ABOUT MARIA MANOUSAKI
Maria Manousaki stands as one of Greece’s most successful and versatile musical talents, working to great acclaim and commercial success as a violin performer and band leader, Maria's musical style can be best categorized within the jazz and world music scene.
Maria Manousaki was born in Johannesburg of bicultural parentage, her base is in New York but the last few years she commutes between the island of Crete and New York.
After completing the English Royal School of Music Violin examinations, Maria graduated from the Greek Conservatory Filippos Nakas with a Jazz Violinist Degree. She received a scholarship from the world renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, earning an Honors Degree in Professional Music in 2002.
Steadily growing into an international artiste, Maria performs as a soloist as well as with her band “Maria Manousaki Quintet” around America and the world:
She performs in different bands as a freelance musician covering diverse musical genres for many prestigious high- profile events, theaters, festivals, clubs, and venues in various major cities across the globe.
Since her arrival in New York, Maria has performed alongside some of the worlds most renowned musicians and has released two outstanding albums:
"Sole Voyage" which comprises her own original music and the excitingly unusual combinations of Cretan melodies woven into a tapestry of Jazz with Polyrhythmic Percussion. This can be found on all streaming platforms,
The album won the best jazz album at the “academia awards” in 2016 Her latest album “Hidden Trails” will be released in November 2021.
Some musicians she has performed and recorded alongside are: Shai Maestro, Petros Klampanis, Ron Afif, Gilad Hekselman, Guy Mintus, Ziv Ravitz, Haig Yazdjian, John Hadfield, Panayiotis Andreou, Christos Rafailides, Engin Gunaydin, Tamer Pinarbasi, Thana Alexa, Jean Michel Pilc.
Maria has lived in Dubai where she performed in many prestigious events such as the International Film Festival, at private functions for
the Sheikh of Dubai, the Madinat Theatre in Mina Al Salam, various seven star hotels including the Burg Al Arab. She has also performed Qatar for the Queen's son's wedding, and for the Duchess of Kent.
One of her projects is “The Cretan Jazz Project”, consisting of three highly accomplished musicians, herself on violin, Nektarios Kostakis on Cretan Lute and Spiros Koutsorinakis on guitar originating from three different musical cultures, collaborate to perform a medley of original melodies and Cretan cover tunes. Some of her other projects include the swing quartet, “Stephane Grappelli Project” performing tunes by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli . She has also appeared with the world famous Rosenburg Trio in 2010 at the Heraklio Jazz Festival in Crete.
Maria has performed at the Pescara Closing Ceremony for the Mediterranean Olympic Games, 2009 in Italy.
She has performed for Adeles latest video which was shown on her 2018 Tour around the world, has opened a Pet Shop Boys concert in Lykabetus Athens and a Sting concert at Lincoln Center in NYC.
Maria is the founder of The Cretan World Music Festival which was initiated in Hania Crete in July 2014.
The festival which is held in a very scenic outdoor venue over looking the aegean sea, brings worldwide renowned musicians together, who perform different genres of music and local traditional folk musicians, bringing a unique flavor to the island.
She is also the musical curator for the Vlatos Jazz series taking place in the island of Crete since 2018, a series taking place in a relic of an abandoned unused stone church built in 1855. The concerts are acoustic and take place under candle light.