Kuva/ Photo: Tomi Mikola
Drummer Teppo Mäkynen (b. 1974) appeared to the field of Finnish jazz first time in the middle of 1990's and has had time to influence both as a drummer, a dj, a bandleader and a producer. The percussion studies of Mäkynen started in the music school of Salo, Mäkynen's hometown, and continued in the Music High School of Kaustinen and Concervatory of Kokkola. When Mäkynen graduated from the high school he spent a year studying music at Orivesi College of Arts before being accepted to the jazz department of Sibelius Academy in 1994.
In Sibelius Academy Mäkynen played soon in several groups of his fellow students, i.a. in Antti Rissanen's Mr. Fonebone. Other groups that were formed in the middle of 1990's were i.a. bassist Ape Anttila's Quartet Coyote, saxophonist Manuel Dunkel's quartet and keyboardist Pessi Levanto's Burn!. The most well-known band those days was though The Poppoo, a band formed by saxophonist Jukka Perko and vibist Severi Pyysalo, where Mäkynen joined in 1997 at the same time with bassist Ville Huolman.
In the beginning of the 21st century Mäkynen had already had time to record on almost 20 albums and Finland Festivals awarded him with the Young Artist of the Year Prize in 2000. In the meanwhile Mäkynen got interested in the electronic music and left a few bands to get to know this new musicgenre better. His electronic side was first heard in guitarist Jarmo Saari's Reuna where Mäkynen both scratched and played the drums but as a dj he performed with the band called So So by saxofonist Olli Ojajärvi and with Don Johnson Big Band. Later Mäkynen started to focus more on making music and producing it and the work as a dj was left mere as a hobby.
Mäkynen worked as a dj for some time with the name DJ Zäppä but soon he started to use the name Teddy Rok, that his friend came up with. Thus the first own bandproject of Mäkynen was named Teddy Rok Seven. Originally Teddy Rok Seven was meant to be only a studioproject but after releasing the debut album, Mäkynen formed a liveband as well. The group performed at clubs and festivals around Finland, Estonia and Sweden but it didn't last for long; the last performance of the group was at Pori Jazz Festival in summer 2006, when Mäkynen was also chosen as the Pori Jazz Artist of the Year.
In 2000 Mäkynen participated for the first in the projects of Nuspirit Helsinki collective on the collective's 3-song vinyl record Montana Roha Jazz EP. The album Nuspirit Helsinki was released for the American label Guidance and a bigger livegroup was formed based on that record, that toured actively around Europe in 2003. Mäkynen had also an important role in many remixes of Nuspirit Helsinki and especially in the studio- and liveversions of The Five Corners Quintet. The success of The Five Corners Quintet, who performed classic groovejazz from the 1950's and 1960's, grew quickly: the debut album released in September 2005 was sold over 40 000 copies in 1,5 years and in 2006 the band played over 60 gigs around the world. In recent years the speed of the band has slowed down but the members say that the group is not totally dead.
The wide perspective and expertise of Mäkynen on the field of rhythm music has always been appreciated among his colleagues. Thus no wonder that he was asked to produce music as well. The first time this happened was on the album Turisti (EMI 2002) by Sami Saari where Mäkynen produced three songs together with Mikko Paavola. More bigger project was his own band's, Teddy Rok Seven's album Universal Four and after that Mäkynen has been producing songs for e.g. trumpetist Jukka Eskola's album Jukka Eskola (Free Agent Records 2005) and saxophonist Timo Lassy's album The Soul & Jazz of Timo Lassy (Ricky-Tick 2007).
Recently Mäkynen has been busy with the liveproject of Jo Stance born after the Stance Brothers studioproject. With Jo Stance Mäkynen toured actively Mäkynen has been chosen six times as the best drummer in the critic poll of Jazzrytmit magazine and in November 2007 he was awarded with the Jazz Federation's Yrjö (Georgie) Award.