My name is Mia Simanainen (‘Sima’ = mead, ‘nainen’ = woman, the name comes from Karelia, and I’ve got Karelian blood). I’ve been a professional musician for about 25 years. I started my serious vocal studies in 1989, and took the Master’s degree at the Sibelius-Academy Jazz Music Department in 2000. I also spent one year in Stockholm (Sweden), studying at the Royal Academy of Music as an exchange student – and I loved it!
Even as a school-girl I widely experienced the music life by playing piano, participating successfully in vocal competitions and performing actively with choirs, vocal groups and later with bands. In my 20th’s I carefully stayed open to different music styles and musical directions, while I already started creating my own music and style more independently.
I have composed and arranged music and written lyrics to all of my own groups and projects that I’ve been leading or co-leading since the year 1990. Ahava, the group I formed in 1999, worked as the main instrument for my expression over 10 years. At the moment I concentrate on working with my extraordinary Quartet Ajaton, and developing a solo concept further… wait and see. Once in a while, I also work as a featuring artist in different, often cross over groups and projects in jazz, folk and classical music fields. Some of the later works/performances have extended to the theatre scene as well. Have a look at Kolga!
There are radio- and tv-broadcastings, dvd-documents and studio- or live-recordings available of most of the groups and projects I’ve been working with. Up to the present time I’ve performed in Europe (Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Check, Hungary, Spain, England, Wales, Austria, Ireland), Mexico, Japan and Russia. The venues have varied from festivals and clubs to galleries, churches and concert halls.
My artistic work has been well-supported by several grants, last year by Arts Promotion Centre Finland. I also teach voice and jazz singing at the Sibelius-Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.