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 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 AMGuSS students, as well as sharing the evening concert with Radim. All AMGuSS events take place on the beautiful waterfront campus of Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.

The “American Mandolin & Guitar Concert Series” held in conjunction with AMGuSS, will include 3 concerts on campus at the Performing Arts Center. On Tuesday, June 27, I’ll be performing and releasing my new CD, “Leave something Unexplained,” that features Radim, Braziian bandolinist Paulo Sa, my duo-partner Adam Larrabee & Enigmatica. That concert will also include a set by Enigmatica. The annual AMGuSS Faculty Concert is on Wednesday, June 28th and will feature Bob Sullivan, Adam Larrabee, Ralph Costanza, and Bob Martel, as well as the Faculty Quintet. The 3rd concert in the RWU series presents The New England Mandolin Ensemble, a jazz mandolin quartet, and mando-phenom Radim Zenkl, playing some of his original solo mandolin music.

The final AMGuSS concerts, on July 1st, will be at WaterFire Providence, as part of my “Mandolin Tango” series. It will feature a set by the American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra (that’s everyone at AMGuSS — students, guests, & faculty) & a set by “Marilynn & Friends” including Radim, Adam, Enigmatica & the Faculty quintet. The concerts will be held in the RISD Auditorium as part of a lighting of Providence’s celebrated “WaterFire”. There’s more information on all of these concerts on my website. All the concerts are open to the public, and some are free.


Much time has been spent this spring recording & mixing the new CD. It’s very cool, and presents some new musical aspects of Marilynn, including original compositions, solos, and a rhythm section. I began recording in February with Paulo Sa, Radim Zenkl & my bass-playing nephew Robert. Then Adam & Enigmatica came down in March & I put down some solos. Laura Watts of Design Asylum is wrapping up work on a stunning cover & booklet. Joe Auger, my engineer/producer, and I will go to Boston to master on Friday & the whole thing is shipped off to CDMan the next day so it will be here in time for AMGuSS.

Enigmatica played some gigs in April & May — including a 9-person performance of Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords BWV 1060, with Barbara & Joe Blumenthal. And I had a surprise call to sit in with Brazilian musicians par excellence, “Proveta, Arismar and Boccato” on April 18th at Rhode Island College. Rogerio Boccato is percussionist-in-residence at Hartt School this year. He invited clarinetist Nailor Azevedo (Proveto) and bass/7-string player Arismar do Espirito Santo up from Sao Paulo for a tour. These men have played with nearly everybody in Brazilian music. And they play so far outside the page on choro that my feet never touched the ground on my tunes with them. We were all singing unaccompanied at one point — a wild, amazing night, and more musical fun than I’ve had in a long time!


My new Mandolin Magazine column featuringmandolin-composer extraordinaire John Craton is apparently out, though I haven’t seen it yet. Next issue goes back to technique, with a look at 3rd position. CMSA’s Mandolin Journal did finally come out with my “Teachers’ Spotlight” column, featuring Rich DelGrosso, Antonina Nigrelli, Charley Rappaport, and Nicola Swinburne. I’ll continue that series for them as long as there are teachers to profile.


Is still in progress. I’m 2/3 of the way through

the corrections to the first draft — tedious work. Then I’ll run it by my pal JacqueR for text editing & then it will finally go to Mel Bay. A massive project, but worth doing well(sigh…).


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 July 2006. After the craziness of AMGuSS rides out of town, there will still be summer gigs and more, and, of course, the new CD will be up on the website, so check back soon. The weather in La Provis finally gorgeous, after the May monsoons, perfect for a back-porch picking session. Have fun at yours!


Posted June 28th, 2006. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “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)

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

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “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 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)

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

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    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 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)

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

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (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 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 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)