Born into a musical family, Olavi Louhivuori (b. 1981) grew up in Jyväskylä, Central Finland, surrounded by music and musicians. His father is a professor at music department of the University of Jyväskylä, mother a violinist and music teacher and each of the seven-member Louhivuori family plays an instrument. Olavi began studying the violin at the age of 4 but switched to cello and piano after four years. He discovered the drums at the age of 9 when he was accepted into the music class of his primary school.

In 1998 Louhivuori enrolled at the Finnish Music Conservatory of Jyväskylä for 3 years. During these years he joined numerous different jazz groups, including the Joona Toivanen Trio and Jyväskylä Junior Big Band. Being a familiar face in the local venue, Jazz Bar, gained him a splendid opportunity to perform and jam with both local and visiting international musicians. Indeed, the Joona Toivanen Trio opened the junior jam session at Jazz Bar every Tuesday night for three years.

In 2002 Louhivuori moved to Helsinki to start his studies at the prestigious Sibelius Academy, and it did not take long before the drummer found himself working full-time both in Finland and abroad. First place in the Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition three times within six years (with Joona Toivanen Trio in 2000, Ilmiliekki Quartet in 2002 and SUN Trio in 2006) sent the talented drummer touring on the Continent and around the world, in Asia, Australia and the United States.

Louhivuori has established himself as a drum artist with a distinctively nuanced and subtly experimental style. In recent years, one of Louhivuori’s most noteworthy achievements has surely been the membership in the Polish jazz veteran Tomasz Stanko’s new quintet. Apart from that, he has performed with such acclaimed names as Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton and Marilyn Crispell, and in the domestic jazz scene Louhivuori’s collaborations include UMO Jazz Orchestra and the folk group Piirpauke. Louhivuori is also a bandleader and composer, and in February 2014 his group, Oddarrang, was honoured with a Teosto nomination for their widely noted third album, In Cinema (Edition Records 2013).

ed. Annamari Innanen 26.2.2014