Marilynn & Luiz

Marilynn Mair ~ bandolim
Luiz Simas ~ piano

Recordings: Featured on Nadando em Luz and Meu Bandolim

Formed in 2001
Currently available for concerts, workshops, residencies, festivals and other events. Workshop topics include Brazilian music history, Brazilian performance style, technique for bandolim and piano, ensemble coaching, and traditional masterclasses.
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Marilynn Mair and Luiz Simas play the music of Brazil with elegance and brilliance. Although their early careers followed different paths in different countries, they are connected by a musical bond. The duo plays Brazilian Choro, the music of Heitor Villa Lobos,  Jacob do Bandolim, Pixinguinha, Joel Nascimento, and their own compositions written in a number of Brazilian styles.  Their concerts include a mix of Choro, bossa nova, samba, and classical music. Their love and understanding of the music they play, and their clear delight in performing together, makes every performance a very special event.  Marilynn & Luiz have performed together in Rio, Rhode Island, and New York over the course of the past decade.

Marilynn Mair, mandolin & bandolim, lives in the USA, but since 2007 has spent nearly a third of her time in Rio de Janeiro. She has performed throughout Europe, North America, the Far East, and Brazil, earning her the title, “First Lady of the Mandolin.”  She plays with the Rio-based group Água no Feijão, founded and directs the American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra, and is a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University.

Luiz Simas, composer and pianist, grew up in Rio de Janeiro and now lives in Manhattan. He began his musical career in Brazilian rock as a member of Módulo 1000 and Vimana, two progressive rock band whose recordings still have an international following today.  Luiz moved to the US in the 1980s and and established his solo career in 1992 with the release of his first solo CD, “New Chorinhos from Brazil,” performing his own original music.  Today Luiz performs at concerts and club in NYC and Rio as a soloist and with his quartet.

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

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

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

    “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)

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

    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)

    “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)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    “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)

    “Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

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

    “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)

    “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)

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

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

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)