Born in Kuopio in 1974, Mika Kallio already knew at a very early age that he wanted to follow his uncle’s footsteps and become a professional drummer. His uncle, Roope Koistinen, gave Mika his first pair of sticks when he was 10. At the age of fifteen Mika got his first drumset.

After high school Kallio studied music at the Joensuu Conservatory with Pasi Naulapää and later on with the great Tomi Salesvuo. In 1996 Kallio was accepted in the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department to study with great teachers like Jukkis Uotila, Jarmo Savolainen, Raoul Björkenheim and Sonny Heinilä. He got his Master of Music degree in 2002.

Mika Kallio has collaborated with most major jazz musicians in Finland. Some of the players he has worked and/or recorded with are Mikko Innanen, Kari Ikonen, Raoul Björkenheim, Otto Donner, Mikko Hassinen, Esa Onttonen, Sonny Heinilä, Kirmo Lintinen, Anssi Nykänen, Jarmo Savolainen, Jukka Perko, Teemu Viinikainen, Manuel Dunkel, Jouni Järvelä, Verneri Pohjola, Jukka Gustavson, Mikko Helevä, Ville Herrala, Marzi Nyman, Varre Vartiainen, Eero Koivistoinen, Pepa Päivinen, Pekka Pohjola, Mia Simanainen, Seppo Kantonen, Jenny Robson, Severi Pyysalo, Mirja Mäkelä, Teppo Hauta-aho, Sid Hille, Uffe Krokfors, Iro Haarla, Kalle Kalima, Sakari Kukko, Juhani Aaltonen, Niklas Winter and Jaska Lukkarinen.

Kallio has also worked with Tomasz Stanko, Wadada Leo Smith, Michael Formanek, JD Walter, Peter Bernstein, Gary Versace, John Lindberg, Philippe Catherine, Stefan Pasborg, Ben Monder, Bänz Oester, Heiri Känzig, Jürg Solothurnmann, Ain Agan, Sebastien Boisseau, Laurent Blondiau, Matthieu Donarier, Marc Ducret, Ron McClure, John Zorn, Gunnar Halle, Jaak Sooäär, Tim Hagans, Staffan Svensson, Vincent Courtois and Michael Gibbs.

In 1997 Samuli Mikkonen asked Mika to join his trio with Uffe Krokfors and a recording ”Korpea kuunnellessa” was released in 1998. After that Mika has played on over 60 albums with various bands and his debyt as a leader/soloist ”Mika Kallio” was released in 2008. He is also a co-leader in such bands like Mikko Innanen/Mika Kallio Duo and Verneri Pohjola/Mika Kallio Duo.

Kallio also leads a Percussion Ensemble called Kallio Slaaki (with Anssi Nykänen and Mikko Hassinen). “Polymania for Percussion” LP was released in 2013. More recent project is called IMPULSION. Here Mika plays his own solo percussion compositions with a dance artist Satu Rinnetmäki. IMPULSION CD+DVD was released in 2017.

As a sideman he works in various groups, such as Teemu Viinikainen Trio, Kari Ikonen Karikko, Mikko Innanen 10+, Gourmet, Unit (RF-BE-FI), Manuel Dunkel United, Agan/Viinikainen/Mälgand/Kallio Quartet, Verneri Pohjola plays Pekka Pohjola, Kalle Kalima Attacus, Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orchestra, Jussi Fredriksson Trio and Sakari Kukko Valo.

Kallio also does some work with the UMO Jazz Orchestra.

Mika teaches at the Savonia University of Applied Sciences in Kuopio and at the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department in Helsinki.

Bands & Projects

Mika Kallio – Satu Rinnetmäki IMPULSION

IMPULSION is an improvised piece for a solo percussionist and a dancer.

Mikko Innanen & Mika Kallio duo

Made of the number one star of the young Finnish reeds generation and his counterpart in drums, the duo leans heavily on improvising, which they have perfected playing together in Nuijamiehet till 2000 and the Gourmet sextet for some ten years almost.

The Duo has made two albums:

Scratch” (Fiasko FRCD 23) 2007

The extroverted duo of Mika Kallio & Mikko Innanen is basically a saxophone and drum combo, but on Scratch both men are ready to use anything at hand to create sound. When the credits include wood blocks and bird calls, you know you´re in for a special sort of fun. Innanen, who exhibits great control over his vocabulary of squeals and squawks, can also play it straight on his horns when he wants to.

The IAJRC Journal

Silence” (Fiasko FRCD 43) 2009

Why “silence”? Well, the CD is voluble and packed to the gills with sound – noise, if you will. That said, the sounds are so finely rendered and the interplay so perfectly soldered, the final product becomes a neverending process of inducing serenity into a world likewise packed with noise.

The New York City Jazz Record

Mika Kallio Solo

Kallio performs solo, playing his own compositions and improvising with a drumset, bells, gongs, tuned gongs, bowls, sound plates, whistles and tubular bells.

Kallio has played solo concerts in Finland, France and Czech Republic.

In 2011 he played 10 concerts on the Finnish Jazz Federation tour.

His first recording “Mika Kallio” (Fiasko FRCD 37) was released in 2008.