Born in Oslo, Norway, April 25th 1971. Educated a jazz musician (saxophone) at the jazz conservatory in Trondheim. Studied composition with Terje Bjørklund, Bertil Palmar Johansen, Edward Vesala and Bjørn Kruse. Since 1992 working full time as a musician, composer and arranger.
Released 9 records on the prestigious german record label ECM, whereas 5 of them as a band leader and composer and/or co-leader. In 2001 his debut album won the german records critics prize “Jahrespreis – Presi der Deuchten Schallplattenkritik”.
Made concert tours all over the world with his own ensemble, with The Source and as a sideman in other artist’s groups. Currently touring with- and composing for- his own ensemble (Trygve Seim Ensemble), Trygve Seim/Frode Haltli duet, the quartet The Source and soprano Tora Augestad. Also touring/recording with Iro Haarla Quintet, Sinikka Langeland’s group Starflowers, Jai Shankar Ensemble a.o. During 2005-2010 made several collaborating projects together with egyptian musician and composer Fathy Salama.
Born in Estonia in 1978 he moved with his family to Germany as a child where the piano became increasingly important to him. His teachers there included John Taylor in Cologne, followed by a time at the Royal Academy of Music in London (with Django Bates) and a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
His musical partners have included Dave Liebman, Ari Hoenig, Nguyên Lê, Ben Monder, Nils Petter Molvaer, Dhafer Youssef, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Hall, the Berlin Konzerthaus, at festivals in London, Paris, Madrid and Istanbul, and toured in the United States and Canada, across Europe and in Turkey, Korea, Australia and Israel.
He exudes an uncompromising determination to pursue the heart of musical expression through his sublime technique yet he is no flamboyant showman. Audiences are captivated by his warmth, his passion for music and his quietly confident and honest personality. His numerous recordings as both soloist and collaborator include a Grammy nomination in 2006 and Jazz Album of the Year at the 2012 Estonian Music Awards. His awards include the 2007 Jazz Award of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the 2011 Elion Jazz Award, the 2014 Music Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Jazz Composer of the Year 2018 in Estonia.
(born 4 March 1975 in Trondheim, Norway) is a Norwegian jazz musician and composer. He is known for recording with numerous bands, including the Maria Kannegaard Trio, Ola Kvernberg, Nils Økland, Eldbjørg Raknes, Anders Aarum Trio, Eirik Hegdal, Sverre Gjørvad, Nymark Collective, SKRUK, «Jazzmob», «Dingobats», Håkon Kornstad Trio, Food with Iain Ballamy, Jacob Young Band, Solveig Slettahjell's Slow Motion Orchestra, Håvard Wiik Trio, and «JazzCode».
Eilertsen attended the Trondheim Musikkonservatorium, where he participated in the Jazz program and was part of the Jazz band Dingobats along with fellow students Eirik Hegdal (saxophones), Njål Ølnes (tenor saxophone), Thomas Dahl (guitar) and Sverre Gjørvad (drums), primarily playing Hegdals compositions. He has two band releases as leader of the band Turanga, with band members Fredrik Ljungkvist, Ernst Reijseger, and Thomas Strønen. He also performed with the quartet «Parish», with some of the same members as of «Turanga». In 2006, he released the album Constellations (Jazzaway Records), with the Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila's trio, along with Olavi Luohivuori.[
(b. 1967) first studied drums at the Oulunkylä Pop and Jazz Conservatory and, beginning in 1987, at the Jazz Department of the Sibelius Academy. During this period, his professional career also began when he toured and recorded with two legendary Finnish groups, Piirpauke (Algazara in 1987 and Zerenade in 1989) and the Pekka Pohjola Group (Changing Waters in 1998). Beginning in the 1990s, Ounaskari made a number of recordings and toured in Europe, Asia and the Americas with pianist Jarmo Savolainen (John’s Song in 1996, Another Story in 1997, Times Like These in 2002, Grand Style 2004 and Songs For Trio in 2006). Ounaskari has played with all the major Finnish jazz figures (journalist Petri Silas once wrote that it would be easier to list the Finnish ensembles with which Ounaskari has not played). Early in his career he also toured and recorded with both Piirpauke and the Pekka Pohjola Group, Finnish pioneers of cross-genre music.
Beginning in 1999, Ounaskari has increasingly worked with international projects and bands becoming one of the internationally best known Finnish jazz musicians. These have included the Eric Vloeimans Band, Andre Fernandes Trio, Sinikka Langeland Ensemble, Fredrik Nordström & Niklas Winter Band, Filip Augustson Quintet, Willemark-Heinilä-Ounaskari-Jormin Band, Walter Beltrami Band, Fugara, Tomasz Stanko Quartet, Trygve Seim Quartet, Rotterdam Metropole Orchestra and many others. He regularly collaborates with artists such as Fausto Beccalossi, Raoul Björkenheim, Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin, Nils Petter Molvaer, Trygve Seim, Markus Stockhausen, Tore Brunborg, Mats Eilertsen and Lena Willemark. He has also performed with many other internationally renowned musicians, including Ray Anderson, Furio di Castri, Lars Danielsson, Marc Ducret, Hein Van De Geyn, Tim Hagans, Ed Jones, Lee Konitz, Gnuyên Lê, Rick Margitza, Ron McClure, Judy Niemack, Lars Anders Tomter, Kenny Wheeler and Vertavo String Quartet.
In 2009, Ounaskari formed Kuara with Norwegian trumpeter Per Jørgessen and Finnish pianist Samuli Mikkonen. The group’s first recording for ECM Records, Kuara – Psalms and Folk Songs, received the Emma Award for the Best Finnish Jazz Recording of the Year 2010. 2014 he received ”Yrjö Price”, the most prestigious Jazz prize in Finland. He has made more than 60 recordings in Finland and abroad including 6 recordings for ECM Records.