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Finnish-American multi-instrumentalists Sara Pajunen and Jonathan Rundman explore a shared Nordic heritage in their new folk duo called KAIVAMA. Each were born and raised in Finnish-immigrant epicenters not far from the shores of Lake Superior. Pajunen’s hometown of Hibbing, MN and Rundman’s own Ishpeming, MI are famous for vast open-pit iron ore mines, and the band’s name reflects this spirit of excavation. “Kaivama” is a Finnish word stemming from “kaivaa:” to delve or dig.

Sara Pajunen’s skills as a violinist have earned her music degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Helsinki Conservatory in Finland. Jonathan Rundman has toured the US and Europe as a troubadour songwriter, collecting raves from publications such as Paste, Billboard, and the New York Times. These typically unrelated musical pathways intersected when both artists began experiment with the native folk music traditions of their ancestral homeland.

Performing for the first time in Summer 2010, the duo was immediately invited to appear at venues and events including Minneapolis’ Sister Cities Celebration and the Walker Art Center. Kaivama were the headlining band for South Dakota’s FinnFest, they won the audience favorite award at St. Paul’s History Theater “Sample Night Live” show, and they played a series of auditorium concerts in Minnesota’s Iron Range.

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