Maija Kauhanen

Maija Kauhanen
Biography

Maija Kauhanen – one woman orchestra

“Raivopyörä is the great debut of an extraordinary artist. Maija Kauhanen shows an outstanding talent as a singer, as well as an instrumentalist and composer.” Global Music, Germany 3/2017

“This could well be a future classic in Finnish folk music.” Finnish Music Quarterly 9/2017

A powerfully expressive voice, deep-rooted kantele and inventive percussion: fleet-fingered virtuoso and one-woman band Maija Kauhanen specializes in Finnish kantele and its old and rare playing techniques. Weaving together polyrhythms and organic beats she creates unique soundscapes and compelling grooves.

Maija Kauhanen is a composer and multi-instrumentalist as well as a charismatic performer with an entrancing stage presence. The rural music traditions of Finland and Karelia are her main inspiration and she deftly gives their time-honoured melodies a new life.

Maija’s first solo album Raivopyörä (The Whirl of Rage, Nordic Notes 2017) invokes powerful atmospheres. The songs deal with the fates of various women: challenging relationships, domestic violence and child-brides are unflinchingly portrayed, but there is also joy, consolation, hope and the mystery of young love to be celebrated. The album has received great reviews internationally.

In 2017 Maija Kauhanen performed at WOMEX among the Official Showcase Selection. She has won several significant prizes:  Critics’ Spurs prize by the The Finnish Critics’ Association for “the best artistic breakthrough of the year”, “The newcomer of the year” prize in Finnish Ethnogala and the prestigious Emma Award for best ethno album of the year. Since Maija Kauhanen has toured in more than 30 countries in Asia, America and all around Europe.

She is also member of the electro folk group Okra Playground (Womex’16 Official Selection) and a chamber folk trio Rönsy (FI).

Maija Kauhanen touring highlights 2019

Celtic Connections, Scotland UK
WOMAD, UK
FOCUS Wales, UK
Folk Alliance International, Montréal, Canada
Il Festival de Músicas del Mundo, Colombia
World Cultures Festival, Hong Kong
Tønder Festival, Denmark
Kalottspel, Norway
Urkult, Sweden
Malmöfestivalen, Sweden
Korrö Folk Music Festival, Sweden
Festival Etnosur, Spain
Avanti! Summer Sounds, Finland
Locarno Folk, Switzerland
Hudba Sveta Zilina, Slovakia

Maija Kauhanen touring highlights 2018

Budapest Ritmo, Hungary
Finest Sounds, Tokyo, Japan
Tallinn Music Week, Estonia
Rudolstadt-Festival, Germany
Festival In The Streets, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Festival Boreal, Tenerife, Spain
Festival Cordas, Azores, Portugal
Arctic Paradise World & Jazz Event, Helsinki, Finland
Ilmiö, Turku, Finland
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland
Folkelarm, Oslo, Norway
Folk Alliance ExChange, Gothenburg, Sweden

Maija Kauhanen touring highlights 2016-2017

WOMEX World Music Expo *Official Showcase Selection* Katovice, Poland
Nordic Cultural Festival, Seoul, South Korea
Beijing/Tianjin/Shanghai, China
FinnFest, Minnesota, US
Our Festival, Tuusula, Finland
Ethno Gala, Helsinki, Finland
Winter In Rotterdam Festival, Netherlands
Club Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Nordsjøfestivalen, Norway
Telemarkfestivalen, Norway
Nordic Showcase, Västerås, Sweden

Spotify: Raivopyörä (2017)