Atro Mikkola was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1956.
At the tender age of thirteen, he became engrossed
in "jazz" music primarily through listening
to recordings of famous artists and reading books
and articles -- whenever and wherever available.
In 1984 he came to the United States and was better
able to experience numerous live performances of the
current artists and other things American. He later
enrolled in the Department of Music at The University
of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he won, with distinguished
honors, the Master's degree.
Having chosen the bass-violin as his primary instrument
he enjoyed the collaboration and experience through
a great many appearances by wellknown performers,
including Max Roach, Billy Taylor, Yusef Lateef, Archie
Shepp, and several vocalists of popular acclaim.
In 1993 Mr. Mikkola moved to New York City where he
was even more able to pursue his writing and arranging
interests, culminating in the production of his debut
CD, entitled "On The Way". The personnel
includes some of the leading instrumentalists in New
York; tenor-saxophonist Eric Alexander, drummer Joe
Farnsworth, pianist Peter Mihelich and himself as
It should be mentioned that Atro received an honorable
commendation for a three-movement work for a large
jazz-ensemble, entitled "Moments in Blues".
This was a composition competition under the sponsorship
and auspices of the National Association of Jazz Educators,
a most prestigious organization.
As a scholar, he is presently vigorously pursuing
the historical, anthropological and sociological aspects
of this great American art-form to the end of setting
the "record" straight.
His compositional activities have led hirn to explore
new instrumental and tonal possibilities whereby continuing
the tradition of such innovators as Duke Ellington,
Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Marshall Royal and Dave
Brubeck. It is predicted that his efforts will enhance
the appreciation, knowledge and over-all enjoyment
of this great American musical art form called "
Donald (Don) Shirley
Doctor of Music, Doctor of Fine Arts.