In Brazil

In the mid-1990s Marilynn began playing Brazilian Choro music, and it soon became a major focus of her research and repertoire development. She wrote a series of articles on Choro for Mandolin Quarterly in 2000 (What is Choro, A History of Choro, Mandolin in Choro), and when she put them online in 2003, they were hailed even in Brazil as the best source of Choro information available in English.

In 2005 Marilynn went to Rio de Janeiro for the first time to see Choro in its context, and since then she has traveled to Brazil 2 or 3 times a year to study, research Choro repertoire, and play Choro in rodas (weekly jam sessions) and with her band, Água no Feijão. Rio has become a second home, and she has been accepted into the Choro community there. She has written, working with Paulo Sá, a Brazilian bandolimist and professor, a bilingual mandolin method on Choro music, that will be published by Mel Bay in late 2010.

Collected in this section of Marilynn’s website are articles on Choro music, musicians and composers– some with pdfs of sheetmusic, her travelogues from Brazil with photos and personal insights into the Choro scene in Rio, and a list of interesting Brazilian websites.

Upcoming on this page in early 2011 will be an archive of the music manuscripts Marilynn has found in her research at the National Library in Rio. So enjoy, and check back for updates!

  • “Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor… Mair’s a superb mandolin player who has brought the instrument to unexpected places…”

    – Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix (USA)

    “Marilynn Mair has always had the keen ability to balance classical mandolin traditions and repertoire, while constantly breaking new musical ground…a superb and versatile mandolinist and composer.”

    – – Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

    “Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance… her commitment to the music shines through.”

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    “Stepping back to the 18th-century masterworks gave her the opportunity to highlight her technique with a fresh light… her playing is thoughtful, vibrant and a delight to listen to.”

    — Terence Pender, Mandolin Quarterly (USA)

    “She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound.”

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “Mair displays an exceptionally gifted approach to this music, using her formidable mandolin technique with grace and sensitivity… It’s the next best thing to a trip to Rio.”

    – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

    “Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music… she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions.”
    – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)

    Bring a talented ensemble of gifted musicians together playing some of the great concertos and chamber music pieces of the 1700s, present the extraordinary classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair front and center, and you have a rare combination of the right musicians performing the right music at the right time.

    – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

    “Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

    — Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)

    “Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure.”

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

    Marilynn Mair on mandolin…touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate ‘Latin soul’.

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

    “A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…”

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

    “The final repeat of the melody transmitted a strong feeling of peace and tenderness that escaped no one in the audience. It is this sensitivity and subtleness that characterized the overall performance.”

    – Brian Hodel, Guitar Review (USA)

    “A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary.”
    – La Rioja (Spain)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    “Marilynn Mair acquits herself very well indeed, a most accomplished player, able to deal with the many intricacies the repertoire demands of her.”

    – Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar (England)

    “Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness.”

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)