Hi everybody! I hope this year has treated you great so far! I recently returned from Japan - I had a two-and-a-half week tour there, 14 concerts around Japan. I had the greatest time over there! So many years had passed without visiting the beautiful country, I started to miss it already before even leaving it! But yes, we had great concerts in many cities, I had several bands/musicians that I performed with, and the music was going to a really nice direction. The development was really obvious, and it felt better almost day by day. Like I told earlier in my Facebook artist page posting, I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to perform music (most of the times my own) with great musicians, playing to interested and enthusiastic audiences around the world. It is not always easy - kind of hard work - not much sleep necessarily, long hours of traveling, hardly any 'own' time on the road etc - but it really is truly a blessing to have the opportunity of doing it! Thank you everyone involved- all the great musicians, club owners, promoters, friends, audiences! I cannot wait to get back!! I love Japan!
Hi all! Ciao tutti!
I have returned from Roma, and I’m now back to my few last weeks of work at the Karelia UAS. I would like to thank the people at SaintLouis CollegeofMusic for having me there : Marzia Bagli, Maeve Rogers, Stefano Mastruzzi (among others), and all the great teachers I had a chance to meet/work with! I might not remember now everyone, so please don’t get annoyed... Luca Bulgarelli, Maurizio Giammarco, Mauro Massei, Antonio Solimene (Vittorio Solimene please send regards..), Natalio Luis Mangalavite, Vincenzo Presta, and of course ’Giovannino’ Giovanni Candia and my (new) friends from Georgia, Reso Kiknadze and Mako Gviniashvili! Also thanks to all the students for their enthusiasism and support!
Thanks also for these great musicians for great fun on stage, Francesco Puglisi Marco Valeri, Alessandro D'Anna, Daniele Sorrentino, Benito Gonzalez Gerardina Tesauro
and the fantastic Jazz Club Latina and Giorgio Raponi Mariana Badeskuand of course Gregory’s Jazz Club.
Also many thanks for the great work by Clive Simpson for mixing and Gregory Burk for playing the missing piano tracks for my next album!
Looking forward to getting back there already!
Much love to all!
Dear all! It is mid-February and the winter is in its full blooming in Finland- no signs of spring here for still quite a while. The above picture is from Joensuu (a frozen river).
I have some exciting new trips for performances and master classes and recordings coming soon- and next week I will be in Lisbon, Portugal for teaching at Escola Superior de Music de Lisbon and playing with the greats Ricardo Pinheiro, Massimo Cavalli and Eric Ineke. The concert will be held on February 21st at Fabrica Braco de Prata in Lisbon.
Other news and information for this winter/spring soon!
Here below some memories from the past 2-3 months:
In December I spent a week in Belgium (plus one day in Holland): I was doing master classes at the LUCA School of Arts in Leuven, and had a concert in Brussels at the famous Archiduc with Peter Hertmans, Sal la Rocca and Lionel Beuvens (the pic below). It was great fun, and we had a really nice dinner later on with Peter and his lovely wife Roweena!
On the sama trip I sneaked out to Den Haag for a very cool reunion with the brilliant Juraj Stanik, Eric Ineke and Dan Nicolas and also Steve Willem Swanik.The gig was at Pavlov and it was great fun indeed!
For the Holiday Season we (me and my sweet kids, Lumi and Milo) travelled again)to Italy, spending time both in Rome and Lecce and other spots in the fantastic Salento. It was a lovely trip, had finally some time for chill down with my bunnies. Some highlights from that trip:
The rest of January was quite busy with teaching in Joensuu, and in early February I returned to Italy, did a short studio session with my dear friend Greg Burk and attended the AEC Pop/Jazz Platform Conference in Pescara. I also one concert at the Gregory's Jazz on Feb 7th, with Francesco Puglisi and Valerio Vantaggio. I met a lot of really cool people on this trip, so it was definitely worth doing! Below some photos..
Now I'm already in Portugal - will be performing and teaching here in Lisbon at the Escola Superior de Musics de Lisboa and performing (at least) on February 21st with Ricardo Pinheiro, Massimo Cavalli and Eric Ineke. Will be fun!
Stay well, and stay tuned! All the best, Pekka
I wish you have had a wonderful start for this year. Now we're in mid-January and in Finland we're having a real winter, which will probably continue still for quite a few months. Anyways, I'm excited to get to work and to do new projects and visits, and all that! I'm also writing new music, since I have a plan to record a new album this spring. Also- I have promised myself to put out the 2 albums that have been recorded already a while ago: with my Global Unit (Greg Burk, Ronan Guilfoyle and Carlos Ezequiel) and a latter one with The Nordic MoFos, feat. Eric Ineke (Mikael Jakobsson, Heikko Remmel, Eric Ineke).
As per new dates for concerts and workshops I will keep you waiting still a bit, since the dates are still moving.. and as I am also back to my university work at Karelia UAS in Joensuu, I will need to reserve the needed time for that as well. But I will keep you posted soon!
Enjoy the bit-more-calm winter time and have a wonderful week!
Dear all! It's been quite a while since my previous post, so I will go back a few months very fast here first.
The last summer was really nice with lots of activities and also some well-needed time for chilling with my great kids in Italy! I performed in Salento (the Southern part of Puglia) with my musician friends from the region, like pianist Francesco Negro, bassist Matteo Maria Maglio, and others. Salento is a heaven, cannot wait to get back!!
In July I took part (again) at the IASJ Jazz Meeting, this time in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (third time already there) and it was great. Right after the IASJ week I performed two nights in Rome with the greats Benito Gonzalez, Alessandro D'Anna and Francesco Ponticelli. The following morning we picked the legendary Eric Ineke from the airport and headed over to Pescara for a week of great music and hanging. We performed as a quartet on the last day of the Pescara Int'l SummerJazz Campus and Pescara Jazz Festival with Benito, Eric and bassist Maurizio Rolli.
I still continued my Italian trip and performed many times in Rome and again in Salento with many great musicians, like pianists Roberto Tarenzi and Domenico Sanna, bassists Stefano Cantarano and Stefano Battaglia and others. So very cool ! (Even when the temperatures tended to be around +40 C !:):)
After my return back to Finland in August I started my teaching (and commuting) routine at Karelia UAS in Joensuu. But I've had really super nice projects this fall and still continue have more, so I feel really blessed to be able to work with all these talented people!
In October I had a chance to perform in Italy again, and I enjoyed a lot playing with, for example, R. Tarenzi, Roberto Pistolesi, A.D'Anna, S.Cantarano and others. I also made lots of new friends and heard some great concerts. Rome is happening!!
Late October/early November I had the pleasure of hosting the great guitarist and composer Peter Hertmans from Belgium.
We played a concert in Piimälinna, Joensuu, with Tuure Koski on bass and Tuomas Timonen on drums. And still last week I had another concert at the Karelia UAS 25th Anniversary Celebration with some of my most talented students. It was lots of fun!
In a couple of weeks it will be my turn to visit LUCA School of Arts in Leuven, Belgium where Peter Hertmans is heading the Jazz Department. I will be performing at least on DEC 8 at ARCHIDUC, BRUSSELS, with Peter Hertmans (guitar), Sal La Rocca (bass), Lionel Beuvens (drums), and as well at
PAVLOV, DEN HAAG, with Eric Ineke (drums), Juraj Stanik (piano, Marius Beets on Dec 10.
Hope to see some of you over there! Thanks so much for reading again, have a fantastic week and continued success! Love and peace!
I hope you all are well and the long-waited spring has reached your corners, bringing some sunshine (finally - at least here in the North!!)!
I'm happy to tell about the project that starts next week: a tour and recording with the great drummer Eric Ineke! This Finnish/Estonian band with Mikael Jakobsson, Heikko Remmel and myself, carries now a new name:
The Nordic MoFo's, featuring Eric Ineke
Pekka Pylkkänen- alto and soprano saxophones
Mikael Jakobsson - piano
Heikko Remmel - bass
Eric Ineke - drums
We are going to perform as follows:
- Thursday May 25th at Philly Joe's Jazz Club in Tallinn, Estonia
- Friday May 26th a - clinic for the students of Estonian Academy for Music and Dance
- Saturday May 27th at Piimälinna Jazz in Joensuu, Finland
- Sunday May 28th at Pjazza Italian Jazz Restaurant in Helsinki
- Tuesday May 30th A recording session in Helsinki.
Eric will be holding still some additional drum lessons in Joensuu and/or Helsinki.
Looking forward to this very much! And hope to see you all in these upcoming concerts!
All the best,
Hi everyone! First of all, I hope you all are fine. Second, sorry for not posting anything for a long time! I decided this time to write a bit about my travels in Cuba and Italy. Next time (hopefully very soon!) I'll write more about my plans for the rest of the spring and the summer 2017. But at the moment I'm still waiting to have the dates and confirmations, so perhaps better next time!
DECEMBER, HAVANA, CUBA!
I have to confess... I had been planning to travel to Cuba since my high school years (yes!) and therefore, hmm .. some years had passed by without me entering this beautiful island in the Caribbean.. having played and studied, listened to a lot - and later on also taught Cuban music a lot, it was surely a surreal feeling to finally see and feel Havana.. But how cool is was! I ha d the chance to meet and play with a lot of great musicians, and to hear lots of wonderful music. Also the hangs were really cool, and I even had time to briefly visit a near-by beach one day! Generally speaking, I was quite busy anyhow.. I think I played 5 concerts, 2 rehearsals, several sound checks, and 2 lengthy jam sessions in 6 days! But most of it was just fun.
LA PLAZA FESTIVAL DE JAZZ was the festival where I was invited to play, and it turned to be a really cool festival with lots of great musicians, including some top US artists, like Christian McBride, Terence Blanchard, Snarky Puppy, etc. But for me it was just enough to see Omara Portuondo sing with the legendary Chucho Valdes at the Teatro Melia on the opening night! I also enjoyed a lot listening to many great musicians from Cuba (also from outside Havana). So much music!
After traveling some 20+ hours to get to Havana, it took a while (2,5 hours) before I got out of the airport, and finally had to find a taxi. A local 'collectivo' didn't accept me, he obviously thought it'd be a better catch for a 'real' taxi.. Anyways, arrived to the house I was staying in, quite exhausted.. had been there maybe 10 minutes and Jorge Reyes comes rushing in 'Pekka, como va? Vamos para el jam!!' What a start! So we rushed to Corner Cafe, a great joint for jazz, where this famous grupo Interactivo (I didn't know them beforehand) was playing. They sounded great! So they invited me onstage and there we go.. no warm-ups or nothing, super-tired etc, but the music usually shows you the way after a while! Finally, it was great fun, and also met these great trumpet players, so cool to play with other horns!
The first real concert for me in Havana, was at the Fabrica del Arte Cubano, which is a big place with different stages and bars and restaurants, situated in an old factory. Like in Berlin! It was very cool, and even the sound was actually really professionally handled. Only that the audience tended to be a bit loud, lots of foreigners who were perhaps more into the hang-out and the bars, than the music. But by the end of our set we did gather a good, active and supportive audience for us, so the rest didn't matter anymore. We had rehearsed pretty long the same day, so we knew the music, and it was great to play! Abel Marcel played a beautiful intro to one of our tunes, and Jorge Reyes played great bass! And some Ron Cubano backstage! :):)
Then the next concert that was materialized, was at the Pabellon Cuba, on 23rd Street (Calle 23). A Beautiful and a big place with several stages, we played at the 'Garden' . It was totally packed, and despite some very last-minute schedule-changes, it was a great experience. The audience really dug our music, and I enjoyed a lot! Also met some very cool, new people afterwards.
On the same night, after the Pabellon Cuba concert, we played at the Habana Libre Hotel, which used to be a Hilton, before the name-change. It has a different kind of class than most other fine hotels I've seen, since there's original art in many places, plus the design is somewhat unique. We played a set of most standards, some 1hour 20 minutes straight, and it was great fun!
We played at the main - or final concert of the festival, at the Casa de la Cultura de Plaza, which is not exactly a 'casa', since it is like a huge outdoor concert place, but nevertheless, a fantastic place to hang, and to play as well. Thsi concert had to be somewhat short, since the time was limited for all, except the last performer. I had a great time playing, and also hanging and listening to the great music afterwards!
For the last night there was a great jam session at the Jazz Club Corner Cafè with lots of both Cuban and international artists. It was great fun, and such a cool way to end the visit in La Habana!!
I'm happy to tell about the next projects, the first of which actually will materialize already this week! I have a pleasure to be teaching and performing with the legendary ERIC INEKE who will be coming over to Joensuu (as an Erasmus+ Teacher Exchange from the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag).
Those of you who are familiar with Eric's background, know that HE'S BEEN AROUND! Having regularly performed with Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Hank Mobley he is one of the few in Europe (and probably in the whole world still working) who has been inside the elite of this music. Eric will be doing lectures on Philly Joe Jones ( on Thursday Sept 29 at 14:30 in Joensuu Conservatory Small Auditorium) and another lecture on Elvin Jones (Friday Sept 30th at 14:15 at Karelia UAS Tikkarinne Campus, Small Auditorium), and there will be master classes, lessons and all kinds of activities.
We will perform in Joensuu on Thursday night Sept 29th at Surakan Baari (Rantakatu 11-13, Joensuu)
surakanbaari.fi at approx 21:30
with the fantastic Mikael Jakobsson on piano and the young up-coming star Heikko Remmel on bass!
Eric Ineke-Pekka Pylkkanen Quartet:
Eric Ineke- drums
Pekka Pylkkanen- alto and soprano saxes
Mikael Jakobsson - piano
Heikko Remmel - bass
Looking forward to very much!!
Another great event I'm happy about is a visit in Switzerland in the end of October. I will be performing with my friend, great pianist Mike del Ferro in Basel, and we will be joined by another fantastic drummer Jukkis Uotila, who's been widely recognized as one the best drummers in this business. On bass we have the swinging and always trustworthy Stephan Kurmann, and we will be playing 4 long concerts in 2 days!! (say goodbye to my lips..:):) )
OCT 28-29 at BIRD'S EYE, BASEL www.birdseye.ch
PEKKA PYLKKANEN- MIKE DEL FERRO QUARTET
MIke del Ferro - piano
Pekka Pylkkanen - saxophones
Stephan Kurmann- bass
Jukkis Uotila - drums
(please check the 'concerts' section for info on the other concerts on those days)
Now, please excuse me, I have to go practice!!
I will send soon info on the other projects for this fall. Meanwhile.. have a great week and take all the joy out of the darkening nights!