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Sami Kuoppamäki




Sami Kuoppamäki (b. 1971) is one of the most versatile drummers in Finland, a real professional musician who is extremely hard-working and highly appreciated among his musician collegues. Kuoppamäki studied at the Pop & Jazz Conservatory of Oulunkylä in the 1980s, spent a year in California, U.S. studing at the Percussion Institute of Technology and then some time studying also at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. The actual breakthrough for Kuoppamäki was in the beginning of the 1990s in Petri Walli's rocktrio Kingston Wall.

In 1993 Kuoppamäki formed a band called Groove Convention with keyboardist Pessi Levanto. The irresistible groove of the drummer worked as the backbone to the jazz-funk band's music for over a decade when also two albums, Groove Convention (Texicalli 1999) and Butter (Texicalli 2002), were released. In the mid-1990s Kuoppamäki joined Anssi Tikanmäki's Film Orchestra that is still going strong. In the late-1990s Kuoppamäki was also involved in establishing a spicy fusionjazzgroup Fissio that released their debut album I'mpossible (Impossible Music/omakustanne) in 1998.

In the beginning of the 21st century Kuoppamäki joined Ape Anttila's Quartet Coyote. The group did the Finnish Jazz Federation's tour in December 2000 and released the second album TRJVK+voc in 2004. Besides the coyotes, Kuoppamäki was busy with saxophonist Olli Ojajärvi's So So that had also drummer Teppo Mäkynen in it's line-up, but now in a dj's role. So So performed actively for five years, did a Finnish Jazz Federation's tour and released the album Smooth. Quartet Coyote and So So were a chance for Kuoppamäki to show his skills as a tight groove drummer. A bit different project for Kuoppamäki was pianist Mika Pohjola's jazz fusion project MikaSonik that did a tour in Finland in April 2002.

Besides these groups, Kuoppamäki has played on many jazzalbums of several artists and groups, such as guitarist Tuomo Dahlblom, singer Tessa Virta and the veteran saxophonists Pentti Lahti and Eero Koivistoinen. Kuoppamäki has also performed with Eero Koivistoinen Music Society.

Besides jazz, Kuoppamäki has become known from different rock- and pop-bands and bands in tv-shows. The most famous of these are probably the progressive rock band Von Hertzen Brothers and tv-show Idols.