Marja Mortensson, who was just awarded the 2019 Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannspris), is an extraordinary Saami yoiker and singer from Norway who was born into a reindeer herding family.
Marja is part of a renaissance of Sami culture in Northern Europe, and she is dedicated to keeping her ancient and endangered language, culture and music alive. She is fluent in her Southern Sami language of which less than five hundred people speak.
By studying historical recordings from multiple museums and archives she has relearned some of her people’s old, traditional yoiks – songs that have been silent for far too long. The unique soundscape created by the trio stems from a deep understanding and adherence to traditional yoiks and their melodies and brings in contemporary elements. The trio includes one of Norway’s most famous brass players and composers, Daniel Herskedal, on tuba/bass trumpet, and outstanding percussionist Jakop Janssønn.