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Reino "Reiska" Laine

drummer/ composer

Drummer Reino "Reiska" Laine (b. 1946) played himself into the history books of Finnish jazz already in the late-1960s and has influenced the field of Finnish jazz in several ways, not only as a talented drummer. Almost all the veteran band leaders of Finland from Eero Koivistoinen to Olli Ahvenlahti and Junnu Aaltonen used Laine as the drummer in their bands and studio line-ups in the 1970s and 1980s. Also the foreign artists visiting Finland has had Laine as the drummer of their bands in recordings. Laine performed early abroad as well, as Koivistoinen's band won the group competition of Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1969 and performed the next year at the Newport Jazz Festival in the U.S. In 1981 Laine was awarded with the Georgie (Yrjö) Award of Finnish Jazz Federation.

In the beginning of 1990s Laine founded his own Reiska Laine Band where played, besides the drummer, Eero Koivistoinen, Jukka Perko, Seppo Kantonen and Häkä Virtanen. The group performed on the Finnish Musicians' Union's 75th Anniversary tour in 1992 and a couple of years later the band did also a Finnish Jazz Federation's tour. Laine has worked as a trustee in many organizations of the Finnish music life, such as in the boards of Finnish Musicians' Union and the Finnish Jazz Federation and in the national music committee. Laine worked also as a Member of Parliament of the Left Alliance in 1996 where he spoke persistently for the Finnish rhythm music.

On the 21st century Reiska Laine has played for example in the trio of pianist Claes Anderson that released the album These Foolish Things - Jazz! (Long Play Records) in 2002. The saxophonist Paroni Paakkunainen used the drummer also on his album Baritone. Laine was a member of the Finnish Jazz Federation's 40th Anniversary Band, the Big Georgie (Iso Yrjö), in 2006. The same year Pori Jazz Festival celebrated the 60-years-old Laine and his long career.