Marilynn Mair is a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University teaching courses in music and cultural history, specializing in the Americas. She has developed many of the course offerings of the RWU Music department, including “Evolution of Musical Style,” “The Art of Rock & Roll,” and “World Cultures Through Music” courses in Latin American and North American music. She is also a mandolinist, internationally renowned for her concerts and recordings, who has established classical mandolin in chamber music circles worldwide, earning her the title, “First Lady of the Mandolin”.
As a mandolinist, Marilynn has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the White House, and Lincoln Center, and internationally in Europe, Japan, and Brazil. She has released over a dozen highly acclaimed solo and ensemble CDs, and has appeared on numerous compilations. Marilynn spends part of each year in Rio de Janeiro, where she researches and performs Choro music, a post-colonial Brazilian instrumental style dating back to the mid-19th century. She also writes music in the Choro style.
Marilynn has published a highly regarded 224-page mandolin method book, The Complete Mandolinist, and a bilingual (English-Portuguese) Choro method book, Brazilian Choro – A Method for Mandolin, written with her Rio-based colleague, bandolimist and professor Paulo Sá. She is co-founder and director of Enigmatica, a local mandolin ensemble specializing in Baroque, Brazilian, and contemporary music, that has released two CDs in its 12-year history. For the past five years she has performed and recorded in Brazil with Água no Feijão, a Rio-based Choro band, and is a regular at several “rodas,” jam sessions, whenever she is in town.