Mika Mylläri (b. 1966) appeared on the Finnish jazz field in the mid-1980s in the Espoo Big Band and in the Bullworkers jam sessions of Kappelin kellari. In the late -80's he started every year playing at the Pori Jazz festival, which continued for 20 years.
This trumpeter studied music first at the Kokkola Music Institute and in the pop/jazz department of the Lappfjärd school and then continued in the jazz department of Sibelius Academy in 1986. Mylläri has always looked for experiences and influences abroad, in the late-1980s for example from New York and Copenhagen.
In the beginning of 1990s Mylläri was one of the most active trumpetist-leaders: his own band MMQ (Mika Mylläri Quintet), Jari Perkiömäki on saxophone, Kirmo Lintinen on piano, Ape Anttila on bass and Marko Timonen on drums.
The quintet did a Finnish Jazz Federation tour every other year and in the middle of a busy 90,s period also the debut album Heritages (Sarpila oy 1992) that had the 1950s and 1960s jazz as the common thread. Both the quintet and Mylläri himself were chosen many times in the the 1990s as Jazz Artist of the Year and Band of the Year in the readers' poll of Rytmi-magazine.
Mylläri lived in Paris in 1993-1996 when the music for the next album “Les
Ponts” (AMP/ASC 1997) was born. The Finnish jazz audience liked again what they heard and the album was chosen as the Jazz Album of the Year. The quintet was now reformed and besides the taut frontline Mika Mylläri and Jari Perkiömäki a new rhythm section Samuli Mikkonen on piano, Jorma Ojanperä on bass and Markku Ounaskari on drums was born. MMQ's music took also wider influences and forms, that can be heard on the “Les Ponts” album.
In 1996 Mylläri graduated from the Sibelius Academy and moved the next year to the Pori to start a head of the jazz department in the local Palmgren conservatory and as a conductor for the Pori big band. He also worked closely with the Pori Jazz festival.
Mylläri appeared on the London jazz scene in 1998. There he met Ed Jones, with whom he had been playing in the famous hiphop-band US3, on gigs and on the album “An Ordinary Day in an Unusual Place” (Universal 2001). Alongside the US3, Mylläri and Jones formed a celebrated jazz quintet, Ed Jones quintet and they toured and recorded an album “Seven Moments” (ASC 2002).
Another strong link to the British jazz life has been a long-term collaboration with the pianist Jonathan Gee.
The Jonathan Gee quartet has perfomed in clubs and festivals such as Ronnie Scotts and The London Jazz Festival to name two. Mylläri has played in the Monk Liberation Front whose repertoire consisted of the compositions of Thelonious Monk.
Mylläri and Gee formed an experimental electric duo, The northern star people in 2006 -their Northern Star People album “view from the pocket” was launched at the 2008 London Jazz Festival.
The British collegues of Mylläri have been heard in Finland as well, for example on tour round Finland, Ilosaari Rock, April Jazz and Pori Jazz Festival.
In 2008 Mylläri was asked for to produce the 18th album by the legendary Piirpauke.
Koli (Rockadillo 2008) climbed #1 at the EBU wmc chart (world music chart) and stayed there for several weeks. Collaboration with Piirpauke continued in 2012 came the 19th album “Ilo” (Rockadillo 2012) and finally the 20th double album “Juju” that Mylläri also recorded, mixed and produced (Rockadillo 2017). January 2019 launches the 21th Piirpauke album “Hali” (Rockadillo 2018).
Beside Piirpauke, Mylläri has produced and mixed several other albums, especially for singers, such as Reija Lang, Elisabet, Elliel, kaukaisu to name a few.
Mylläri started a strong collaboration with the leader of Piirpauke, Sakari Kukko during the album years and they have done many gigs together in several groups, specialising in a Finno-Senégalish sound (an album will be released in 2019 with the name “Sakari Kukko African Chamber band”. Mylläri works also with the Senegalese group Saisba led by the legendary Ismaila Sané. Saisba is in the studio for anew album to be released 2019. Mylläri is also a member of Estonian based Alvistar Funk association (Vikerviisid 2019)
Mylläris solo album "Vagabond nights" launches early 2019 (Smiling Lizard Music Germany).
Besides the smaller ensembles and vocal pop/RnB songs, Mylläri has also composed a large amount of music for the theaters, big bands, chamber orchestras and for jazz orchestras with strings.