with Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg
March 9th-11th, 2018 - Benicia, California
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Players of all levels and styles are welcome at The Global Mandolin Retreat in sunny California, USA. Whether you’ve been playing for years, or you just know a couple of tunes, you'll be able to immerse yourself in learning mandolin at this three day mandolin retreat with two of the world's leading mandolinists;
Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg and Special Guests!

From bluegrass to jazz to classical and more, Mike and Caterina will give you insight into the techniques, styles, and tips to inspire and improve your playing. The retreat is designed to gather mandolinists of all levels from around the globe with a common goal - learning, playing, eating and sleeping music.

This is the third time The Global Mandolin Retreat has been held in the USA. Don’t miss this chance to spend a week-end in the Golden State of California, home of some of the world's best music. What could be better than a musical holiday where you really learn something and have a great time with like-minded people?

The Global Mandolin Retreat will take place in Benicia in Northern California, just outside San Francisco on March 9th, 10th and 11th, 2018. 

During the day you'll learn directly with Mike and Caterina and every evening you can sit back with a California wine or local handcrafted beer and take part in intimate, once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions. Just bring your mandolin, get ready to learn, jam, make friends and have fun!

What Is The Global Mandolin Retreat About?
The Global Mandolin Retreats are all about hands-on playing. This retreat is about helping you achieve REAL RESULTS and having fun in the process.
Improved Technique
Improve your technique and gain a new level of confidence as a mandolinist.
Exposure To Multiple Styles
You'll be exposed to different styles and techniques that develop your playing.
Increased Inspiration
Spend three days being inspired while meeting and jamming with mandolinists from around the world. 
Progress In Your Playing
You'll learn plenty of new exercises to continue to make progress in your playing.
Learn New Tunes
During the Retreat you'll learn new tunes to add to your repertoire.
Participate In Live Performances
Opportunity to perform onstage with Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg.

All Workshops
Over 14 hours of mandolin workshops with Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg and guest teachers.
Great Tasting Food
Join Mike, Caterina and mandolinists from around the world for two lunches and two dinners.
Evening Jam Sessions
Pick up your mandolin and take part in once in a lifetime jam sessions.
Faculty Performances
Sit back and enjoy intimate performances from Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg.
Welcome Goodie Bag
Receive a welcome goodie bag when you arrive at the retreat.                            
Sunday Concert
Join Mike and Caterina onstage to play for a live audience.

You will also receive 40+ HD Video Lessons from James Taylor as he breaks down each of the five stages of the creative process to help you unlock your creative potential as a mandolinist.
This online course will teach you how to improve the quality of your voice, warmup exercises and ways to look after your singing voice.
What They Say...
The Global Mandolin Retreats are legendary! Here's what one recent retreat student said:

"Besides being phenomenal musicians and teachers - Mike and Caterina project an atmosphere of genuine openness and sense of presence with each student interaction. The vibe is very warm, inclusive and real."
The Location
With a population of 28,000, Benicia is a small waterfront town in the Bay Area less than an hour from Oakland or San Francisco and twenty minutes from the Napa Valley. This charming hamlet gives visitors a chance to relax as they stroll the compact downtown's boutiques, antiques stores, and restaurants. This one-time state capital (1853-54) and location of the first Army post on the West Coast is dotted with historic sites and is a haven for the creative set — about 500 artists make Benicia their home.
Bluegrass and Brazilian Mandolin
Mike Marshall is one of the world’s most accomplished and versatile string instrumentalists in America today. In 2014 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his recording with the Turtle Island Quartet in the ‘Classical Compendium’ category. 

Mike is indeed a living compendium of musical styles. A master of mandolin, guitar, mandocello and violin, he has created some of the most adventurous and interesting instrumental music on over 40 recordings to date that seamlessly blend his American roots background with a deep understanding of Brazilian, European classical and folks styles and American jazz and pop music.

Mike cut his teeth on traditional American music in Florida with his own teenage bluegrass band, but by age 19 he was snatched up by the San Francisco based David Grisman Quintet to tour and record with  jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli, Tony Rice, Darol Anger and Mark O’Connor.

Since then Mike has gone on to form these groundbreaking ensembles,  The Montreux Band with Michael Manring,  Darol Anger, Andy Narell and Barbara Higbie, The Modern Mandolin Quartet,  Psychograss with David Grier, Tony Trishka and Todd Phillips,  New Grange with Tim Obrien, Allison Brown and Phil Aaberg and  The Big Trio with Paul Kowert and Alex Hargreaves.

Whether performing new acoustic music with Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck or Chris Thile, Brazilian choro music with Hamilton de Holanda or Baroque classical music with his partner, German mandolin virtuoso Caterina Lichtenberg, Mike is able to swing gracefully between all of those musical worlds with a unique blend of virtuosity and musical integrity that is rare in todays cross-cultural musical world.

As a mandolin educator Mike has become committed to passing on his knowledge through a variety of channels. In 2004 he founded the Mandolin Symposium at the Univ of CA in Santa Cruz with partner David Grisman. In 2012 his long time dream of a seminar for the brightest young virtuosos of today was realized when he founded the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival.

Mike now also heads The Mike Marshall School of Mandolin through the ArtistWorks educational company where he is teaching hundreds of mandolinists from around the world.

He has also published over 6 books on mandolin technique and has several video instruction DVDs out on the Homespun label.

Classical Mandolin
Caterina Lichtenberg is one of the most important classical mandolinists in the world today. Raised in Germany, Caterina graduated with highest honors from the Music Conservatory in Cologne. She now holds the position of Professor of Classical mandolin/soprano lute at that prestigious institution. (The only mandolin professor position in the world today).

For over 20 years Caterina has been recording, teaching and touring throughout Europe, Japan, Taiwan, South America, Canada and the U.S. to rave reviews.

In January of 2016 Caterina was signed to the Artist Works online teaching school as the classical mandolin teacher.

Mrs. Lichtenberg’s collaboration with American mandolinist Mike Marshall brought together two of the greatest mandolinists in the world. Their debut recording in 2010 blurred the lines between their classical, jazz, bluegrass and Brazilian musical backgrounds.

As a featured soloist Mr. Lichtenberg has performed with the New Century Orchestra under Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the LA Guitar Quartet, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Germany under Diego Fasolis and the Aachen Chamber Orchestra.

She has also had concerts with the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Orchestra under Fabio Luisi, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly, the MDR Sinfonie Orchestra under Howard Arman, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, with Brigitte Engelhard (harpsichord), Thomas Mueller-Pering (guitar) and with Art Garfunkel on live German TV. 

She has also been a juror and a sought after lecturer at the The Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz CA (USA), the European Plucked String Orchestra in Logroño (Spain) and Bologna (Italy),  The International Mandolin Festival in Kobe (Japan), The International Mandolin Convention in Washington and Minneapolis (USA), The Domaine Forget Music and Dance Academy (Canada), The Guitar Festival in Nürtingen, The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina (USA), and The International  Mandolin Convention in San Diego CA (USA) 

Caterina has also published her own instructional books and filmed two DVD videos for the Homespun music education company.
She currently lives part time in both Germany and California.
"The Retreat was a fantastic learning experience for me. The teachers were all terrific, helpful, insightful and inspiring. It was a true gift to be able to participate in this retreat and will definitely do it again."
"How fortunate to have the opportunity to learn directly from such renowned musicians as Mike and Caterina! The retreat was well organized by thorough and caring people, with a good series of classes and many opportunities to play. The intimate setting allowed me to make new friends, and the public performance was a great finish to the amazing weekend!"
"Most excellent and inspiring weekend. Didn't know that I could learn so much in so short a time and only dismayed by how much is left to learn. The education process never stops when done correctly I suppose. Mike, Caterina and everyone involved with providing this weekend are the best, and I'll be back."
"What a fun weekend! Learning directly from the two greatest mandolin players in the world - Caterina and Mike - is inspiring and nurtures us to grow as musicians. The beautiful concerts, the opportunities to connect through our music and play together, the food, and the nice people created an enjoyable experience. We look forward to the next retreat. Thank you so much."
"A highly immersive and entertaining learning experience. I didn't want to leave! Mike and Caterina are warm and generous teachers and their mandolin performances sprinkled throughout alone were worth the trip -- and the opportunity to work on singing and the creativity workshop were very helpful. Plus exposure to orchestra performance! Highly recommended -- I plan to attend again."


Bluegrass Soloing
Classical Mandolin
Jazz Improvisation
Brazilian Choro
Solo Mandolin
Rhythm Mandolin
Provisional Schedule

Friday 9th March 2018
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Students Arrive
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Opening Session: Welcome & Introductions
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm Workshop I
7:15 pm - 8:30 pm Dinner
9:00 pm - 10:30 pm Evening Jams

Saturday 10th March 2018
9:30 am – 10:30 am Workshop II
11:00 am - 12:15 pm Workshop  III
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Workshop IV
​3:45 pm - 4:30 pm Coffee Break
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm  Workshop V 
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm Evening Jams

Sunday 11th March 2018
9:30 am – 10:30 am Workshop VI
10:30 am - 12:30 pm Workshop VII
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Workshop VIII
3:15pm - 4:00 pm Rehearsal
4:30 pm - 5:30 Student/Instructor Performance
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Farewell Reception

Why Not Bring Your Partner
If you would like to have your loved one join you at the retreat but not participate in workshops, we recommend this package. You both dine together with the group for all meals, and attend all evening concerts/jams together. During the days, while one of you is participating in workshops, your partner can enjoy the fun things to do in the Benicia area.

So here's how to register your partner. Firstly register yourself. Then come back to this page and click on the non-participating partner package button and make this week-end a get-away both of you can enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When does the retreat take place?

A. The retreat classes run from the Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

Q. Where does the retreat take place?

A. The retreat classes will take place at Upstairs at First Street Cafe in downtown Benicia or The Guard House, a nearby venue. Upon registration you will receive a Fact Sheet with location information. Six weeks before the retreat you will receive the final retreat schedule.

Q. What is the cost?

A. The cost per participant is $1399 and $150 for non-participating partners.

Q. Can my partner attend even though they won't participate in the classes.

A. Absolutely, non-participating partners are very welcome and the price per non-participating partner is $150 which can be purchased at the link below. Partners may also sit in on a workshop session or two as long as there is adequate space in the room. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE PARTNER PACKAGE.

Q. What is your cancellation policy?

A. You can receive a full refund minus any credit card fees within the first 30 days of booking. Please consider getting travel insurance to cover unexpected occurrences.

Q. What about accommodation?

A. Accommodations are not included in the price of your retreat ticket. Upon registration you will receive a Fact Sheet with links to nearby hotels/inns.  These include the Shorelight Inn Inn at Benicia BayUnion Hotel (all in the center of the small downtown area of Benicia and a five minute walk from each other) and the Heritage Inn which is about a mile away. Call or go online to make your reservations for accommodations as soon as possible - there is limited availability at each location. It is your responsibility to make and attend to your lodging reservation. If you speak to the caretaker/front desk person, they will let you know if there is a discount because you are attending the Global Mandolin Retreats.  You can also check out AirBnB.

Q. Who can I contact if I have other questions related to the retreat?

A. Please email

Q. Can you accommodate those with dietary issues?

A. We are happy to cater for people with diet issues. Vegetarian, vegans and basic diet requirements are included in the price - just let us know at

Q. Are the retreat venues suitable for those with mobility issues?

A. We are not able to accommodate anyone with severe mobility problems. Please get in touch with to discuss your particular needs.

Q. How do I get there?

A. You can travel to Benicia either by air or road.

By air: Benicia is usually 45minutes from Oakland International Airport and an hour from San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Public transportation to Benicia from the airports include: BART (to Pleasant Hill) - - and Evans Airporter to Vallejo - From BART taxi or Rideshare to Benicia.


The Premier Music Retreat Experiences
This will be our tenth Music Retreat in beautiful Benicia. P3 Music also produces music  and creativity retreats for Martin Taylor, Sergio Assad, David Wilcox & Peppino D'Agostino in the same location. Our Benicia team is focused on giving you the very best experience in which to learn mandolin.

Other P3 Music retreats take place in London, New York, Italy, Scotland, France and Asia. We are honored to work with Mike and Caterina for this retreat in California. We hope you decide to join us for three days of eating, sleeping, learning and playing music.