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 weeks, turning classroom lectures into online ones, and in-person student presentations into virtual posts & discussion groups. It was a really interesting experience, and by all accounts the experiment seems to have been a success!


I went back to the life I love so much in Rio– to EPM, the all-day Saturday choro school; to lessons w/ Joel; to 2 or 3 rodas a week, sometimes more; and to my great choro band, Agua no Feijao. Agua is hard at work on our new recording, and we expect to have it out by the end of the year. Paulo Sa & I also began work on a new choro book for bandolim/mandolin, with a really exciting new approach to the music. And I unexpectedly got asked to play bandolim for a documentary movie on the unusual and interesting life of a conductor in Niteroi, Rio’s neighbor city. So it was a busy time and I loved every minute!


And I’ve been getting many emails from happy users world-wide. It’s fun to hear people’s excitement over various aspects of the book, depending on their playing style and experience. It seems that I really have written a book that is useful for many players at many levels. It’s very satisfying. You can buy a copy at several places online. The links are up on my webpage.


I’m teaching again @ SummerKeys this year, in scenic Lubec, Maine. I’m there for a week, starting August 18, and I have a couple of spots left for students! Sign up soon– I’d love to see you!


will not be held in June this year for many reasons, and I apologize to those of you who consider it a regular part of your year. We had a week-end in February where we saw many of you, and may have another in the fall, but this summer we are taking a sabbatical, in part because the RWU campus will be completely torn up w/ construction. But AMGuSS in June will definitely return in 2009! In the meantime — come see me @ SummerKeys!


My column last issue was on waltzes, and I included a beautiful Brazilian waltz by Ernesto Nazareth. Next issue I’m writing about the amazing Paulo Sa, and including one of his original choro. Don’t miss it! Paulo will be in New England in September for August Watter’s Cape Cod Mando-camp and he’ll be playing some other gigs in the area as well. More info next newsletter!

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will be out in July, and I’ll be back in Rio. Yep, I’m addicted.

Right now I’m finishing up exam week @ RWU, messing about in my garden, writing, playing music– my days are full of unexpected hurdles and a long list of projects to do before I leave for Rio again in the middle of June. But I’m enjoying the delights of a late New England spring (and dealing w/ the crazy weather changes) and the satisfaction of crossing an array of things off my to-do list at the end of each day. On June 1st my daughter Brinsley will marry her longtime boyfriend Alex here in RI, so friends & family will be arriving from all over to help us celebrate, on what is sure to be an amazing day.

I hope all is well in your part of the world too, and that you are finding time to sit out on the back porch with nothing much to do but enjoy the fact that you are, and maybe take a little time while you are there to play a couple of tunes!


Posted June 30th, 2008. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “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)

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

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

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

    “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

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (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 sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    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)