Marilynn on Mandolin #29 – July/August 2008


Yes, I am. It’s winter here, which means days are short and the nights have a chill, but there are still people on the beach in sunny weather, though on my one trip there I wore a jacket & read a magazine. EPM, the Saturday choro school, just ended its fall semester last week, but I got to catch the last few sessions, and I’m studying w/Joel Nascimento again, of course. My choro band, Agua no Feijao, finished recording the last track on our new CD the first week-end I was here- the choro I wrote for them,”Por Que Nao?” (Why Not?)- and Pablo is finishing the mixing now. Romulo & I are working on notes & track order; our designer will show us the cover in the next couple of days,and we master in a week and a half. Muito legal! (Very cool!) We expect to have the CD out by fall.

I’m playing in 2 or 3 rodas a week here, and learning some great new tunes. Paulo Sa & I gave a 2-bandolim classical concert @ the Conservatorio Brasileiro last week, playing Leone, Gervasio, Fritz Pilsl, Mozart, and ending w/ my choro,”Siga em Frente” (Go Straight Ahead). Paulo & I are also starting work on our new choro book, and we’ve been recruiting new choro from Rio bandolimists to include along with our own material. I got to see a rough cut of the film I played for last time I was here, and was surprised to find that my playing was not off camera (gosh, I would have dressed up…) I’ve seen some great shows here too, and got to hang out last night w/ friends visiting from home, Isabel and Dagmar, and listen to (and chat with) Ronaldo do Bandolim @ Modern Sound. So my Rio life continues to be a delight. I’m here until the end of July.


When I return to the US, I’ll be in RI for a couple of weeks and then I’m off to scenic Lubec, Maine to teach @ SummerKeys again. It’s the only camp I signed up to do this summer, since I am away for most of it, and, surprisingly, there is still a spot or 2 left if you want to join us. The week starts August 18th and includes a daily private lesson & daily group mandolin class, your own studio for a couple of hours of daily practice and the option of working daily in a coached chamber music ensemble with other instruments. There are concerts too, and interesting sights to see, as Lubec is a charming little coastal town just this side of Campobello island & the Canadian border. For more information & to sign up, go to


My column in the coming issue features Paulo Sa, and include one of his original choro, “O Blazerna Leopoldinha” (The Jacket at the Leopoldinha train station).Paulo will be coming to New England in September to teach and perform at August Watter’s Cape Cod Mando-camp. He’ll be giving workshops @ my university as well, and playing other gigs in the area with the New England Mandolin Ensemble. More info in the September newsletter.


The annual event returns September 26-28. I’ll be teaching and performing there as well as Paulo Sa (see above), and the fabulous blues mandolinist Rich DelGrosso will be a special guest artist too. And with a staff that includes August Watters, Seth Austen, Beverly Woods, Jim Dalton- well, really, what are you waiting for? The Cape is beautiful in September, I hope I’ll see you there. For more info go


The series returns for its 3rd season 2008-9. Concerts are @ a new time- 5:00 PM- on Sundays, and the datesare November 9, December 7, February 1, and March 1. Mark your calendars! There will be more information on the series and performers in the September newsletter.

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will be out in September, and I’ll be back in New England then for the rest of 2008 with a lot of interesting concerts.

It’s a sunny day today in Rio winter, although the statue of Cristo that I can usually see out my window is hiding behind a cloud. I hope all goes well in your summer too, and I’ll be back in a few weeks to join you in it.
Ate ja!

Posted August 31st, 2008. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    “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)

    “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)

    “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 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)

    “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 é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

    — Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)

    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)

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

    “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)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (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)