with Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg, James Taylor and Alison Burns!
Benicia, California
July 21-23, 2017
Learn bluegrass, jazz, classical and Brazilian mandolin.

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 second 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 July 21st, 22nd and 23rd 2017. 

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
Improved technique and a new level of confidence as a mandolinist.
Multiple Styles
You'll be exposed to learning new musical styles to strengthen your playing.
Spend three days getting inspiration and making new friends. 
Progress Your Playing
You'll learn plenty of new exercises to continue to progress your playing.
Learn New Tunes
During the Retreat you'll learn new tunes to add to your repertoire.
Live Performances
Opportunity to play onstage with Caterina Licthenberg and Mike Marshall
The Daily Schedule

Friday 21st July 2017
2:00 - 3:00 pm Students Arrive
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Retreat Welcome & Introductions
4:00 – 5:30 Opening Session
5:30 - 6:30 Workshop I
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Dinner
9:00 pm - 11:00 pm Instructor Concert & Evening Jams

Saturday 22nd July 2017
7:30 am - 9:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am – 10:30 am Workshop II
11:00 - 12:30 pm Workshop  III
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Lunch
2:00 pm – 3:30 Workshop IV
​3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Coffee Break
4:00 - 5:30 pm  Workshop V 
7:00 - 8:30 pm Dinner
8:30 pm - 11:00 pm Evening Jams

Sunday 23rd July 2017
7:30 am - 9:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am – 11:00 Workshop VI
11:30 am - 1:00 pm Workshop VII
1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Lunch
2:15 pm – 3:30 pm Workshop VIII
3:30pm - 4:00pm - Coffee Break
4:00 pm - 5:30 Workshop IX
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Performance at Local Venue (optional)

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.

Creativity and Music Business Coach
James Taylor M.B.A. F.R.S.A. is a speaker, author, coach and internationally recognized leader in creativity and the music business. For over 20 years, he has been teaching entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, writers and musicians how to build innovative organizations and design the creative life they desire. As the founder of C-SCHOOL™ and host of The Creative Life Podcast and TV Show, he’s taught thousands of individuals in over 120 countries through his online courses, books, videos and keynote speeches.

After advising some of the world’s most creative individuals and companies, ranging from Grammy-award winning music artists and best-selling authors to Silicon Valley startups and innovative multi-nationals, James designed a framework for creativity that helps individuals and organizations achieve exponential growth.

His clients have included Apple, Yamaha, Sony, Bertelsmann and Johnson & Johnson as well as high profile 1-on-1 coaching clients. As an in-demand creativity expert, he has been featured in countless media outlets and was the subject of a 30 minute BBC documentary about his life and work.

Recognized as a worldwide authority on creativity, innovation and marketing, James is the recipient of The Modern ONTRApreneur Award, the S.D. Southern Award and also holds a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (F.R.S.A.) whose Fellows hace included Benjamin Franklin, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Bob Dylan, Adam Smith, Nelson Mandela and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Singer and Vocal Coach
Alison Burns is an award-winning singer and vocal coach who has performed and run singing workshops in the USA, Europe and Asia.

A lifelong love of music started at home, with an early education in the Great American Songbook from a father who played guitar and a mother who would carry the guitar case into his gigs! As a young girl in Dundee, an industrial city on the east coast of Scotland, the dreams were of singing and acting in Hollywood and the soundtrack was Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, and Bessie Smith among many others. 

Her debut album, Kissing Bug was received with universal acclaim and became the first album by a Scottish jazz singer to reach the Jazz Top 10. So far she has packed her bag to perform in far-flung destinations such as Tokyo, New York, Nashville, Cannes, Italy and Shanghai.

She has performed on some of the world's biggest stages and toured internationally with her own group as well as guesting with jazz guitarist Martin Taylor. Despite the smoky dark eyes and robust sense of humour, there’s little of the jazz diva about Alison Burns.

The International Association for Jazz Education has awarded her for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education and in 2013 she received the Brand Personality Award by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation, previous recipients of this award include Aretha Franklin and Steve Jobs.
"I can't say enough about how much I've learned from Mike in the last year. He's a very insightful guy and cuts to the key issue that you may be having very quickly."
"Mike Marshall is a fabulous teacher!"
"I can't say enough about how much I've learned from Mike in the last year.
He's a very insightful guy and cuts to the key issue that you may be having very quickly."
"If you've ever watched any of Mike Marshall's DVDs or YouTubes, you're probably aware that Mike is very interested in teaching, and is a really effective communicator.
I mean, he's also a great mandolinist and musician, but having the other two qualities uniquely qualifies him for this."


Bluegrass Soloing
Classical Mandolin
Jazz Improvisation
Brazilian Choro
Solo Mandolin
Rhythm Mandolin
The Gold Package includes accommodation at either The Shorelight Inn, Benicia Inn, Heritage Inn or Union Hotel. The three main lodging options are within walking distance of each other and where the workshops will take place. Since its grand opening in the spring of 2012, the Shorelight Inn has been owned and operated by Stephen F. David, longtime resident and business owner in Benicia. He personally attended to the majority of the refurbishment projects necessary to restore this beautiful historic building to its current remarkable condition. The original structure, known as The Anderson Hotel and also referred to as the Pink Palace was moved a half block to its current location on the Benicia waterfront. Built at the turn of the Century, the Shorelight Inn is 8,000 square feet, with each individual Suite averaging 400 square feet in size. Surrounded by quaint local businesses and a spectacular waterfront walking trail, the Shorelight Inn is perfectly situated in the heart of Benicia at the end of West E Street. The Inn at Benicia Bay has 7 beautiful rooms to relax the soul and mixes a rich history with modern amenities. This 1854 Victorian is located in downtown Benicia, just half way between the charming main street and Benicia’s Marina/Yacht Club. Like a European retreat, the garden oasis combines that old world feeling with a sense of privacy. Without being too far away, The Inn at Benicia Bay lets you get away from it all. The comfortable décor of the Union Hotel is reminiscent of California's past and is highlighted with touches of European elegance. In the middle of the nineteenth century, this beautiful cream colored hotel welcomed guests from all over the world with warm hospitality. The tradition continues today at the Union Hotel in lovely historic Benicia. Each guest room features distinctive amenities and period interiors. 
Shorelight Inn Front Porch

Shorelight Inn Bedrooms

Shorelight Inn Water Views

The Inn at Benicia Bay

Historic Union Hotel

Heritage Inn

Silver Package
  • All Workshops (over 13hrs of instruction)
  • Welcome goodie bag
  • Sunday night performance (optional)
  • 2 Lunches & 2 Dinners
  • Wine/beer at Dinners
  • Evening jam sessions & instructor performances!
Gold Package
Most Popular
  • All Workshops (over 13hrs of instruction)
  • Welcome goodie bag
  • Sunday night performance (optional)
  • 2 Lunches & 2 Dinners
  • Wine/beer at Dinners
  • Evening jam sessions and instructor performances!
  • Friday & Saturday Accommodation in Benicia              with Breakfast
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 in downtown Benicia close to the three main lodging spots.

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 (sharing room) is $295 which can be purchased HERE.

Q. What about accommodation?

A.The Shorelight Inn, Benicia Inn, and Union Hotel are in the center of the small downtown area of Benicia and a five minute walk from each other.  The Heritage Inn, is about a mile away.  All hotels provide breakfast each day.  The Heritage Inn also has an exercise room, outdoor pool, and spa. If you would like to request a specific hotel, check out their websites and send your request and any other accommodation questions to Donna Wapner at dwapner@sbcglobal.net .  Priority for the downtown accommodations will go to participants who attend with a partner (when possible).

Q. Can I book extra nights of accommodation?

A. Yes. Once you know the hotel room that you are assigned, you can contact the hotel directly to book extra nights.

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

A. Please email dwapner@sbcglobal.net

Q. Can you accommodate those with dietary issues?

A. We are happy to cater for people with diet issues. Vegetarians and basic diet requirements are included in the price.

Q. Is the venue and accommodation suitable for those with mobility issues?

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

Q. What is your cancellation policy?

A. You can receive a full refund minus any credit card/hotel booking fees within the first 30 days of booking. If you need to cancel after the 30 day period then you would receive a refund minus $500 and any credit card/hotel booking fees we incur as a result of your cancellation. After January 25, 2017 there will be no refunds unless we have a waiting list.  Please consider getting travel insurance to cover unexpected occurrences.

Q. How do I get there?

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

By air: Benicia is 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) - www.bart.gov - and Evans Airporter to Vallejo - www.evanstransportation.com.


The Premier Music Retreat Experiences
This will be the second Global Mandolin Retreat in beautiful Benicia. P3 Music also produces guitar retreats for Martin Taylor & 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 music retreats take place in London, New York, Italy, Scotland, France and Asia. We are honored to work with Mike Marshall on this second mandolin retreat in California. We hope you decided to join us for three day days of eating, sleeping, learning and playing mandolin.