Mair & Larrabee

Marilynn Mair ~ mandolin, mandola
Adam Larrabee ~ mandolin, guitar & mandocello

Performed from 2003-2007
featured on Leave Something Unexplained

Marilynn Mair & Adam Larrabee make an eclectic duo, with unique programming of classical music, Brazilian jazz, and contemporary duets. Marilynn’s grounding in chamber music and Brazilian choro meets Adam’s background in jazz and love of the Baroque to create a repertoire full of surprises. The pair builds imaginative bridges between musical styles in arrangements that combine their musical strengths. Moving from Bach to Jacob do Bandolim to Bartok with ease, their personal connection to every piece they play shines through, illuminating a beautiful and kinetic musical landscape that only they could create.

Adam Larrabee plays guitar, mandocello, and mandolin. He has performed and recorded with many jazz and pop artists in his career, including Dave Holland, Larry Goldings, Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck. Adam was a member of the Boston quartet, Andromeda, who won a 2006 Independent music award for their recording of his tune “Norwegian Slip,” and he has also recorded an award-winning CD, Courage in Closeness, with jazz pianist Dave Zoffler. A gifted composer/arranger, Adam has had his music premiered at Julliard, Arizona State University, and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival. The BBC writes of his playing: “Larrabee’s guitar is straight out of the lineage of players like John Abercrombie or John Scofield; though there’s the rich harmonic language of Hall’s post bop approach, it’s tinged with a bluesier, rockier edge.”

Marilynn Mair, mandolin and mandola, has performed throughout Europe, North America, the Far East, and Brazil, earning her the title, “First Lady of the American Mandolin.”  She founded and directs the American Mandolin & Guitar Summer School and the Boston-based mandolin septet Enigmatica, and is a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University.

Mair & Larrabee are no longer playing regularly, due to geographic separation. They are still available for concerts, workshops, residencies, festivals and other events. Their workshop topics include Brazilian mandolin, jazz guitar, technique for plucked-string instruments, ensemble coaching, and traditional masterclasses.
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  • “A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…”

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

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

    “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)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

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

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “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)

    “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 é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

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

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

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

    “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)

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “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)

    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)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

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