Maija Kauhanen

Maija Kauhanen


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2,147 monthly listeners 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. Kauhanen is an award-winning Finnish artist, composer, lyricist, kantele virtuoso and a versatile 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. During last few years Maija has played in more than 30 countries in Asia, America and all around Europe. In 2019 Maija visited many major festivals such as Celtic Connections, FOCUS Wales and WOMAD in UK, Folk Alliance International in Canada, Il Festival de Músicas del Mundo in Colombia, Locarno Folk in Switzerland, Hudba Sveta Zilina in Slovakia, Urkult Folkfest in Sweden, Tønder Festival in Denmark and World Cultures Festival in Hong Kong. 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.