Maria Kalaniemi

(born in 1964 in Finland), composer and accordionist. She was classically trained, but has become manly a folk musician having played this music from childhood. Classical music studies and also at the folk music department of the Sibelius Academy. She has been involved with may groups: Niekku, formed during the years at the Sibelius Academy, Aldargaz, also formed at the Sibelius Academy, a duo consisting of her and Timo Alakotila, that recorded the album Ambra, Maria Kalaniemi Trio, extending the duo with Olli Varis. Both the duo and the trio plays traditional tunes, popular Finnish tunes from about mid 20th century as well as new material by Kalaniemi and Alakotila. She has also worked and recorded with the Swedish fiddler Sven Ahlbäck, the popular Finnish singer Katri Helena, singer/actor/flautist Vesa-Matti Loiri, Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen and many others. In 2004, she was the special guest at a concert in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Finnish fiddler group JPP playing duets with Timo Alakotila, plus a piece by Alakotila for accordion, orchestra and JPP written for this occasion. Maria has released many albums with many ensembles including the international accordion collective Accordion Tribe. She has toured and performed throughout Europe, USA, Canada and Japan. Currently she teaches at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department.
Recordings: Ahma, 2001 (Rockadillo Records); Bellow Poetry, 2006 (Alula Records); Planet Squeezebox, 1995 Ellipsis Arts); Åkerö, album released December 2011, duo album with Timo Alakotila; Vilda Rosor Wild Roses album, a collection of Finnish-Swedish songs, was released in Finland in October 2010.

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