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Sofia Laiti: Bio

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"Charismatic" (Jazziz), "Labyrinth of passion that her music is about".."Her voice is smoky and deep there "  (JazzImprov), "New sound that takes jazz in a new direction" (eJazzNews), "Powerful" (Cadence), "Her vocal approach is fiercely original, both rooted in, and departing from, the tradition" (Le Grand Jazznews, RTBF Belgian Public Radio)

Vocalist and producer, jewelry designer (www.lumijewelrydesign.etsy.com) Sofia Laiti has lived in New York City since 1991, where she has become a full-fledged member of the stimulating New York music community.  In these past years, she has worked with many of the top musicians and appeared clubs such as Birdland, Iridium Jazz Club, Sweet Rhythym, The Village Gate, Visiones, Tavern on the Green, and the Cornelia Street Cafe as well as at Trumpets in New Jersey, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., etc.

She was born in the northernmost arctic area in Finland. Since early childhood, she had a strong desire to use her voice to entertain.

Sofia studied classical music in the Music Conservatory at Kuopio, in the east of Finland, paying close attention to great classical vocalists. Here, she developed a solid musical foundation upon which to build her career. With this solid foundation, Laiti proceeded to jazz singing, and moved to Helsinki, the sophisticated capital of Finland. Throughout the 1980's, she made a significant impact there, winning major prizes and grants, and making triumphant appearances at top clubs and festivals, such as Pori Jazz International. She has received sponsorship from various Finnish companies such as Finnish Ford. She moved to New York in 1991, aided by a grant from the State Music Council of Finland.

He debut album, "Manhattan Memories", was recorded in New York in 1989 for Finnish Columbia Records. Saxophonist Scott Robinson, pianist Larry Ham, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Klaus Suonsaari join her in a program divided between compositions by Kivikataja and standards on which Sofia puts her inimitable stamp.

In 1994 she released her U.S. deput recording "Inspira", on the Midnight Sun Music label. Backed by John Hicks on piano, Craig Handy on tenor sax, Essiet Essiet on bass and Cecil Brooks III on drums, her vocalism was praised as "powerful" by Cadence and "charismatic" by Jazziz.

Sofia's 1996 album "The Midnight Sun Will Never Set" produced by Houston Person, featured Person on sax, James Weidman on piano, Essiet Essiet on bass and Mark Johnson on drums.

In 2004 she released "You Don't Know Me". Backed by Houston Person on saxophone, Larry Ham on piano, Leon Lee Dorsy on bass and Vince Ector on drums.

Praising the "deep lilt of her voice" and her "dark, exotic sound" Cadence declared: "Sofia Laiti is maturing into a classic jazzpop chanteuse." While critics cite the "smokiness", "lushness," and "sultry glow" of her voice and the "smoothness" and "elasticity" of her phrasing. Sofia herself has best captured the secret of her appeal: "I naturally use my whole heart and soul when I sing. I think an audience loves to hear it " the communication of feeling through song."

In 2011 she released "Like A Road Leading Home". Backed by James Weidman on piano, Marcus McLaureen on bass, Adam Lomeo on gitars, Vincent Ector on drums, Mariel Berger on accordion and Scott Tixier on violin.