Biography

Maria Kalaniemi (born 1964) is a Finnish accordionist. She was originally classically trained, but has become mostly as folk musician having played this music from childhood, besides her classical music studies, and also at the folk music department of the Sibelius Academy.

Groups she is or has been involved with are:

* Niekku, formed during the years at the Sibelius Academy: Before they disbanded, they recorded three albums.
* Aldargaz, also formed at the Sibelius Academy including fiddler Arto Järvelä, pianist Timo Alakotila, mandolinist Petri Hakala, guitarist Olli Varis and Tapani Varis. The group made their last recording in 1999.
* A duo consisting of her and Timo Alakotila, that recorded the album Ambra.
* Maria Kalaniemi Trio, extending the duo with her husband 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. The trio released a live CD recorded in Tokyo, Tokyo concert, that partly contains the same tunes as the duos Ambra.
* Accordion Tribe, an international accordion group consisting of Maria, Guy Klucevsek from USA, Bratko Bibic from Slovenia, Lars Hollmer from Sweden and Otto Lechner from Austria
* Unto Tango Orchestra (Tango-orkesteri unto) with Pirjo Aittomäki (vocals), Timo Alakotila, Petri Hakala (guitar), Mauno Järvelä (violin) and Hannu Rantanen (double bass). The group was formed to perform at one particular occasion, and later released a CD that outside of Finland is sold as Finnish tango.
* Helsinki Melodeon Ladies
* Ramunder, a Swedish-speaking project with singer Anna-Kaisa Liedes and fiddler Marianne Maans.

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 the 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.

Official website at Hoedown in English
Official website in Finnish

Edited by headey on 5 Feb 2012, 19:24

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