Markku Ounaskari

Drums, percussion, Finland 1967.


Markku Ounaskari is a well-known and much in-demand jazz drummer from Finland (journalist Petri Silas once wrote that it would be easier to list the Finnish ensembles with which Ounaskari has not played), but his listening and playing has never been limited by any strict definitions of jazz. Ounaskari has played with all the major Finnish jazz figures, and with international players including Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Tomasz Stanko and Marc Ducret. Early in his career he toured and recorded with both Piirpauke and the Pekka Pohjola Group, Finnish pioneers of cross-genre music.


A debut album under his own name was released by ECM Records in 2010. Markku Ounaskari made a strong impression on producer Manfred Eicher during the recording of Sinikka Langeland’s “Starflowers” album and was invited to present his own project with source material including Russian psalms and folk songs from displaced Finnish peoples (Karelians, Udmurtians, Vepsäns) – all approached from improvisational perspectives.