Born in Laitila, Finland, Kari started his musical studies with classical piano at the age of 7. At the age of 12, Kari changed to electric guitar. Later on Kari’s interest to jazz guitar led to graduation as Bachelor of pop/jazz music pedagogue in Stadia, Helsinki, Finland. In Stadia Kari studied with a well-known Finnish jazz guitar player Pekka Luukka.
In 2003 Kari moved to Belgium 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: Jonathan Kreisberg, Lage Lund, Mike Moreno and Gilad Hekselman.
Kari has worked with many top Finnish and Belgian jazz musicians, for example Manuel Dunkel, Jaska Lukkarinen, Alexi Tuomarila, Lasse Lindgren, Ville Herrala, Eerik Siikasaari, Aili Ikonen, Esa Pethman, Toni Porthen, Pekka Pylkkänen and Ville Pynssi, Peter Hertmans, Hans Van Oost, Kris Duerinckx, Bart Van Caenegem, Sal La Rocca, Jan De Haas, Marc Godfroid, Bruno Castellucci, Bart De Nolf, Jos Machtel, Steven Delannoye, Toni Vitacolonna...
Kari has also played with many New York based international younger generation jazz names: For example Downbeat magazine Award winner saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Victor Assis saxophone competition winner Livio Almeida from Brazil and many others like Eduardo Belo, Hironori Momoi, Lars Ekman, Alberto Pibiri, Tuomo Uusitalo...
Kari has also performed in Denmark, France, Switzerland, Austria, UK 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 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 and most recent CD as leader with jazz guitarist Peter Hertmans. CD is called “Guitar Stories” and has already received some praising reviews. 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).