Born in 1964, saxophonist and composer Pekka Pylkkänen has been recognized as one of the stronger jazz artists and saxophonists in Europe. He has performed around the globe and been very successful not only in Europe, but also for example in Asia and South-America. He has collaborated with numerous prestigious artists in many countries, and continues to work as a soloist/leader, recording artist and educator throughout the world.
During his earlier career he worked several years full-time with the ‘National Jazz Orchestra of Finland’ – UMO Jazz Orchestra, with which he also sometimes performed modern contemporary music, and was often featured as a soloist. Some of the guests for both UMO Jazz Orchestra and the infamous Espoo Big Band (with which he also performed several years in the 90’s) included stars such as Vince Mendoza, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman, Michael Abene, Odean Pope, Grady Tate, Mercer Ellington, Dee Dee Bridgewater, etc
As a leader he has performed in more than 50 countries (Finland, Denmark, Norway, USA, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Korea, China and Japan, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa etc.) He has appeared as a leader/soloist in around 2000 concerts during the last 20 years, most of them outside Finland. His appearances range from clubs to concert halls and major festivals, such as Hong Kong Jazz Festival, Beijing Jazz Festival, Trondheim Jazz Festival, National Arts Festival (South Africa), Lima Jazz, Providencia Festival de Jazz (Santiago, Chile), Yokohama Jazz Promenade, Yarasum Jazz Festival, Beijing Concert Hall, The Spring Hall (Seoul/Korea), Daegu Cultural Center/Korea, Nordic Jazz Invasion (Sao Paulo, Brazil). La Pavillion Blanco (Cordoba, Argentina), Beijing Music Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, etc
In addition to his long career as a performing artist, Pekka has led a significant career as an educator:
Not only has he been in charge of the Pop/Jazz Music Degree Program and teaching practically all core subjects, jazz and latin ensembles, history etc at the Karelia University of Applied Sciences (2009-2018) and as the Wind Instruments Department at Stadia/Metropolia University (2000-2007), but also he has held clinics and master classes in more than 60 music universities/conservatories and colleges around the world, for example: Tokyo College of Music, Royal Academy of Music (Denmark), Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Koyo Conservatory (Kobe, Japan), Shanghai Conservatory, LUCA School of Arts (Leuven, Belgium) Royal Conservatory (The Hague, Netherlands), EMU Education Musical (Argentina) etc.
His 2 first CDs were released by Naxos Jazz, with a worldwide distribution, and his third release 'Listen!' on Lumina Records in CD format, and on Blue Music Group as a digital release.
Pekka Pylkkanen is a Vandoren artist and represents also Ken Okutsu Mouthpieces, Marmaduke Music accessories.
There will be a new, worldwide release on Challenge Records, coming out on APRIL 3RD, 2020. The title is:Pylkkanen:Nu Bottega