Baltic Drummers League

Baltic Drummers League, a competition of young drummers, is organized by union “Vasaras Mūzikas sesija” in collaboration with musical instruments manufacturer “Paiste”. Finals of the competition are held at Saulkrasti Jazz festival.

Participants are 25 years old or younger drummers from all three Baltic states. Each state organizes separate contest to nominate their 2 best as finalists, who compete in Saulkrasti.

Baltic Drummers League 2019 finalists:

Pēteris Žīle

Peteris Zile is a fusion drummer. Born in Latvia, in a family of musicians. He grew up listening to classical and gospel music. At the age of 2, he remembers drumming on every surface he could find and reach. Peteris was blessed enough to grow up alongside his two brothers who also played musical instruments. His father was the first person who thought how to play music.

At the age of sixteen Peteris started studies at Riga Chatedral Choir School. At this particular period he was exposed to jazz music and started to play in a blues/fusion band “Coolmans Report”. Because of “Coolmans Report” he was fortunate enough to play in Europe’s most prestigious jazz and blues festivals like “Saulkrasti Jazz”(Latvia), “Rigas Ritmi”(Latvia), “Sierre Blues Festival”(Switzerland), “Bliuzo Naktys”(Lithuania). Peteris had the privilege to accompany legendary artists from all over the world- Ken Hensley (UK), Justina Lee Brown (Nigeria), Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges (TX, USA), Shanna Waterstown (France),  Angela Brown (IL, USA) and Krissy Mathews (UK).

After finishing studies in Riga Cathedral Choir School, Peteris applied to Berklee College of Music. He received a European Tour Scholarship and started studies at Berklee College of Music Fall 2015. Peteris had studied with drum legends like Kenwood Dennard, Jon Hazilla, Ralph Peterson and Henrique De Almeida, Tiger Okishi, David Fiuczynski, Tia Fuller and many others.

Right now Peteris is concentrated on finishing his studies at Berklee College of Music.

Tuomas Joonas Räsänen

Tuomas Joonas Räsänen is a drummer currently studying his Bachelor’s degree in performance at Berklee College of Music. He started his musical path at age of 12. Throughout his early musical development he was mentored by an achieved Lithuanian multiinstrumentalist Tomas Dobrovolskis. They’ve performed together in corporate and cultural events such as Cultural Nights and Street Musicians Day.


In 2016 Tuomas completed a summer performance program in Berklee Valencia, Spain. In 2017 right after high school Tuomas continued to pursue his passion for music in Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. Tuomas is studying with faculty members Neal Smith, Ralph Peterson Jr. , Jon Hazilla, John Ramsay and Ian Forman. He has participated in many on and off campus projects like Max Holm quartet at Scandinavian Cultural Center, Luis Sanchez Trio, Kai Gibson Trio and other ensembles, recorded and performed with achieved students and in few senior recitals and EP releases. Recently he formed and managed a quintet under his name “Tuomas Räsänen Quintet” and performed at Jazz Cellar, Lithuania. Currently Tuomas is collaborating with students from LMTA (Lithuania Music and Theatre Academy) with whom he performs at venues and festivals such as: Kaunas Jazz Festival, Novus Music Incubator, Eurowind 2019, Ariogala Jazz. This year Tuomas won first place at Drum Day competition and has received a title of best young drummer of 2019 in Lithuania.