Born in Laitila, Finland, Kari is graduate of pop/jazz music pedagogue in Stadia, Helsinki, Finland. Kari moved to Belgium 2003 and studied jazz guitar with famous Belgium Jazz players Peter Hertmans and Philip Catherine. 2006 Kari graduated cum laude from Royal Conservatory of Gent as a Master of Jazz Music. Later on Kari has been in New York many times and has had opportunity to study with many leading contemporary top jazz guitarists. For example: Lage Lund, and Gilad Hekselman,
Kari has worked with many top Finnish and European jazz musicians, for example Manuel Dunkel, Severi Pyysalo, Jaska Lukkarinen, Alexi Tuomarila, Ville Herrala, Aili Ikonen, Pekka Pylkkänen , Jussi Kannaste, Peter Hertmans(BEL), Hans Van Oost(BEL), Bart Van Caenegem(BEL), Sal La Rocca(BEL), Jan De Haas(BEL), Marc Godfroid(BEL), Bruno Castellucci(BEL), Bart De Nolf(BEL), Jos Machtel(HOL), Steven Delannoye(BEL), Gianni Gagliardi(ESP), Dario Guibert(ESP), Francesco Ponticelli(ITA), Luca Santaniello(ITA) Will Vinson(UK)…
Kari has also played with many New York based international younger generation jazz names: For example Downbeat magazine Award winner saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown(USA), Victor Assis saxophone competition winner Livio Almeida from Brazil and many others like Eduardo Belo(BRA), Hironori Momoi(JAP), Lars Ekman(SWE), Alberto Pibiri,(ITA) Tuomo Uusitalo(FIN), Felix Lecaros(CHN), Myles Sloniker (USA), Jesse Simpson(USA)...
Kari has also performed in Denmark, France, Switzerland, Austria, UK, Spain, Germany and Italy in different occasions including some of the most famous clubs and concert halls in world like Olympia, Paris, France.
Kari has performed in many important Jazz Festivals in Belgium and Finland for example Gent Jazz Festival, Jazzlabseries, Jazzenede, Pori Jazz, Turku Jazz, Ylläs Jazz and Rauma Jazz to name a few.
2007 Kari released his first CD as leader with Belgian saxophonist Andy Declerck called “1000 Miles Away” .Record was very well received in Belgium and Finland and band performed in many famous festivals like Pori Jazz, Finland and Jazzlab Series, Belgium.
2013 Kari Antila released " The North Wind" . This CD was the real breakthrough album in Kari's career, recorded with some of the alltime best jazz musicians from Finland: Alexi Tuomarila pno, Manuel Dunkel sax, Jaska Lukkarinen drs and Ville Herrala bs. Album received praising reviews in international jazz press for example Jazzwise UK gave nice review with 3 stars ( www.jazzwise.com ) and writes in the review: “Finnish rising star guitarist-composer Kari Antila leads a classy quintet including ECM pianist Alexi Tuomarila, tastefully shifting between good-time fusion and contemporary hard bop" !
Sebtember 2016 Kari released his third CD as leader with jazz guitarist Peter Hertmans. CD is called “Guitar Stories” and it received lot of praising reviews from European jazz magazines. CD includes 3 acoustic guitar duos and 6 quartet tunes with one of the alltime best Belgian rhythm section: Sal La Rocca(bass) and Lionel Beuvens(drums).
Kari is releasing his fourth CD autumn 2018 with younger generation Hammond organ player Karri Luhtala(FIN) and drummer Tuomas Timonen(FIN).