born 1970, Lahti, Finland
In 1989 Mia Simanainen woke up to see the possibilities of jazz music and began her serious vocal studies with Maija Hapuoja. She studied at Oulunkylä Pop & Jazz Conservatory 1990-93 and continued at the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department. She studied with Michele Weir (USA), Madeline Eastman (USA), Christine Correa (USA), Jukkis Uotila and Anders Jormin (Swe). She took her Masters degree there at the end of 2000. She also spent a year studying in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Royal Academy of Music with Irene Sjögren and Rigmor Gustafsson 1997-98.
Even as a school-girl she widely experienced the music life as she played piano and took successfully part in vocal competitions and performed actively with choirs, vocal groups and later singing with a band. The venues have varied from festivals and clubs to galleries, churches and concert halls. Up to the present time she has performed in Sweden, Hungary, Italy, Palma de Mallorca, Austria, England, Wales and Japan. She has been working without any stylistic barriers in some ethnic or classical music projects and has only later concentrated more on jazz groups.
To mention some performances and recordings, she sang as a vocal guest on the cd of accordeonist Maria Kalaniemi. She has performed and recorded with an English project called Adiemus (music of Karl Jenkins), which combines classical entertaining music and ethnic singing styles. She has performed with the UMO Big Band as a "young soloist" in 1996 and with Mr Fonebone featuring her and Ingrid Jensen (tp, Canada) in 2000. At the moment, she sings regularly in a Finnish a cappella jazz group JimJamMurMur and since 1999 she has been performing more of her own material with her own group Ahava.
as a leader/co-leader:
- JimJamMurMur: Lauluhilloa lapsenmielisille (2005)
- Ahava (2001, Fiasko Records FRCD-7)
as a sidewoman:
- Ira Kaspi Town Beat: Inner Voices (2001, Texicalli TEXCD040)
- Quartet Coyote: Moisturizing (2000, Texicalli TEXCD 030)
- Cuccone: Uni (2000, CUCD-1)