Maria Kalaniemi (Finland)

The queen of Finnish Accordion

Maria Kalaniemi, a master of free-bass button accordion, is one of Finland’s leading contemporary accordionists. Once a member of pioneering groups Niekku and Aldargaz, from the Sibelius Acdemy Folk Music Department, where she now teaches, her roots are in folk and classical music but her sights and abilities go far beyond existing styles. Technically brilliant as a player, and adept at improvisation, she is also a very powerful, intuitive and sensitive composer, with pieces that stylistically touch in numerous areas but feature her own personality as the driving force. Melody is the meaning and with Maria, listeners are sure to feel her message deeply.

Maria has released many albums, the latest one, Vilda Rosor, remained in the Top 10 of the European World Music Charts for several months. She is also a member of the international accordion collective Accordion Tribe, Swedish-Finnish music group Ramunder, UNTO Tango Orchestra as well as many other projects. Maria has toured and performed with these groups and other projects throughout Europe, USA and in Canada.

Current Projects

Maria Kalaniemi (acc) & Timo Alakotila (piano)
Maria Kalaniemi (acc) & Eero Grundström (harmonium)
Maria Kalaniemi (acc) & Olli Varis (guit)
Vilda Rosor Trio or Quartet

Discography (selection)

2017 Svalan (Akerö/Galileo MC)
2014 Kaustinen Live 2003 (Akerö CD014)
2011 Akerö (AkeröCD011)
2010 Vilda Rosor (Aito Records)
2006 Bellow Poetry (Aito Records AICD 006)
2004 Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (Gudaa 41)
2003 Viimenen Maa (LUR 8902-2)
2001 Ambra (Amigo Sweden KMHCD 18)
1999 Ahma (Roccadillo Records ZENCD 2059)
1995 Iho (Olarin Musikki OMCD 57)
1992 Maria Kalaniemi (Olarin Musikki OMCD 40)
1984 Kultaisen Harmonikan Voittaja (Finnish Accordion Institute FAILP 2)


“If fellow Finn Kimmo Pohjonen is said to be the Hendrix of the instrument, then Maria can be credibly claimed to be its Erik Satie.
BBC, UK, 2007

„Maria Kalaniemi creates atmospheres and thus cinema for the mind. The starting point for her stories may be the moonshine or the subdued light in a country house, she maybe looking forward to spring or listening to the pattering rain – her listeners enjoy travelling with her and losing themselves in these natural phenomena.”
Jazzzeit, Vienna, A, 2006

„Maria Kalaniemi’s understanding of music seems like meditation, like the questioning of hidden fantasies. But always without creating illusions.”
Jazzthing, D, 2006

„This music is archaic, it seems to call us from far away and nonetheless will always be valid. It sounds melancholic but also dreamlike and light, does not need any technical means and shines from the inside.”
Stereo, D, 2/2006