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 & Joe’s Northampton group will play as well. Tickets are $12 at the door, $10 in advance. For tickets or more information, call 413-527-3700 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required. And…


at the Northampton Community Music Center from 1:00 – 4:00 that afternoon, Saturday, April 1st. It’s a workshop on ensemble playing for mando-family instruments and guitar, and we’ll be playing Baroque music & Brazilian choro. For information and sign-up contact: [address deleted @todo]


and this year’s dates are June 26th to July 2nd. This is the monumental decade-ending 19862006 edition, so sign up soonas we’re expecting a big turn-out, and we’re still limiting enrollment to 55. Flyers are out email Registrar Ralph Costanza if you need one. You can download the flyer & application or email Ralph.

Guest artists for 2006 are the astonishing solo mandolinist Radim Zenkl, and the Boston group,the New England Mandolin Ensemble, directed by August Watters. Radim will be in residence all week, and will be coaching small ensembles, performing, giving workshops, and teaching. NEME will come down for the day on June 29, and August, Jim Dalton, and Mitch Nelin will all give workshops for mandolin &/or guitar, as well as sharing the evening concert with Radim.

In addition to concerts by the guest artists, I’ll be performing and releasing a new CD (more info below) on June 27th, and Enigmatica will play half of that concert. The annual Faculty Recital on June 28th will feature Bob Sullivan, Adam Larrabee, Ralph Costanza, and Bob Martel, as well as the Faculty Quintet. And the final concert, July 1st, will feature a set by the American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra (that’s everyone at AMGuSS, students & faculty) & a set by “Marilynn & Friends” and will be held in the RISD Auditorium as part of a lighting of Providence’s celebrated “WaterFire”. Wow, it’s going to be an amazing year. Don’t miss it!

You might want to apply for the HIBBARD PERRY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP, for mandolinists or guitarists age 18-30, or the newly-instituted NORMAN LEVINE MANDOLIN TEACHERS SCHOLARSHIP. For guidelines and applications, email Ralph


February was as cool as it gets for me musically. I got to play @ Berklee with NEME & Paulo Sa on the 1st. Then Radim joined Paulo & me to form the “Mandolin World Summit” with workshops and a standing-room-only concert in what was definitely one of the all-time great gigs in my career. Then Adam & I went to Dayton & rocked the house & got to hang with our pals in the DMO, and the month ended playing choro with Bob Martel in the Providence Atheneaum’s “Salon Series”. Serious fun was had by all. I’ve got new pages up on my site for Mandolin World Summit, and Mair & Larrabee, check them out!

I began recording my new CD in February too, withPaulo, Radim & my bass-playing nephew Robert, working with my long-time irreplaceable recording engineer, Joe Augur. “Leave Something Unexplained” is the title, and one of the tracks, so I will do just that at present. Radim & Robert returned in March for more recording, and Adam zipped down from Boston to put down some of our duo rep. I’m about 2/3 done, a track w/ Enigmatica and some solos to record, so I’m planning to have it out at the end of June, in time for the gigs @ AMGuSS & WaterFire.


My new Mandolin Magazine column, appearing in the next issue, reaches the 20th/21st century in mymusic-history-overview series, and is featuring mandolin-composer extraordinaire John Craton. CMSAs Mandolin Journal is still MIA, but has a new editor, so my “Teachers Spotlight” column may soon be released fingers crossed.


I am so pleased to announce that the 224-page 1st draft has emerged from my computer, after I chained myself to it over Spring Break (last year, Rio… this year my Mac G-4, kind of the yin & yang of spring breaks…). I’ve just finished the music read-through and have my punch list set. I’m doing a writing edit this week, reprinting it with corrections, running it by my Enigmaticite editor/friend Jacque & then it’s reprinted & goes in the mail to Mel Bay. And that day a big cheer will go up at my house for sure.


I got to see/hear Skip Gorman & Seth Austen again recently, and meet Dave Surette & Peter Ostroushka at Dave’s Concord NH mando-fest in March. I was just there briefly, but it seemed like a great event y’all should check out in future. Dave’s new CD, and Skip’s “Mandolin in the Cow Camp” are both totally delightful.

Adam & Jim Dalton are playing with mando-master JohnMcGann @ the David Friend Recital Hall @ Berklee thisThursday @ 7:30. And blues-mando-man Rich DelGrossowill be in Boston to play @ Passim the following Wednesday, April 4th. Both gigs are written in my datebook.


I’d love to hear from you. If you know anyone who would like to get this update, have them send me their email. And thanks for reading!

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will be out in May 2006. Until then enjoy your Spring.My backyard is full of crocuses, today the sky was totally blue, and as I set off to work this morning with the sun-roof open & Bob Marley/Eryka Badu in the CD player, it didn’t seem that the world could be a single bit better on any count.


Posted April 11th, 2006. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • 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)

    “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)

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

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

    “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)

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “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)

    “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)

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

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

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    “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)