Mandolin the Coolest instrument ! Learn with the world mandolin masters and then see the concert.
In a never ending quest to establish the Mandolin as a worldwide dominant force among
musical instruments, three longtime friends and mandolin masters have joined forces in
forming the band “Mandolin Madness”, as a vehicle for winning converts to their cause.
Mandolin Madness features Barry Mitterhoff, Michael Sassano and Wayne Fugate – three
mandolin players whose mandolinistic stylings are uniquely their own but who play
together with a synergy that must be heard to be believed.
Making a musical home in the space in, around and between the great American roots
styles of bluegrass, blues, jazz, and old-time, Mandolin Madness draws on all the voices of
the mandolin family (mandolin, mandola, mando-cello and octave mandolin) to create an
evening of magical, musical, mandolin mayhem that audiences love!
“The music played was so tasty throughout the night that it’s nearly impossible to single out particular songs or
moments to highlight.” ~ Poughkeepsie Journal
“Boundaries? What boundaries? Mando Madness ignores them all in creating a heavenly fusion of jazz-tinged
bluegrass!” ~ Second Sunday Concerts
“Truly an amazing mandolinificent event which then built in intensity through fiddle tune medleys, a piece by Bach –
and Bill Monroe of course, jazz standards, a Randy Newman song and finally blew it all sky high through the roof with
a Buck White tune that you couldn’t believe could actually go any faster – ‘til it DID !!! ~ Matt Bowe, Hudson Valley
Barry Mitterhoff is a mandolinist who cannot be pigeonholed into one style.
He performs a dazzling array of styles that include bluegrass, classical, swing
and jazz, and a variety of ethnic styles such as Brazilian, Neapolitan songs,
Klezmer and more. He has recorded on the BMG, Sony, Flying Fish, Rounder
and other record labels with artists as diverse as Metropolitan Opera tenor
Jerry Hadley, Julius LaRosa, Tom Chapin, Hazel Dickens, Tony Trischka and
under his own name.
He has performed at the White House, the Library of Congress, the Rainbow Room, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher
Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He can be heard on the soundtracks of You’ve Got Mail, Mickey Blue Eyes, Two Family
House as well as recording music for the Coen Brothers film, O Brother Where Art Thou.
Barry has toured throughout Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Czech Republic, Japan, the United
States and Canada. Along with his performing and recording activities, he also is active as a mandolin teacher,
with both private students and at music camps that include Ashokan, Sore Fingers (in the U.K.) and Jorma
Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. He is now an acclaimed sideman to Jorma Kaukonen and Hot Tuna (Electric and
Michael Sassano has been delighting audiences with his remarkable versatility
and fun-loving stage presence for over thirty years. The guitar-slinging kid
from Brooklyn reveled in the rock and folk scenes of the late sixties and
seventies; he went on to study mandolin with renowned multiinstrumentalist,
Jay Ungar and found himself smack dab in the middle of the
progressive bluegrass scene of New York City.
As a founding member of the eclectic “Out to Lunch”, Michael honed his
harmony chops creating dynamic twin mandolin arrangements and solos with
bandmate Wayne Fugate. More recently, the nimble-fingered Sassano can be seen with his band “Too Blue”
performing original, swing-infused bluegrass music for an ever-increasing and highly appreciative fan-base.
He has performed with fiddle legend Byron Berline, mandolin wizard Barry Mitterhoff, Lincoln Center
composer-in-residence David Amram, Walt Michael & Co, Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Jon Sholle and
Grammy award winner Lisa Gutkin. Besides recording with “Too Blue” and “Out to Lunch”, recent projects
include Ben Freed’s “American Idle” and Buddy Merriam’s “Back Roads Mandolin” (harmony mandolin,
Wayne Fugate is one of the New York area’s most versatile acoustic
musicians. Making his musical home in the space in, around and between the
American roots styles of bluegrass, blues, jazz, and old-time music, he can
swing gracefully from these styles to any of his other musical loves in the
worlds of Classical, Gypsy jazz and Brazilian Choro music. His playing combines
emotion and intellect with technical precision and while he puts his own
creative stamp on everything that he plays, the respect he has for tradition is
readily apparent in his playing.
A founding member of the widely acclaimed, eclectic string band “Uncommon Ground”, Wayne also performs
and tours with “Mandolin Madness” an ensemble featuring mandolin great, Barry Mitterhoff and “The New
York Mandolin Ensemble”, one of the country’s premiere chamber orchestra groups using instruments of the
Mandolin and Lute families (Mandolins, Mandola, Mando-Cello, Guitar and Bass).
In demand as ‘first call’ freelance artist, some of Wayne’s other performing credits include stage work with
Tony Trischka, Hazel Dickens, Barry Mitterhoff, Kenny Kosek, Walt Michael & Co, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason,
Kenny Kosek, Grammy Award winner Lisa Gutkin, and banjo legend Bill Keith.
Wayne has performed on two continents at noteworthy venues that include Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern
Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Space, The Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle, West Point, SPAC and
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. He can be heard on the soundtracks of Emmy nominated film
“Home” and Louis B. Mayer award winning short film, “Respects”. He was also heard (and seen) on Broadway
playing mandolin and guitar in Steve Martin and Edie Brikell’s five time Tony nominated musical “Bright Star”.
Wayne has studied (and performed) with two of the world’s mandolin greats, Barry Mitterhoff and Mike
Marshall. He continues his musical education with private instruction and has attended several continuing
education programs at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He is active as a mandolin teacher, offering both
private instruction and workshops given annually at prominent festivals and music camps throughout the
Northeast. Wayne is the author of two (soon to be three) instructional and tune books for mandolin available
through Alfred Publishing and Mel Bay.
Wayne makes his home in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is married to a tremendously talented actress,
has three incredibly wonderful and beyond amazing kids, is the proud human “parent” to a cat named Miles
and is not-so-secretly obsessed with technology and gadgets of all kinds.
Larry Cohen is a virtuosic bass player whose sub-sonic wizardry injects Mando
Madness with a healthy dose of mighty, righteous, double-clutchin’ monster
groove! His talents as a musical arranger and record producer first earned him
public recognition through his work with the highly innovative bluegrass band
“Tony Trischka and Skyline”.
During his Skyline tenure, Larry toured extensively throughout North America,
Europe and Japan and accompanied many top musicians including Alison
Krauss, Bela Fleck, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor, Peter Rowan, David Bromberg,
Vassar Clements and Nanci Griffith.
He has since produced albums for Barry Mitterhoff, Jay Ansill, Akira Satake and Mark Cosgrove and enjoys a
busy performing and teaching schedule.
A joy to watch on stage as well as to listen to, Larry’s approach is informed by his comprehensive background
in classical, jazz and rock music as well as by his innate musicality.
In addition to being accomplished performers, Barry, Wayne and Michael are also experienced
instructors. Wayne has also authored two books – a mandolin instruction book published by
Alfred and a book of tunes. All three have taught at numerous festivals, master-classes and music
camps. They enjoy sharing their passion for music by offering a variety of workshops, master
classes or demonstrations in any setting and for all skill levels and ages. Their ability to make the
learning process both fun and valuable investment of the participants time, make them a great
choice for leading a workshop or hosting a jam session at your next event.
Class from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM and Concert at 8:00PM