We are very happy to announce new signings: Multi-instrumentalist, singer and kantele artist Maija Kauhanen and internationally succeeded electro folk band Okra Playground have joined Saura Booking Agency.
Maija Kauhanen with her unique techniques and powerful songs has raised enormous interest in Middle and Southern Europe, Nordic countries and Asia. Her solo debut Raivopyörä (The Wheel of Rage, 2017) was released on German label Nordic Notes and has been noted and praised widely in Finland and abroad.
Maija Kauhanen’s music is built of jingling kantele, sturdy beats, heartbreaking storytelling, skillful singing, intensive presence and virtuous playing of different percussion and woodwind instruments. Her phenomenal one-woman show is a whirl of emotions and melodies that creates an illusion of an entire orchestra.
This year Maija Kauhanen has won numerous prizes such as Critics’ Spurs by The Finnish Critics’ Association for the best artistic breakthrough of the year and the newcomer of the year prize in Finnish Ethno Awards. Next Maija Kauhanen will head for a mini-tour in South Korea and Runorun concert series with Estonian folk musician Mari Kalkun in Germany.
Maija Kauhanen is also one of the vocalists in contemporary folk group Okra Playground. The band combines traditional instruments to modern soundscapes and aesthetics, world music vibes and strong harmonies. Okra Playground’s first album Turmio reached top ten album listings in 2015 all over Finnish and international music media. After the release Okra Playground has raised full audiences from Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia to urban Flow Festival in Helsinki. A new album will be released in February and kicked off on a tour in Belgium.
The innovative and well-known musicians of Okra Playground are Maija Kauhanen, Päivi Hirvonen (vocals, fiddle, bowed harp jouhikko), Essi Muikku (vocals, kantele), Sami Kujala (bass), Veikko Muikku (accordion, synthesizer) and Oskari Lehtonen (percussion).
Okra Playground was the only Finnish band selected to Womex World Music Expo 2016 and Maija Kauhanen the only Finnish artist in 2017, which makes Maija Kauhanen the first ever Finnish artist to have performed as a part of Official Showcase Selection two years in a row.
Maija Kauhanen and Okra Playground make passionate and wholehearted music with love and ambition which matches flawlessly the values and ideology of Saura Booking Agency. With Saura Maija Kauhanen and Okra Playground are in excellent company of tradition maintainers and reformers Vilma Timonen Quartet, Tuuletar, Suden Aika and Susan Aho’s ja Karoliina Kantelinen’s Tipsy Gipsy, shaman fiddler Tuomas Rounakari and Samí musician Niillas Holmberg.