Alexi Tuomarila studied classical piano at the Espoo Music Institute from an early age. The record collection of his father led to him being bitten by the jazz bug. Consequently, after completing senior secondary school he went on to study at the Pop-Jazz Conservatory in Oulunkylä, but only for a year. While visiting his parents, who live in Belgium, Alexi applied and was accepted for the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.
”I never looked back. I graduated with a Master of Music degree in 1999. The school in Brussels is a small but international place with a high level of teaching. For example, my piano teacher, Diederik Wissels, who records for Verve in France, sparked a new enthusiasm for jazz in me. The school also has visiting foreign teachers, with a big name every year. American saxophonists Joe Lovano and Lee Konitz for example have given a concert and a master class at the Conservatory.”