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 UniRio where I’m studying repertory, and bandolim w/ Pedro Amorim. If you haven’t already checked out my Brazil Logs on the webpage, just click here for a link to pictures & a summary of my adventures. I post a new log every week or two.

But I am coming home in 3 weeks, so my thoughts are returning to you, and further adventures dos Estados Unidos. Particularly…

AMGuSS 2007

The annual event — June 25 to July 1-is going to be fabulous, and I’m bringing home some Brazilian arrangements made especially for the American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra — that would include you if you’re coming to AMGuSS this year. I’ll coach a small Brazilian-music ensemble as well, to pass on some of the amazing knowledge I’ve gained here in Rio. And there will be classes, and some roda da choro (choro jam sessions) too. But, yes, AMGuSS is still all about classical playing, and Maestro Robert Paul Sullivan will be on hand to conduct AMGO and teach the classical guitars, Ralph Costanza will hold down the fort for 2nd mandolins and the beginners’ small ensemble, and Adam Larrabee, Bob Martel, August Watters, Jim Dalton, Mitch Nelin, Joe Blumenthal, and Enigmatica will all contribute to the festivities. My new mandolin method is coming out with Mel Bay in September, and I’ll be previewing some of the material at AMGuSS in classes and workshops. We’ve introduced a new feature this year — a mid-week ensemble concert to showcase groups that come to AMGuSS with repertoire already prepared to perform — and we already have some groups signing up to play. We’ve planned an off-campus banquet at a local fishrestaurant, and the tall ships will be in Newport, so you’ll have an opportunity to soak up some of the atmosphere of the New England coast. The final AMGO concert will be held in the elegant Linden Place mansion in downtown Bristol — a beautiful place I’vereserved especially for you to play. So sign up soon!! I’m going to start placing students in their small ensemble groupings as soon as I get home on June 1, so apply ASAP for best choice.

You can download an application on my website, or email Registrar Ralph Costanza, to have one mailed to you. If you’ve never been to AMGusS, check the webpage for a write-up of last year’s event, or download a copy of last year’s schedule to get a feel for a typical AMGuSS day.We can’t wait to see you there!


SumerKeys, a long-running music school in Lubec, Maine, is offering mandolin for the first time this year, in addition to piano, bowed strings, and guitar, and I’m the teacher. The first mandolin week filled up immediately, but there are a couple of spots left in the 2nd week, July 16-20. This is a new camp for me, and its focus is on daily private lessons and scheduled rehearsal time for students in private practice rooms. Half of your day is left free to enjoy the serenity of this fishing village on the northern Maine coast. Check out their webpage for more info.


The series continues with a concert on Sunday, June 10 @ 3:00 PM. Performers are still TBA, so I’ll send out a separate press release on that in a week or so.


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 newsletter is short & sweet this time, but comes to you from Rio overflowing w/ sunshine and brilliant music. I’ll see some of y’all at AMGuSS, for the rest — feliz dias! I’m sending a pic of me on May 1st, so you can inhale the fun.

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will be sent in July, and there will be Brazil updates posted on my website between now and then, so check in often.

And now, off to the beach 🙂


Posted June 18th, 2007. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    “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)

    “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 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)

    “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

    “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)

    “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 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)

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “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)

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

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    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)