More About Maija
Maija ("Maya") has been singing in the DMV since the 90’s appearing with such jazz greats as Keter Betts, Buck Hill, Bob Butta, Charlie Byrd, Robert Redd, Chuck Redd, David Kane, Drew Gress, James King, Claudio Roditi, Paul Bollenbach, Richard Miller, Wayne Wilentz, David Jernigan, Mike Smith and James West. She studied jazz in DC at the Levine School and with many of the top singers in the DC area. Maija’s first album "Before We Lose Tomorrow," released in 1993, was lauded by local and national jazz critics and aired on jazz stations in the US, Japan, Europe and on Voice of America.
Her second album, "In Another Lifetime," released in 1996, was also acclaimed by critics in Jazz Times, Cadence, the Washington Post, the City Paper, and other publications here and abroad. Maija and pianist, Robert Redd, penned the title cut "In Another Lifetime," which also contained some fresh new sambas written by Valucha de Castro. Brazilian music has always been a centerpiece of Maija's shows and albums. In June 2016, she released an album of all Brazilian tunes, “Influência do Jazz,” featuring many of the world class musicians who have played with her over the years.
Maija has been singing since age nine, when she first performed on Jacksonville, FL television stations. At age 11, she sang regularly on radio for the USO in Newport, Rhode Island, and on WEEI, Boston. Boston songwriters started hiring Maija for new song demos at age 12. At 19, after graduating from high school, she sang briefly with Bobby Timmons at the original Bohemian Caverns in Washington, DC.
Maija studied jazz in DC with vocalists such as Charles Williams, who performed "Sportin' Life" at the Met, and Isaiah Lurry, also of the Met; and with jazz vocalists Clea Bradford and Lisa Rich. Maija sang at the Apollo Theatre, winning one of the weekly contests in 1987, and started performing in all the major venues in the DC area.
After 2004, Maija spent most of her time raising her daughter, and jazz was on the back burner for the next 10 years. Today, Maija has returned to her musical roots and is diving back into DC-area jazz scene, performing and recording a new album of mostly Brazilian tunes.