Marilynn on Mandolin is a bi-monthly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on Marilynn’s latest concerts, articles, cds, and workshops. If you missed out on Marilynn’s email newsletter, you can read past issues here. To sign up, e-mail

Marilynn on Mandolin #41 ~ Sept/Oct 2010

THE NEW WEBPAGE IS UP! ~ Big thanks to Alex & Brinsley for my fabulous new site. The address is the same, but the content and navigation have truly moved forward. There is more sheetmusic, live concert mp3s, an “Ask Marilynn” section, and an “Of Note” column of short updates on friends, events, and happenings in my mando-world. Please visit, leave a comment, and let me know how you find the content and navigation. Proudly presenting the new:

FALL … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #39 ~ May/June 2010

SUMMERKEYS IS NEXT WEEK! ~ Sign up quickly if you’d like my complete mando-attention from June 28 – July 2. There are still slots, and the week is always so much fun in lovely Lubec, Maine! This is your only chance to study w/ me in 2010, so don’t delay!

BRAZIL CHORO BOOK OFF TO MEL BAY ~ After a final month of intense effort, I just sent the manuscript & CD for my new mandolin book off to … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #38 ~ Mar/Ap 2010

I’M IN RIO ~ no, not still, but again. But I am still playing choro and working on a book with Paulo Sa. We’re recording the CD tracks for our bandolim method (due out on Mel Bay in August). I’m also teaching my RWU courses online for a month, as I did a couple of years ago, so I can be away from my academic year for the start of the one down here.

Please check out my blog, CELEBRATING … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #37 ~ Jan/Feb 2010

I’M IN RIO ~ playing choro and working on a book with Paulo Sa. So far it’s been fun & music, but the work starts next week. If you’d like to get a daily update on how the trip goes & a photo-a-day, you can visit my blog, Celebrating a Year @

MEU BANDOLIM IS WINNING PRAISE! ~ My new all-Brazilian CD is getting the thumbs-up from Brasileiros and classical aficionados alike. Particular favorites seem to be two of … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #36 ~ Nov/Dec 2009

MEU BANDOLIM IS HERE! ~ My new all-Brazilian CD is finally out, and is everything I hoped for. With great performances by Luiz Simas, Arismar do Espirito Santos, Vinicius Dorin, Rogerio Boccato, and Água no Feijão, the CD features music written by bandolimists, including Jacob do Bandolim, Luperce Miranda, Joel Nascimento, and me.

It’s a completely new recorded sound for me, playing w/ brasileiros, and saxophones, and percussion, and is a cool snapshot of what I’ve been doing in Rio … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #35 ~ Sept/Oct 2009

Happy birthday to me, and let the new year begin! My blog rolls ahead, as I’ve decided to go on past my original one-year goal and just put up a year-end retrospective of all my weekly self-portraits—fun!  And the week 51 sonnet was written about playing baroque music. Check it out!

UPCOMING MUSIC ~ I’ve got a pretty exciting month ahead for performances. My webpage situation is still not resolved—although edging in that direction—so here’s the info:

Saturday, October … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #34 ~ July/Aug 2010

Yes I know I’m late. Sorry. I really did start to write this newsletter in early July, but have been waiting ever since for my webmaster to update my website, so I’d have somewhere to refer you for more info. Alas, she seems to have disappeared, so I am proceeding here w/out back-up. Anyone who knows how to get access to one’s own webpage to move & update it, please let me know, but I digress…

AMGuSS in June was … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #33 ~ May/June 2009

AMGuSS STIMULUS PACKAGE 2009~ As y’all read in my recent email, this is our last summer AMGuSS. But we promise a party, not a wake, to celebrate all that AMGuSS has meant to so many for so long. In hopes of getting as many of you here as possible to celebrate, we’re extending the early registration discount so y’all can register now w/out the $50 late surcharge. Read about the 2009 week here: /amguss.shtml#curriculum or download an application by clicking … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #32 ~ Jan-April, 2009

YES, I MISSED ~ sending this out in January. Sorry, it was a busy time. But here I am back to report the new mando-news to y’all!

AMGuSS STIMULUS PACKAGE ~ Barack’s got nothing on us! I’ve negotiated a fee reduction for room & board @ our big event in June. For a link to information about our new format, fees, scholarships, and an application go to . Ralph, Bob, Bob, and I are excited to be back up … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #31 ~ Nov/Dec 2008

COMING ON SUNDAY ~ LIVE/WHIRLED! ~ The 3rd season of Live/Whirled, my Interactive Music Series @ Perishable Theatre begins this Sunday, November 16 @ 5:00 PM with “Avant-Whirled,” featuring the Gillen Street Project— Bert Crenca (flute, percussion, voice), Tony Teixeira (bass, voice), Susan Clausen (banjo, ukulele, voice), and Nisha Purushotham (percussion, voice). Admission is $8, and any donations to support the series are also appreciated. You can be a “Friend” for a mere $10; a “Fan” for a $25 donation … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #30 – Sept/Oct 2008


Yes, I am. And well immersed in the RWU fallsemester. I do realize this newsletter is late, but fall packed a bigger wallop than predicted– both good and bad.So I’m just poking my head out from under the music and hurricanes to send you this update.


My week teaching @ Summerkeys in Lubec,Maine was great fun, and since it was also harp week– the small wooden ones– we had some cool ensembles and played … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #29 – July/August 2008


Yes, I am. It’s winter here, which means days are short and the nights have a chill, but there are still people on the beach in sunny weather, though on my one trip there I wore a jacket & read a magazine. EPM, the Saturday choro school, just ended its fall semester last week, but I got to catch the last few sessions, and I’m studying w/Joel Nascimento again, of course. My choro band, Agua no Feijao, … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #28 – May/June 2008


It was an amazing trip, as usual, with many more adventures than can be packed into this newsletter. You can read the weekly blogs I sent home to family & friends on my website. The pictures aren’t up yet, but they should be soon, so check back later to see how beautiful Rio is in their autumn.

I’m back to finish up the semester @ RWU. I had the opportunity to teach my classes online for 5 … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #27 – March/April 2008


Yes, I am! I’m here for 6 weeks this time– RWU Spring Break & then I’m teaching online for 5 weeks. I’ve got filmed lectures, discussion forums, students presentations, etc. all set up online and ready to go when the students get back from break. It’s a trial run for hybrid courses @ RWU, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that all my hard work setting this up will pay off in the possibility of more time … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #26 – January/February 2008


I have been waiting so long to write those words. I got my copies just after Christmas – the day before I left for Rio. Wow. Mel Bay did a great job and really listened to me about the things that mattered most. It’s awesome (I know the word is overused, misused, but it’s appropriate to how I feel) and @ $25 for 224 pages & a 70-minute CD it’s in everybody’s price range – I’m … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #25 ~ Nov/Dec 2007


It’s happening this Sunday — 3:00 is the time, Perishable Theatre, Empire Street in Providence is the place. If you’ve been wondering why I’m so in love with Rio’s roda da choro, you can see for yourself. I’m running one in Providence as part of my Live/Whirled series. The featured guest artists are some of my favorite choristas in New England– Judy Handler & Mark Levesque who play guitars and bandolim, & Tom Rohde, solo guitar. They’ll … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #24 ~ Sept/Oct 2007

The #24 means that I’ve been sending out newsletters for 4 years now. Thanks for your interest in my music and your support of my projects for all that time.


I went back to Rio for the last 3 weeks in August to see if all that I had begun in March through May would still be there. It was. And by returning it seemed I became part of the choro community, not just a visitor. Highlights … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #23 July/August 2007

AMGuSS 2007 was fabulous!

The all-school orchestra played a stellar concert at the beauteous Linden Place. The faculty concerts were diverse and interesting, and the student small ensembles really nailed their pieces in their final recital. I brought a bit of Brazil home with me, arranging some Brazilian choro both for the American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra and the AMGuSS Faculty Quartet, and coaching a Brazilian student ensemble that played music of Mauricio Carrilho and others. Joe Blumenthal’s klezmer ensemble … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #22 May/June 2007


Amigos! I am in Rio and having an incredible time playing & hearing choro. I have a 7-string duo partner– Igor Nicolai; a band — Agua No Feijao; several choro & Portuguese teachers — formal and informal; and many new friends. I am taking weekly 5-hour lessons w/ Joel Nascimento, whose bandolim playing for decades has embodied the very soul of choro. And I am a registered student at Escola Portatil da Musica — the all-day-Saturdays choro school at … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #21 March/April 2007


began brilliantly in February, and promises to be a great addition to the Providence concert scene. The series was conceived by me and Vanessa Gilbert, Director of Perishable Theater, to present a different concert experience for musicians and audiences alike. The kick-off concert featured the New England Mandolin Ensemble and my duo, Mair & Larrabee. Each group played a short set, and then returned to the stage, adding audience members who brought guitars, mandolins, and a saxophone, for a … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #20 ~ Jan/Feb 2007


I’m going soon & staying long. Here’s a request for any of you who live in Brasil, have any contacts in Brasil that I could meet, know anything about Brasil that I should know, etc., to please email me. I’m leaving at the end of February, and will be based in Rio for 3 months so there’ll be lots of opportunity to travel & meet people – the greatest joy of travel. I don’t know nearly enough people there … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #19 Nov/Dec 2006


The seemingly endless work of writing “The Complete Mandolinist” is now completed and the manuscript is in the hands of Mel Bay. A big cheer of delight and sigh of relief. I’m very excited about all of its 224 pages and 38-track CD, and send out big thanks to all who helped, especially Jacque, mandolinist and editor extraordinaire, for persevering at the end.


was unbelievably fun this year – with nearly … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #18 Sept/Oct 2006


Is September 29 to October 1, and I can hardly wait! Staying on the beach in East Sandwich for the week-end; taking classes w/ me, Butch Baldassari, and my colleagues in the New England Mandolin Ensemble; hearing a concert by all of the above on Saturday; working out pieces in a small ensemble for the student performance on Sunday — what could be better! There’s still room in my ensemble (classical/choro) and there are ensembles … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #17 July/August 2006


The decade-ending 1986-2006 edition was fabulous, but I think I say that about AMGuSS every year. (And if I didn’t I’d just have to close up shop.) There’s a pic up onf the website & a wrap-up article with more pictures will appear quite soon.

The concerts were incredible. AMGuSS Faculty Bob Sullivan, Ralph Costanza, Adam Larrabee, and Bob Martel put together a concert of excellent short sets that wowed their students and the rest of … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #16 May/June 2006


In 4 weeks (this year’s dates are June 26th to July 2nd). This is the monumental decade-ending 19862006 edition, and we still have a few spots left, including one for you. Email Registrar Ralph Costanza for information, or download the flyer & application from the front page of my website.

Guest artists for 2006 are California/Czechoslovakian solo mandolinist Radim Zenkl, and the Boston group, New England Mandolin Ensemble, directed by August Watters. Radim will be in … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #15 ~ March/April 2006

February & March were so great, but I’m going to look ahead before I recap because:


Enigmatica is playing our first concert of spring on Saturday, April 1st at the Pioneer Arts Center of Easthampton. We’re playing at the invitation of Barbara and Joe Blumenthal, and will play the Bach concerto BWV 1050 with them, as well as many of our favorite pieces including Adam Larrabee’s “Anniversary,” and John Goodin’s “Blue House”.  Barbara & … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #14 ~ Jan/Feb 2006


Happy New Year! February seems to be National Mandolin Month at my house, and I’m excited to be playing 4 very cool events with 4 very different line-ups. For details, check the concert schedule.

Wednesday, February 1st: I’ll be performing @ Berkelee with the New England Mandolin Ensemble. August Waters, John Mcgann. Jim Dalton, and Mitch Nelin are 4 of my favorite players, and it’s a treat to join them on mandolin & mandola. Paulo Sa will also … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #13 Nov/Dec 2005


Next Friday, November 4th, I’m playing a benefit for “Reach Out & Read” at the Providence Art Club with Bob Martel. We’ll play classical & choro, it’s for a very good cause, & there will be food, drink, art and authors reading. On Sunday, November 6th at 8:00 PM, I’m playing David Hahn’s “Passionate Isolation,” the Classical Mandolin Society’s 2004 prize-winning composition, with Bob Sullivan in his New England Conservatory faculty recital at Jordan Hall. This one’s free … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #12 Sept/Oct 2005


so I’ve been writing this for 2 years. Wow. Read on stalwart mando-fans!


It’s happening this week-end, and it’s supposed to be beautiful weather. We’re staying in ocean-side cottages in Sandwich MA, and we get to play mandolin all week-end. What could be better? If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to change your plans and do so. Sign up online – I’ll be directing an all-mandolin Brazilian/classical ensemble … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #11 ~ July/August 2005

AMGuSS 2005

What a year it was! The students, the concerts, the orchestra, the 20th-Anniversary party… Barry Mitterhof & Joe Selly were our Guest Artists, and their concert and workshops were superb. Their fabulous Wednesday performance, in keeping with the AMGuSS ideal, included music of all sorts – Debussy, Jacob do Bandolim, klezmer and bluegrass – all played superbly. Other AMGuSS guests teaching and performing during the week included Providence multi-fret-performer Tom Greene, Boston musician extraordinaire John McGann, the Northampton … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #10 ~ May/June 2005


This issue of the newsletter was delayed for a couple of reasons, most recently a 2-week trip to Australia, my first time down under. It was a tour w/ students from RWU, but I did manage to squeeze in a lovely evening on Sydney w/ composer Ann Carr Boyd. Definitely a place to return.


You can now see some pics of my wonderful visit to Brazil in my new webpage photo log. I’ve … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #9 March/April 2005


Brazil… where to start? The trip was incredible, busy, exotic, full of music, putting lots of faces to names from emails and CDs. But it was also so easy, comfortable, and welcoming, that, surprisingly, I felt I could have stepped right out of my life here and made this bright new world my home.

Everything good that happened was made possible by Paulo Sa, my friend, colleague, and bandolimist with the Rio Trio. I would never have … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #8 ~ Jan/Feb 2005


January is “break month.” I get time off between semesters @ RWU, Enigmatica isn’t rehearsing, and after I take down the Christmas tree and bid my kidsgood-bye, I’ve got a couple of weeks to revisit some of the great ideas that got shelved during the rush of autumn. This week-end, though, I return to the flow – redoing my RWU syllabi, rehearsing with Enigmatica, and sending you the newsletter in January, as promised.

This month I’ve been arranging … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #7 Nov/Dec 2004


Yes, I am late with the newsletter. But November was full-to-bursting with music events and projects, and an unfortunate computer crash kind of got in the way. But here I am to wrap up the year and wish you a happy 2005. The Classical Mandolin Society of America convention in Philadelphia was November’s big event. It was amazing, and the preparation was intense. In addition to performing and giving workshops (on tremolo and Brazilian choro), I was asked … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #6 Sept/Oct 2004


It was a great summer of music, and now I’m back at Roger Williams University donning my Professor-of-Music hat. Luckily that’s a fun one to wear too! Through all the scurrying around to get the semester rolling there has still been time for lots of music, and I’ve got performances coming up locally all fall — including one tomorrow and next Sunday as well!


Enigmatica and my new duo, with multi-instrumentalist Adam Larrabee, are giving … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #5 ~ July/August 2004


Wow, has this been a busy & exciting couple of months! Biggest news is that the new CD by Enigmatica is now out!!

We had the CD Release concert @ AMGuSS on June 22, & are already getting rave reviews from listeners. The CD’s got Baroque, Brazilian, & Contemporary music and is tres cool! Run-don’t-walk to to my website to see the gorgeous cover, hear a couple of sound samples, and, heck, why not buy … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #4 ~ May/June 2004


OK, so I missed May… But I can report that much May time was spent in the studio recording w/ Enigmatica & editing the results. This should culminate in the release of our first eponymous CD@ an AMGuSS concert on Tuesday, June 22nd! We’ve got Baroque, Brazilian, & Contemporary music recorded — as is our wont — and even a couple of pieces from the 21st century! It’s very cool! If you want a CD preview, come … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #3 ~ March/April 2004


Well I’m just about to hop on a plane to fly to Minneapolis to play the premiere of “3-4-3” a brand new piece I wrote for the 3rd birthday celebration of “Three Dances” – a fabulous modern dance company. It’s a suite of 3 dances: Maruque (for Brinsley), Birthday Waltz (for Jamey), and Wedding Hoedown (for Suzanne). Performance is 3/4 (March 4).

My octet Enigmatica has a concert in Lexington MA, this month that will feature the premiere … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #2 ~ Jan/Feb 2004


June 21-27, 2004 ~ Save the dates for our 19th year! Check the website for the new information, fees, and a downloadable application. Brochures will be sent out soon. If you want to receive one and haven’t attended AMGuSS before, email your ground-mail address to email hidden; JavaScript is required /* */ .


EVAN MARSHALL, California mandolinist extraordinaire, Evan will play the Friday night concert, give workshops on … Read More »

Marilynn on Mandolin #1 Nov/Dec 2003


I’ll be appearing, virtually, on a computer near you, as the CoMando Listserve’s “Celebrity Guest of the Week” from November 30 to December 6. You can sign onto the list — it takes about a minute. Then, for one week only, you can ask me any question you like, of a mandolin nature, and I will answer it! Amazing! I did this for a week in July and it was such fun that they’ve … Read More »

  • "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 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 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)
    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 lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness." – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)
    "A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…" - Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)
    "A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary." – La Rioja (Spain)
    "A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!" – Guitar Magazine (England)
    "She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound." – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
    "Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music... she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions." – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (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)
    "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)
    "Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure." – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (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 on mandolin...touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate 'Latin soul'. - Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine