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 twice as many students. Butch Baldassari was the special guest & it was a genuine treat to hear him play again. Great concerts, classes, and some all-styles jam sessions that were a blast. Check out the website for a pic of me working oh so hard teaching on the beach (thanks, Fred). The student ensembles were fantastic & I had a good time playing in the faculty concert w/ NEME, Jim, and Mitch, and doing a turn on stand-up bluegrass dola w/ Butch. Stay tuned for #3 next September, this is a fantastic new annual event.


Enigmatica is playing our annual holiday gig at Blithewold on Sunday, December 10, with the lovely and talented Bob Asprinio sitting in for the temporarily – missing Adam on mandocello. NEME has a concert in Peterboro NH on January 5, where we’ll be previewing some brand new material before heading into the studio to record our debut CD. Rumors of a cool Afro-groove mandocello quartet and a new arrangement of “East of Here” have been heard. Though finishing up the emester at RWU is keeping me ultra busy at the moment, soon the Christmas break will be upon us with the welcome lazy evenings in front of the fireplace to dream up new tunes…


My new CD has been garnering super reviews in the local press, & lots of listeners have written with congrats as well. It’s an upbeat disc with some great new tunes, some of which are written by me. Rick Massimo, rock critic for the Providence Journal writes, “On all the tracks [Marilynn’s] commitment to the Baroque, classical, and Brazilian shines through, whether it be complex harmonies and unisons with [Adam] Larrabee, the precision of Bach with Enigmatica, or the romanticism of her work with [Paulo] Sa and [Radim] Zenkl. Some of the pieces are original. We get the swing feel of ‘East of Here,’ written on Cape Cod after Hurricane Ophelia; the Caribbeanism of ‘Champagne/Diablo’ and the sprawling ‘And She Has Flown,’ written in memory of a departed friend.”

Jim Macnie, jazz reviewer and columnist for the Providence Phoenix writes, “Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor. On Marilynn Mair’s shimmering new CD, ‘Leave Something Unexplained’ (QORQ), there’s a formalism in play that doesn’t feel formal at all. Mair’s a superb mandolin player who has previously brought the instrument to unexpected places, so it’s not shocking to realize she has ideas about creatively positioning it. But from Villa-Lobos laments to Bach’s ‘Adagio’ she makes the disc’s broad curatorial choice all sound like they belonged together in the first place.”
Thanks, gents!

The sound samples for “Leave” are up on the webpage now, so stop by to listen and stock up on the perfect unexpected gift for your music-loving friends. And speaking of gifts


Marilynn’s vintage Christmas CD, that the Boston Herald called, “a peaceful antidote when it feels as if the holiday season is running amok.” is a perfect way to give a bit of mando-cheer to a friend. And right now if you buy one copy on the website, you’ll get a second one for free. No extra shipping charge either! .


I’ve sent in an article on the charms of the wily hemiola for the next issue of Mandolin Magazine, that should be out in February. And when you receive it in the mail, remember to imagine me packing my bags for…


March to May 2007. I’ll be there. More info in the next newsletter, but suffice it to say I’m really really psyched!


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 January 2007, & back issues are archived on the website. In the meantime I send you my best wishes for happy holidays with the people and instruments you love. How about doing the right thing and giving that delightful mandolin of yours a new set of strings for Christmas!


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

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

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

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

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

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

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (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)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (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)

    “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)