He spent his early years in the city of Kitee. His drumming career started at the age of eleven when his music teacher at school told him that a new educational program for music was opening, and he thought Jukka would fit in well as a drummer. He lacked a suitable place to practice so he made do at his home. His first band was "The Highway" but he joined his first real band at the age of 15-16. The band had a rehearsal place, but was restricted to practice only a couple of days a week. After he left that band, he joined up with Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen and they got a permanent practice place.
At the age of 17, Emppu had already been contacted by the songwriter and keyboard-player Tuomas Holopainen. Tuomas wanted to start an acoustic mood music project that would later become Nightwish and they needed a drummer, at which point Emppu suggested Jukka to Tuomas.
After the early years of the band, Jukka got a new, professional drum kit. He used that kit on the album Wishmaster to the end of the Once world tour in 2005. He is currently endorsed by Tama drums, Paiste cymbals and Pro-Mark sticks. (Previously, he used Drum Workshop and Premier Percussion drums.) He is famous among Nightwish fans for wearing a bandana on his head, even during shows, and for his spinning of his drumsticks. He has a side-project; Sethian, but this band is almost completely dormant because of band members being busy with other bands.