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.”
The Brussels Conservatory promotes a lot of ensemble work, and it was through that the Alexi Tuomarila Quartet got started. In 1999, Tuomarila's Quartet won the trophy for best band at the international Jazz Hoeilaart competition in Belgium. Alexi himself won the title of the best soloist. In summer 2001 he receaved the 1st prize in the international jazz soloist competition in Monaco and sowewhat later his quartet won the Tremplin jazz competition in Avignon, France.
In addition to winning competitions, the Alexi Tuomarila Quartet has also appeared at several major jazz festivals in Europe and Australia, and performed for example at the Palais des Papes in Avignon.