Welcome to the website of Berlin-based mandolin player Stephan Keane

Solo Program

My solo program "Bella Italia" will serve you almost
forgotten songs of the Italian ballo liscio era combined with Italian folk and classical romantic mandolin music
on the side.

Picking up the Mandolin

If you are bitten
by the mandolin bug
as I am, then you might
consider taking lessons.
Give it a try
and I will be happy
to show you.

My passion for the mandolin

Having been a longtime guitar player I was looking for a banjo to try out something else. At the music shop, I consciously saw a mandolin for the first time. It was at that moment that I knew I had to get it.  

The mandolin was an F-5 model, developed a hundred years ago by the Gibson Mandolin- Guitar Manufacturing Company.  It had f-holes like a violin, the edgy points and the peculiar scroll. The sounds I was soon able get out of it fascinated me so much that I could not wait to master the instrument. How great it then must sound! If only I could get this tremolo right!

Soon I came across David Grisman, called the Dawg. He can play all styles at all speeds -- a true virtuoso, yet never lacking taste and intuition. Jethro Burns came up with his swinging chord solos and Evan Marshall masters the duo-style technique like no other. This technique, also called tremolo staccato, allows to pick melody or chord tones while playing tremolo lines as if two mandolins are heard. Above all resides the father of bluegrass: Bill Monroe.

There are of course more skills to develop, such as the Jesse McReynolds crosspicking style or the chop strumming, which can drive a band while imitating the snare drum. On the mandolin one can play long melodic tremolo lines, pick single notes, or strum a rhythmic pattern be it in baroque or jazz music.