Jukkis Uotila

Born Aug. 23, 1960
Helsinki, Finland

Drummer, pianist, composer

Professor of Jazz music
Sibelius Academy Jazz Department

Jukkis is best known for:

- his subtle but explosive drumming and versatile musicianship that has enabled him to produce three CD’s featuring his compositional talents: INTROSPECTION (Polydor/Fnac), AVENIDA (Stunt) and JUKKIS UOTILA BAND LIVE (Stunt) and in addition the co-led FAST COMPANY with Jerry Bergonzi on Blue Jackel label, and HUNTERS AND GATHERERS with Dave Liebman on DoubleTime Records. Along with his compositions, Jukkis’ subtle pianism can be heard on MENINAS (Spice of Life). His writing for Big band can be heard on JUKKIS UOTILA & THE STOCKHOLM JAZZ ORCHESTRA (KSJazz).

- his performances as a leader of his own small groups that have included such luminous sidemen as Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Bob Berg, Wayne Krantz, Dave Liebman, Anders Jormin, Jim Beard, Jerry Bergonzi, Joey Calderazzo, Lars Danielsson, Tim Hagans, Dick Oatts and others.

- the wide stylistic adaptability and international free-lance work with such varied names as : Toots Thielemans, Randy Brecker, Eliane Elias, Mike Stern, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Benny Goodman, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Lovano, Jack McDuff, Gil Evans, Maria Schneider, Tim Hagans, Billy Cobham and Joey Calderazzo.

his vast big band playing experience -- long associations with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra (since 1992) and the UMO orchestra of Finland (1986-93) that Jukkis also often conducted. Numerous visits with other fine orchestras such as the WDR big band, Norrbotten big band, the NDR big band, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin big band, the SWR big band, the Bohuslän big band and the Swedish Radio jazz group.

Jukkis is also known for:

- being the “internationally most respected Finnish jazz artist ever”, as Cultural minister Paavo Arhinmäki said in his speech when he awarded Jukkis with Finland’s prestigious State Prize for Music in 2011.

- his work in Europe in small groups with Tim Hagans, Cæcilie Norby, Bob Rockwell, Tommy Smith, Thomas Clausen, Doug Raney, Bireli Lagrene, Tomas Franck, Kenny Wheeler, the Doky Brothers, Nils Landgren, etc.

- his work as a sideman on numerous recordings with Bob Rockwell, Chet Baker, Toots Thielemans, Tim Hagans, the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Ulf Wakenius, Doug Raney, Joe Bonner, David Murray, Vladimir Shafranov, Lennart Åberg, Bob Brookmeyer, Ulf Adåker and the Norrbotten big band to name a few.

- his piano playing that is on equal level with his drumming. Jukkis has performed as a pianist with a.o. Billy Cobham, Billy Hart, Ignacio Berroa, Bob Mintzer, The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and Randy Brecker, who marvelled: “Was I thrown in for a loop! I thought it was Herbie back there playing!”. His most recent release ”The Herbie Hancock Legacy” celebrates the famed pianist’s compositional works.

- his pioneering pedagogic career---in 1986 jukkis was appointed the head of the Jazz department at the Sibelius-Academy in Finland. “Guided by his strong vision and aided by his international contacts, the man singlehandedly raised the academy into one of the best institutes of jazz education in Europe” (Finnish Jazz 2002). In 1994 he became the first ever Professor of Jazz music in the Nordic countries.

- his clinics for Pearl drums / Paiste Cymbals / Vic Firth Sticks as well as his informative clinics on improvisation for all instrumentalists. Using both piano and drums, Jukkis covers a wide spectrum of subjects essential for today’s jazz musician.