Biography

Photo: Christiane @ Femme Luminea

Maja Bannerman is a Canadian writer, singer and performing artist living in the Niagara region.  She first broke out as one of the artists who changed the cultural artistic landscape of Queen Street West in Toronto during the 1980s.  Since then, she has toured across Canada presenting her music, spoken word and plays both in solo performances and with other artists.

She has been called “slightly eccentric, conversant in multi-media art forms and daring in presentation.” Her performances have been characterized as “seductive and witty,” “moving,” “evocative,” and “haunting.” Lillian Allen called Maja “the Mother of spoken word in Canada.”

Maja has appeared at many festivals including Sound Symposium (St. John’s), Women in View (Vancouver), The Gathering, (Toronto), and the Mariposa Music Festival (Toronto).  She has performed extensively in schools, galleries and theatres.  In 2011 she was an invited participant in MOCCA’s (Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art) Paradise Now Project.

When Maja moved to the Niagara region in 1996, she turned her focus to historical figures, both known and hidden, through Parasol Lane Productions.  Her one-woman works provide unique, and sometimes offbeat, access into lives such as Laura Secord, Maria Callas and the McFarland sisters. Maja has also written and produced larger productions related to the rich history of the region.

Maja is an acknowledged and acclaimed writer and performer.  She has received support from the Canada Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.  She worked as an Arts Educator with The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts Program and was Playwright in Residence with Carousel Players Children’s Theatre in St. Catharines.  Maja has served on the Council and Executive of The League of Canadian Poets.

…in May 2017 she released Signs of Life.  This 15-song album, produced and recorded by Rusty McCarthy, ranges from torch songs to country to folk and pop.

Praise for Maja is most clearly seen in the reaction of audiences, who are swept up and engaged in whatever story she is telling.   She has been called “slightly eccentric, conversant in multi-media art forms and daring in presentation.” Her performances have been characterized as “seductive and witty,” “moving,” “evocative,” and “haunting.” Lillian Allen called Maja “the Mother of spoken word in Canada.”

Maja is thrilled to reveal Junk & Juice, a duo recently formed with songwriter and producer Rusty McCarthy. Described as part Kitchen Party, part Cabaret their performances include original work in addition to switching up popular songs.  The shows are performance driven and blend a variety of musical styles with spoken word, creative movement and a dash of audience participation. Rusty and Maja are currently collaborating on their first recording as a duo. Junk & Juice~ expect a little silliness, a little pathos and a musical merry go round of songs and spoken word delivered with delight and attitude.

Rusty and Maja have collaborated together on both music and performance projects for several decades. They have appeared at the Mariposa Music Festival (Toronto), several Martian Awareness Balls (Toronto) and at many venues in Toronto and northern Ontario.