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Trad / Folk / World /


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Press Quotes

"Unique... I can't remember the last time I came across a group quite like this.".

-Alan Davis, Small World Music

"Medusa brings the richness of musical culture, spoken through strings, to modern audiences..."

-Katya Nosko, Great Escape Bookstore

"OMG, my other dream band!"

-Chris McKhool, Sultans of String

"Mesmerizing... delightful."

-Susan Snelling, 4elements Living Arts

"Medusa are enthralling, unexpected."

-Steafan Hannigan, musician and sound engineer


The Story of Medusa

Medusa is a unique chamber-folk quartet that brings you traditional music from around the world, with instruments to match! Medusa blends the Western string quartet (violin, viola and cello), with Polish knee fiddles, Greek lira, and Swedish Nyckelharpa. We intertwine the sounds of Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, Celtic, and Eastern European music to create something entirely new. The instruments we play on are incredibly rare in Canada and around the world. There is no other string band in existence with this highly unusual combination of instruments or with such a wide range of repertoire, spanning several hundred years and many traditions from Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Made up of musicians both classically trained and immersed in traditional music from different cultures, Medusa brings you an experience like no other. 


One of the most misunderstood figures in mythology, Medusa has been known for her frightful ugliness, and her lithifying gaze. In fact, Medusa was wrongfully punished and cast out for being the victim of a violent act. The instruments we play, in addition to violin, viola, and cello, are traditional bowed fiddles that were rejected for centuries in their home countries of Poland and Sweden, as their sounds were thought to be too ugly for polite audiences. Our band was formed during the pandemic, a time when the whole world was forced to stop, look within, and shed old skin. Instead of a snake-haired Gorgon, we see Medusa as a symbol of vision, power, and inclusivity, and a source of inspiration for anyone who has been denied their true self.


Medusa made its debut at the Small World Music Festival in 2020, and has since been enthralling and delighting audiences at the BLOK Eastern European Festival (Toronto), the 4elements Living Arts Festival (Manitoulin Island), the Hidden Kingdom Festival (livestream from Bhutan), and the TSO 100th Anniversary Open House at Roy Thomson Hall, among others. We have just finished recording our self-titled EP, and will be doing a Canada-wide EP-release tour in the spring.


Marta Solek (she/her) - Polish fidel and suka, Greek lira, cello
Georgia Hathaway (they/them) - violin
Saskia Tomkins (she/her) - nyckelharpa, violin
Lea Kirstein (she/they) - cello, viola

Performance Highlights

Sept 25 2022 - “TSO100” Open House, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto


July 20 2022 - DROM Taberna, Toronto


June & July 2022 - Pop-Up Performances, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto


June 11 2022 - Great Escape Bookstore, Toronto


Dec 31 2021 - Toronto City Hall New Year’s Eve Concert, Livestream in Toronto


Sept 24-26 2021 - Elemental Music Festival, 4elements Living Arts, Manitoulin Island


Sept 18 2021 - BLOK Music Festival, Toronto


Aug 20 2021 - DROM Taberna, Toronto


July 30 2021 - Hidden Kingdom World Music Festival, Livestream from Bhutan


Sept 15 2020 - Small World Music Festival, Toronto


Aug 29 2020 - MUSE Arts Earlscourt Park Community Concert, Toronto


00:00 / 03:18
L'Inconnue & Mandira Medusa
00:00 / 06:48
Cretan TuneMedusa
00:00 / 02:33
Polish Lullaby Medusa
00:00 / 05:12
Kitchen Gorgons Medusa
00:00 / 04:02
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