Maria Manousaki was born in Johannesburg of bicultural parentage.
After completing the English Royal School of Music Violin examinationons, Maria graduated from the Greek Conservatory Filippos Nakas in Athens, 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.
Even though Maria's musical influences come from a variety of different musicians and styles ranging from Jazz to Ethnic music, her style can be best categorized within the world music scene.
Maria is also an auspicious composer. She leads a World Jazz project called Maria Manousaki 4tet,
Living and performing in New York City, Maria has recently formed her new group and released her album "Sole Voyage" with the auspicious musicians Shai Maestro on piano, Petros Klampanis on double bass, John Hadfield on drums and guests Tamer Pinarbassi on Kanun and Mavrothi Kontanis on oud.
The album comprises her own original music and the excitingly unusual combinations of Cretan melodies woven into a tapestry of jazz with polyrhythmic percussion, leave the audience breathless for more.
Her music appeals to all ethnicities and ages: a true reflection of World Music. It has elicited standing ovations at every live performance.
Her group has performed at a number amount of venues in the US and Europe.
Maria has performed with the late Carolos Voutsinas world project "Return Home" at the Perth Concert hall in Australia.
She lived in Dubai where she performed in many prestigious events such as the Dubai International Film Festival in 2005 and 2006. She has also performed at the Madinat Theatre in Mina Al Salam, played in various venues including the seven star Hotel Burg Al Arab. Maria has performed in Qatar for the Queen's son's wedding ceremony.
One of her musical passions is the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Several years ago she formed Swinging Strings a band dedicated to Stephane Grappelli's musical heritage. She has also performed with the Rosenburg Trio in 2009 at the You Are What You Do/Kostas Kouvides Jazz Festival in Heraklio, Crete.
Steadily growing into an international artiste, Maria has performed as a soloist on the electric violin with world famous DJs such as Calvin Harris, AfroJack, bands such as LMFAO, as well as with different artists in theaters, festivals, clubs, and venues in various major cities across USA, UAE, Turkey, Australia, UK, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, Cyprus, Italy, Qatar, F.Y.R.O.M and Greece. She has released a cd single called From South To The Moon, and an album in colaboration with Dimitris Keramidakis Alecos Roupas and Ilias Zoutsos called The Athens Experiment .
Maria has also performed at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York for the 2011 NYC Greek Film Festival. She has appeared at the Athens Megaro Mousikis Concert Hall a number of times with the project Drumvoice,which consists of 6-10 percussionists featuring Maria on the Electric violin. They have appeared in various theatres, stadiums, and venues across the Globe, such as the Pescara Closing Ceremony for the Mediterranean Olympic Games 2009 in Italy.
Maria currently lives in New York where she now performs as a freelance musician covering diverse musical genres for many high-profile events.
Maria is also the founder of the Cretan World Music Festival which takes place every July in a village in Hania Crete called Alikianos.