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Mike Marshall: Braziliance

It may not be a clinical diagnosis, but Mike Marshall has an acute case of Brazil on the brain. The master string player has spent much of the past five years exploring various aspects of the South American nation’s vast treasure trove of music styles and collaborating with some of Brazil’s greatest musicians.

Married to noted klezmer fiddler Kaila Flexer, Marshall has been an important voice in new acoustic music for more than a quarter century. Since gaining fame with the original Dave Grisman Quintet in the late 1970s, he’s forged a brilliant path as a guitarist, mandolinist and fiddler, collaborating with luminaries such as Stephane Grappelli, Mark O’Connor, Joshua Bell and Tony Trischka. In many circles Marshall is best known for Uncommon Ritual, a ravishing 1997 Sony Classical album with Bela Fleck and bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer. He’s been particularly active with fiddler Darol Anger, his partner in a series of genre-bending projects, such as the thrilling neobluegrass bands NewGrange and Psychograss. (Their 1983 CD The Duo was just reissued by Rounder.)

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