Based in Boston and born on the Iron Range of Minnesota, Sara Pajunen is a violinist, vocalist, and composer.
After receiving classical music degrees in both the U.S. and Finland, Pajunen formed multiple touring ensembles exploring the music of her Finnish heritage. Duo KAIVAMA teamed up with Finnish fiddler Arto Järvelä (also Pajunen's mentor) to record a trio album in 2012. With TANGO POHJAN TÄHDEN, Pajunen produced an album of classic Finnish tangos reinterpreted with influence from various genres and featuring Finnish pianist Timo Alakotila (2013). As AALLOTAR, Pajunen and Finnish accordionist Teija Niku released their debut album 'In Transit' in 2014 (the follow-up is due in spring 2018).
In 2017, Pajunen's solo work LAATIKKO/BOX - a project asking us 'aren't we all immigrants in one way or another?' - found permanent form as a 30 minute recorded sound piece. And new collaborations are forming, including SOUND AN ECHO with Rachael Kilgour.
Pajunen's work has received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, and Koneen Säätiö. She was the 2015/16 Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year and currently studies in the Contemporary Improvisation department of New England Conservatory (Boston).
"Extra elusive appeal, its lightness of touch and melodiousness of repertoire matching the skill of the musicians." (fRoots/UK)
'Fresh, skillful and imaginative playing.' (Kansanmusiikki/FI)
"Their union is something quite special..." (Strings Magazine)
'An amazingly versatile musician who now counts among the most
ambitious and notable practitioners of Finnish folk music outside of Finland.’ (Erkki Huovinen)
“Their music compatibility is superb... this was the most genuine Finnish music ever recorded in the U.S.” (Tambourine-Japan)
“Two violins fly(ing) like the fragrance of a summer’s morning,” (Pelimanni/FI)