Markus Ketola

drummer/ composer/ teacher

Kuva/ Photo: Antti Savolainen

Markus Ketola (b. 1968) is a versatile drummer and a musician who has for a long time worked on the fields of jazz, contemporary music and Indian music. Ketola has previously played both piano, trumpet and bass, but got excited about playing the drums when he was 12-years-old and studied percussions first at the Music School of Kauhajoki. When he was studying in high school he studied classical percussions in the Conservatory of Turku and started a career as professional musician in the City Theatre of Kokkola right after graduating from high school. In 1989 Ketola was however accepted to the jazz department of Sibelius Academy and later he also spent a few years in New York studying drums under John Riley.

In Sibelius Academy Ketola joined several groups, such as Free Okapi, that combined contemporary music and free jazz, and Nada, that put together Indian music and improvisation. In 1993 his skills were really noticed and he got a permanent post as a drummer in UMO Jazz Orchestra. Own band projects Ketola has had since he started his studies at the jazz department but the most successful project was probably his own debut album Tila (Lake End 1998) that received extremely good feedback and was awarded with the Jazz-Emma Prize as the Jazz Recording of the Year. The most recent project for Ketola today is Ketola Rewired, a band heavily influenced by the music of Weather Report, that performs actively and has gotten a good reception among the audience and the critics.

Ketola has always made use of his wide knowledge of different music styles in his own music. One extensive composing project was the music for the tv-movie Puhdas päämäärä (2005) that Ketola wrote for a jazz quartet and the Radio Symphony Orchestra and that was also awarded with the Koura Prize of Kopiosto. Ketola graduated from Sibelius Academy in 1998 but continued his studies and graduated as the Doctor of Music in 2007.

In 2012 Ketola was also awarded with the Finnish Jazz Federation's Georgie (Yrjö) Award.