ANTTI SARPILA (clarinet and saxophones - composing and arranging)
is one of the few internationally known jazz musicians from Finland. Although based in Helsinki, he performs extensively as a solo artist all over the world.
Antti Sarpila (born 1964) got his first lessons from his father Kari Sarpila, clarinet and tenorsaxophone player as well. Kari was one of the founders of the Pori Jazz Festival - still one of the biggest festivals in Europe. This is were Antti met his future teacher, Bob Wilber. Antti has been a student of this world famous American clarinet and saxophone player during the 1980's. Wilber himself was a student of legendary Sidney Bechet in the 1940's. This legacy is the reason for Antti?s dedication and respect to the tradition of jazz. He wants to combine the influences captured from the early masters, from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker, with his own personal style to create what would be best described as "Classic Jazz". The continuing association between Antti and Bob has reaped many rewards. One of the highlights was, when Antti was asked to join Bob in doing a "Tribute to Benny Goodman" concert in Carnegie Hall, New York. Antti renewed later his visit to this legendary concert hall with the Swedish vibraphone player Lars Erstrand.
During his career, Antti has performed on numerous jazz festivals and concerts all over Europe, USA, Asia and as far as in Australia. Despite his young age he had the honor to play with such late giants as Doc Cheatham, Wild Bill Davison, Vic Dickenson, Panama Francis, Frank Wess, Bob Haggart, Jake Hanna, Milt Hinton, Peanuts Hucko, Thad Jones, Dave McKenna, Joe Newman, Marshal Royal, Zoot Sims, Dick Wellstood, Trummy Young. He was fortuned to make his debut in USA at the highly appreciated Dick Gibson Jazz Party in 1982. List of colleges, Antti has performed with and who are still going strong, would include world class musicians like Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Buddy DeFranco, Wynton Marsalis, Bucky Pizzarelli. In addition to that Antti has had the chance to guest some of the world?s most famous bands like Count Basie Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, Dutch Swing College Band and Humphrey Lyttelton band to name but a few.
In Finland Antti has his own group, the Antti Sarpila Swing Band, which celebrated it?s 30th anniversary in 2012. When not keeping his own band busy, he performs regularly as a solo artist with different small groups, big bands as well as symphony orchestras. Finnish jazz federation has awarded Antti with a highly respected "George" -award and Classic Jazz Society with the "Louis Armstrong" -award. In Moscow, at the Novaya Opera Theater, Antti has performed regularly for last ten years doing the program "Swingin? the Opera" and "Swingin? the Ballet". The concerts have been great success. Opera orchestra with the singers and dancers are doing the classical version and Antti, conducting the Oleg Lundstream Big Band, will follow that with the swing rendition of the same tune. These concerts truly prove that classical and jazz have equal value in the history of music.
Antti Sarpila has made dozens of recordings under his own label, the latest one being "Antti Sarpila Swing Band 30th Anniversary - Ultimate Collection 1982 - 2012" (ASCD-36). In USA Antti has been recording to the Arbors label for almost 20 years. Antti has done several recordings with Wilber, the lineups including musicians like Byron Stripling, John Allred, Mark Shane, Phil Flanigan, Joe Ascione, Dick Hyman, Dan Barrett, Peter Appleyard, Ed Metz Jr., Rossano Sportiello, Nicki Parrott). In Hamburg, for the Nagel-Heyer record label, he has also recorded six times with top American jazz musicians (including Ralph Sutton, Jack Lesberg, Bill Allred, Oliver Jackson, Butch Miles, Harry Allen, Jon-Erik Kellso, Randy Sandke, Ken Peplowski, Allan Vache). In Sweden he's been featured on several recordings (for example Swedish Swing Society live in New York, Swedish Jazz Salutes USA live at Carnegie Hall). His contribution as a skilled jazz artist has also been featured on about 100 different recordings.
Hans Westerberg has written a Antti Sarpila bio-/discography - "The Swinging Beginning" giving information about all recordings as well as all known broadcasts and telecasts between 1980 and 1998. Included in the book is a cd, compiled from the essential recordings during Antti Sarpila's early career.