Maarika Autio

Musician, composer and songwriter, dancer. Main instruments: diatonic balafon, kora-harp and marimba. Music and dance instructor, graphic designer.

Maarika is a rare, if not unique phenomenon as a female virtuoso of the West-African diatonic balafon. She is not shy to try and stretch her ancient instruments’ creative boundaries into new, undiscovered dimensions.

The music she writes projects her colourful background. Distant cultural influences are entwined into a seamless musical treat. Maarika fluently mixes nordic melodies with groovy subequatorial polyrhythms.

Maarika performs in various formations, both as soloist and a band leader. Newest of her formations, Maarika & the Frocodiles, will publish their debut album in 2021. Frocodiles’ music falls into the newer world music category, highlighting the beauty of acoustic instruments from new and exciting angles.

Sila Fato is another formation led by Maarika, its style a touch more traditional West-African. This joyful, skilled formation was chosen to perform in Finland’s 100th anniversary concert in September 2017 – see concert photos here. Maarika’s preceeding band Stilimba mixed toghether South-American, Caribbean and West-African spices and rose among the most sought-after performers in Finland’s Concert Center.

In 2013, Finland’s Concert Centre awarded Maarika an honorary diploma for her long and succesful career as a school concert artist.

Maarika has graduated as Nordic Master of Global Music from Sibelius-Academy, Helsinki, Finland and the Royal Academy of Music in Arhus, Denmark.