Born in Kuopio in 1974, Mika Kallio already knew at a very early age that he wanted to follow his uncle’s footsteps and become a professional drummer. His uncle, Roope Koistinen, gave Mika his first pair of sticks when he was 10. At the age of fifteen Mika got his first drumset.
After high school Kallio studied music at the Joensuu Conservatory with Pasi Naulapää and later on with the great Tomi Salesvuo. In 1996 Kallio was accepted in the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department to study with great teachers like Jukkis Uotila, Jarmo Savolainen, Raoul Björkenheim and Sonny Heinilä. He got his Master of Music degree in 2002.
Mika Kallio has collaborated with most major jazz musicians in Finland. Some of the players he has worked and/or recorded with are Mikko Innanen, Kari Ikonen, Raoul Björkenheim, Otto Donner, Mikko Hassinen, Esa Onttonen, Sonny Heinilä, Kirmo Lintinen, Anssi Nykänen, Jarmo Savolainen, Jukka Perko, Teemu Viinikainen, Manuel Dunkel, Jouni Järvelä, Verneri Pohjola, Jukka Gustavson, Mikko Helevä, Ville Herrala, Marzi Nyman, Varre Vartiainen, Eero Koivistoinen, Pepa Päivinen, Pekka Pohjola, Mia Simanainen, Seppo Kantonen, Jenny Robson, Severi Pyysalo, Mirja Mäkelä, Teppo Hauta-aho, Sid Hille, Uffe Krokfors, Iro Haarla, Kalle Kalima, Sakari Kukko, Juhani Aaltonen, Niklas Winter and Jaska Lukkarinen.
Kallio has also worked with Tomasz Stanko, Wadada Leo Smith, JD Walter, Peter Bernstein, Gary Versace, John Lindberg, Philippe Catherine, Stefan Pasborg, Ben Monder, Bänz Oester, Heiri Känzig, Jürg Solothurnmann, Ain Agan, Sebastien Boisseau, Laurent Blondiau, Matthieu Donarier, Marc Ducret, Ron McClure, John Zorn, Gunnar Halle, Jaak Sooäär, Tim Hagans, Staffan Svensson, Vincent Courtois and Michael Gibbs.
In 1997 Samuli Mikkonen asked Mika to join his trio with Uffe Krokfors and a recording ”Korpea kuunnellessa” was released in 1998. After that Mika has played on over 40 albums with various bands and his debyt as a leader/soloist ”Mika Kallio” was released in 2008. He is also a co-leader in such bands like Mikko Innanen / Mika Kallio Duo and Gnomus with Kari Ikonen and Esa Onttonen.
Kallio also leads a group called Kallio Slaaki in which the solo concept has been expanded for three drummers (Anssi Nykänen and Mikko Hassinen).
As a sideman he works in various groups, such as Teemu Viinikainen Trio, Kari Ikonen Karikko, Gourmet, Unit (RF-BE-FI), Manuel Dunkel United, Agan/Viinikainen/Mälgand/Kallio, Ahava, Kalle Kalima trio, Markus Holkko Quartet, Samuli Mikkonen & seitsemän henkeä, Jukka Gustavson & Raoul Björkenheim Quartet, Sakari Kukko Virret and Sid Hille’s Tribute to the Beatles.
Kallio also does some work with the UMO Jazz Orchestra.
Mika teaches at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Savonia University of Applied Sciences in Kuopio and at the Sibelius Academy Jazz Department in Helsinki.