Maarja Nuut

About

Maarja Nuut is a fiddler and singer from Northern Estonia.  Her music combines traditional dance tunes, songs, and stories with live electronics, creating a space where classical minimalism and experimental music meet the village musical traditions of pre-war Europe. While her work is often compared to composers such as Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, and La Monte Young; Matador Records’ Director of Publicity and Artist Liaison notes that “Maarja Nuut is someone that can bring Estonian folk to an international audience. (…) I can see a contemporary indie audience for her as well: for example, fans of Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, and Sigur Ros.”

Having received 2015’s Tallinn Music Week Prize and showcased at Womex 2014, Maarja Nuut recently toured North America, including performances at the Chicago World Music Festival, Kennedy Center, CUNY’s Elebash Hall, and the Toronto Small World Music Festival. She has also performed in Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Italy, UK and France.


Artist Links: Website | Facebook | YouTube | SoundCloud | Bandcamp

Areas of Representation: The Americas

Biography

Maarja Nuut is a fiddler and singer from Northern Estonia.  Her music combines traditional dance tunes, songs, and stories with live electronics, creating a space where classical minimalism and experimental music meet the village musical traditions of pre-war Europe.

In the spring of 2013, Maarja released her debut album “Soolo”, which—in addition to many glowing reviews—also received a surprise Twitter shoutout from Duran Duran frontman Simon LeBon. Having received 2015’s Tallinn Music Week Prize and showcased at Womex 2014, Maarja Nuut has managed to successfully attract the attention of the international music industry. A mere two days after performing at Womex, she was invited to give concerts in the United States by Carlos Tortolero, the main organizer of the Chicago World Music Festival. More concerts soon followed, including performances at the Kennedy Center, CUNY’s Elebash Hall, and the Toronto Small World Music Festival. In addition to her recent debut US Tour, Maarja has also performed in Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Italy, UK and France.

Having studied classical violin at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and completed her Masters degree at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, she is as much a traditional musician with a classical background, as she is a contemporary, classical composer, who gathers inspiration from Estonian traditional music. While her work is often compared to composers such as Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, and La Monte Young; Matador Records‘ Director of Publicity and Artist Liaison notes that “Maarja Nuut is someone that can bring Estonian folk to an international audience. (…) I can see a contemporary indie audience for her as well: for example, fans of Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, and Sigur Ros.”

Tour Dates

Future Tour Dates

View Tour History

Mar 23, 2018  
Amherst, MA USA Buckley Recital Hall
8:00PM  

Tour History

Return to Future Tour Dates

2017
Feb 4, 2017 Venue Info
Madison, WI USA Fredric March Play Circle
Time TBD  
Feb 3, 2017 Venue Info
Cedar Rapids, IA USA CSPS Hall
8:00PM  
Feb 2, 2017 Venue Info
Arlington, VA USA Rosslyn Spectrum Theater
7:30 PM  
Jan 29, 2017 Venue Info
Baltimore, MD USA The Patterson
7:00 PM  
Jan 26, 2017 Venue Info
La Jolla, CA USA The Loft
8:00PM  
Jan 25, 2017 Venue Info
La Jolla, CA USA The Loft
 
2016
Oct 2, 2016 Venue Info
East Meredith, NY USA West Kortright Centre
2:00PM  
Oct 1, 2016 Venue Info
New York, NY USA Joe's Pub
7:30PM  
Sep 29, 2016 Venue Info
Minneapolis, MN USA Cedar Cultural Center
Time TBD  
Sep 28, 2016 Venue Info
Cedar Rapids, IA USA CSPS Hall
7:00pm  
Sep 25, 2016 Prismatic Arts Festival Venue Info
Halifax, Nova Scotia CANADA Multiple venues around Halifax
 
Sep 24, 2016 Prismatic Arts Festival Venue Info
Halifax, Nova Scotia CANADA Multiple venues around Halifax
 
Sep 23, 2016 Prismatic Arts Festival Venue Info
Halifax, Nova Scotia CANADA Multiple venues around Halifax
 
Jan 18, 2016 Venue Info
Brooklyn, NY USA Brooklyn Bowl
9:00PM  

Videos

News

  • Riot Artist APAP Showcases! ‪Looks like APAP is nearly upon us again! As in past years, we once again have some wonderful artists showcasing for you this year: DakhaBrakha, Emel Mathlouthi, Maarja Nuut, and Cambalache!
    Please join us on Saturday evening at the New York Hilton Midtown and on Monday night at the Brooklyn Bowl!

  • Monday night APAP 2016 showcase at Brooklyn Bowl In addition to our annual Saturday Hilton showcases, we are proud to announce our Monday night 2016 APAP Showcase at Brooklyn Bowl!
    Join us, Cambalache, Emel Mathlouthi, Maarja Nuut, DakhaBrakha, and The Battle of Santiago on Monday Jan 18, 2016. Doors open at 6pm. Show starts 7pm. Free w/ APAP badge. Dinner available.

  • Estonian fiddler, singer, and composer Maarja Nuut joins Riot Artists Please welcome to our North and South American touring roster the breathtaking Estonian fiddler, singer, and composer Maarja Nuut.
    Combining traditional dance tunes, songs, and stories with live electronics, Maarja creates a space where classical minimalism and experimental music meet the village traditions of pre-war Europe.
    Recommended if you like: Arvo Part, Philip Glass, La Monte Young, ...

Press

CD: “Une Meeles” (2016)

“Maarja Nuut found the seam between dada and Baltic folk, her gorgeous songs riven with bizarre allegorical interludes and click-clacking horse noises.” – Pitchfork


“Absolute knockout.” – The Vinyl District


“Maarja Nuut makes utterly compelling, hypnotic music in the simplest of ways /–/ Une Meeles feels like everything and nothing.” – The Quietus


“Nothing since Radiohead’s Amnesiac blew us all away in 2001 has an album been so new, so unexpected as In The Hold Of A Dream- and so completely well-named.” –  Big Takeover


“The result is very arty, marvellously exotic, futuristic and yet (to these ears) very accessible.” – Vanguard Online


“Nuut evokes visions of desolate glaciers and harrowing tranquillity. It’s dangerously beautiful.” – The Line of Best Fit


“Befuddling and bewitching.” – CD Hotlist


“Une Meeles translates as “In the Hold of a Dream” and it is a title most apt for the cinematic and compelling music to be found within.” – Dancing About Architecture


 

CD: “Soolo” (2013) and Performance Reviews

“Maarja Nuut is someone that can bring Estonian folk to an international audience. Yes, people who are into folk and ‘world music’ will like her, but I can see a contemporary ‘indie’ audience for her as well – fans of Bon Iver, tUnE-yArDs, Sigur Ros, Andrew Bird.” – Nils Bernstein, Director of Publicity and Artists Liaison, Matador Records


“[Maarja Nuut] reaches back into her country’s folk heritage, ushering it into the 21st century through looping and spaciousness that echo the work of another artist — composer Arvo Pärt — who also hails from Rakvere, Nuut’s small hometown in the north of Estonia. Nuut’s music is mesmerizing and deeply soulful.” — NPR


“… bridging minimalism, experimental music and the village entertainment of pre-World War II Europe… giving her musical brand a digital-age twist” — The Washington Post


“Estonian fiddler Maarja Nuut takes her country’s folkloric tunes on a stunning personal journey. Her voice’s unusual pitches and repetitive phrasing form gradually shifting soundscapes.” — Chicago Tribune


“Her repertoire combines motifs from centuries-old Estonian music with modern electronic elements like the loop pedal.” — The Atlantic


“Sometimes the more out-there acts are a must-see. (…) taking trad-folk in a tech-savvier direction is the much-admired Maarja Nuut. The charismatic vocalist/violinist uses a sample pedal to build her own vocal harmonies, but doesn’t always need them: during one reworked folk standard, her chorus gradually gains a live accompaniment as many of the crowd around us begin to sing along. It’s a lovely moment: aural balm for a troubled mind. (…) A standout domestic talent.” — CLASH Music


“A spellbinding set combining traditional music, songs, stories and dance. Her poise and grace as performer were enhanced by impeccable English and fine judgement… It was a remarkable blend of ancient and modern in the hands of a skilled performer.” — Bristol 24/7


“Maarja Nuut – she’s amazing, an entrancing performer totally in control of what she does and making something that is both rooted in Estonian culture / traditions, whilst also pushing  somewhere new and feeling very contemporary.” – David Howell, Fatcat Records


“Maarja Nuut – just wow. She’s definitely something else. A lighthouse of sincerity and weirdness (in a positive way) in today’s stormy musical waters quite often populated by lukewarm ‘me too’ acts. What an amazing talent.” – Ramunas Zilnys, Lietuvos Rytas


“Quite often, in looking for the action in, or a way into, a place’s current tradition-rooted scene, one comes across a person who’s the key. Musically outstanding, questing and driven, not only in their own music but creating turning points within and beyond their milieu; a one to watch. And in Estonia’s quite young folk revival I reckon it could be violinist-singer Maarja Nuut.” – Andrew Cronshaw, fRoots


“Hugely original and a very well planned stage performance. Unique.” – George Prince, SASA Music


“When angels sing they probably sound like this / Or maybe that’s what it sounds like when the snow sings.” —Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran


“Maarja Nuut layers vocals and fiddles in tunes drawing from traditional dance tunes but utterly modern” — Bill Bragin


“Extremely personal and different. The way she works with on one hand minimalizing her music and at the same time adding so many layers of sounds on her violin / voice based music is very unique. An elegant and in some ways very “hushed” mix of deep roots in folk(lore) and in modern electronic music relating to drone / ambient.” — Jan Sneum, Danish DR


“There was the singer and violinist Maarja Nuut from Estonia who enchanted her audience with inventive arrangements of traditional songs from her homeland. With the grace of a dancer, the singing Nuut rocked back and forth behind the microphone, sometimes plucking or stroking one of her violins. With her graceful legwork she operated the loop station from which she built up her pieces layer by layer into a hypnotic repetitive cascade of sounds… I was even more impressed, nevertheless, with her singing voice, which appeared to be able to take on a wide variety of timbres even without electronics. The serenity she exuded as an artist despite her young age and relatively short experience, was confirmed by the way she dealt with adversity, because during the second song performance the digital technology failed and the laptop software required a reboot. Instead of panicking Nuut responded and said, “Well, I’ll just tell a story here.” Then she gave an account of the history of one of her instruments along with subtle witticisms.” — Ton Maas, MixedWorldMusic


 

Downloads/Media

Technical Riders:

Artist Rider — Technical Rider (2015) (pdf)


Press Photos (high resolution):

 

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