At the age of six he was given violin lessons. At the age of sixteen he sang as tenor in the male choir Vocals lust. On seventeen-year-old he became conductor of the mixed choir Arti et charity Chamber. He was best known as an employee of the AVRO, for which he led the Avro's children's choir from 1929. After the war, this choir renamed the children's choir J Hamel.
In May 1940, immediately after the German occupation, the Jewish Jacob Hamel by AVRO-Director Willem Vogt fired. Three years later, on 6 July 1943, with his wife Jeannette was Hamel Hamel-Cohen from Westerbork whisked away to the death camp Sobibór in Poland, where they arrived on 9 July and the same day were murdered.Another famous AVRO-employee, sport reporter Han Hollander, also sat at this transport and suffered the same fate.