion, banjola, etc..  Together since 1990, they have recorded two highly acclaimed CD’s; “Laughing Hands” (in 1995) and “Achmed the Angel” (in 1999).   Laughing Hands is a six-piece group made up of Steve Mullins on various stringed instruments, Brian Muillins on strings and flute, Ed Rudman on guitars, Mike Fitzmaurice on Bass, Clay Bielman on drums, and Ed Contreras on  Percussion.

Praise for Laughing Hands

“Acoustic String wizards…..jazzy bluegrass and musical exotica often verging on the exquisite.” (Michael Roberts, Westword)

“The  ferocious strum ‘n’ pick virtuosity is intimidating at first, but the music is so bursting with exuberance it helps to modulate the awesome technical prowess.” (Jeff Stratton, Boulder Weekly)

“It’s  folk-meets-world-beat sound is like an exceedingly enjoyable course in ethnomusicology.” (Kim Leydig, Westword)

“tight ensemble playing, creative arrangements, and memorable, expressive material” (Dirty Linen)

“a uniquely original sound, …solid musicianship,…tightly arranged and performed.” (Acoustic Musician Magazine)

“Some of the most innovative and unique music to emerge from this area” (Jeff Stratton, Boulder Weekly)


The wide-ranging appeal of Laughing Hands’ music is demonstrated by the variety of national acts for which they have opened and the venues at which they have performed:

Asleep At the Wheel

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Vassar Clements

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

The Iquanas

Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit

Leftover Salmon

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival

Taste of Colorado

Denver Performing Arts Festival

Carbondale Mountain Fair

Worldbeat Music and Dance Festival

Boulder County Fair

Denver International Festival, etc.


Audio Example– “Buggin In The One World” from the CD “Laughing Hands” (other tracks are available under the “recordings” tab on this website)


Video of an excerpt from the tune “Valentine” performed at Swallow Hill (2017):