Born: September 23, 1964 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
PEKKA PYLKKANEN RESUME 2009
Born in Helsinki, Finland, on September 23rd, 1964. At age 4 started to listen intensively to records that his father brought from his business trips abroad, consisting of New Orleans jazz, musical show soundtracks and big band and Latin-American music. Started to play piano at age 6, but had to stop it after a while because of a change of the school. Finally picked up the clarinet at age 10 and at 12 got his first alto sax. Played in the school's orchestra and big bands, later on also in jazz and funk groups. Started the musical studies at the Pop and Jazz Institute, later on got into the Pop and Jazz Conservatory which led further to studies at the Sibelius Academy. Spent one year studying in the Netherlands, at the Rotterdams' Conservatory. Studied privately in the US with David Liebman.
Final concert at the Sibelius Academy, year 1996 Master's Degree from the Sibelius Academy, year 2001 Extra studies in Sibelius Academy, from 2003 on Degree in Education, University of Helsinki, year 2005
PROFESSIONAL IN MUSIC
Started his professional career while already studying, performing in clubs and working in theatres and studios. Also an active member of big bands and latin groups. A founding member of the Big Bad Family and Fiestecita, both very well-known groups in Finland at the time. Formed his first own groups in the beginning of 90's. Played full-time in the UMO Jazz Orchestra from 1995 to 1998, and still continued playing occasionally there. In 1995 moved for a while to Sweden where worked with the Bohuslan Big Band. A founding member of the Jere Laukkanen's Finnish Afro-Cuban All Stars, also produced the CD for the Naxos Jazz that got wonderful reviews for example in the Los Angeles Times. In 1996 produced and conducted a big band CD, Big Bad Family, that was given the EMMA prize the same year. Also played in Espoo Big Band and free- lanced intensively.
Studio work from 1983 on. Played actively in various big bands and latin groups in the 80's and the 90's. Also played with Bohuslan Big Bnad in Sweden for several months in 1995, touring all over the Nordic Countries. Worked as a musician in musical shows, such as Cats, Oliver Twist, Mambo Kings, West Side Story and Producers and Chicago. Free-lancing with pop groups and singers from 1985 on. Performing with various visiting artists, such as Odean Pope, David Liebman, etc. While playing with the UMO Jazz Orchestra and Espoo Big Band, toured in the US, Germany, Sweden, Australia, New Zeeland and performed and recorded with, for example: Grady Tate, Joe Henderson, Mercer Ellington, Madeleine Eastman, Paquito D'Rivera, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Michael Abene, Jim McNeil, McCoy Tyner, Jiggs Whigham, Paul McCandless, Gil Goldstein, Steve Slagle, Dick Oatts, Bob Mintzer, Gary Smulyan, New York Voices, etc.
Performed also contemporary classical music by Charles Ives and Finnish composers such as Paavo Heininen, Jukka Linkola, Jarmo Sermila and Kirmo Lintinen.
BAND LEADER AND JAZZ ARTIST
Having formed first own groups in the early 90's and having played at various festivals and clubs, started also writing music for those groups. Performed at the Cotton Club Helsinki, Winter Jazz, and Kerava Jazz. In 1996 formed the still existing group Pekka Pylkkanen's Tube Factory, performing in Silkki Jazz, Lahti Jazz Market Place, Ateneum Hall, Jyvaskyla Summer Jazz, etc. Recorded the first recording for the Naxos Jazz label in 1998, Pekka Pylkkanen: Pekka's Tube Factory that was very warmly welcomed by both professionals and critics. Got invited to perform at the Beijing Music Festival in 1999. Second CD Pekka Pylkkanen's Tube Factory: Opaque was released in 2001 and was welcomed as warmly as the previous recording. The band has since then toured around the world, performing in China, Japan, Korea, USA, Norway, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina. Tours intensely in Japan- (May-June 2008 consisted of 16 concerts all around Japan in 3 ½ weeks, November 2008 22 concerts in 4 weeks, both Korea and Japan,). Also performs actively with pianists Greg Burk and Markus Niittynen as duo. Composes music constantly for different line-ups. Duo-concerts with Greg Burk, for example at the ISIM Conference in Chicago, 2007. Performs and records with saxophone quartet Onfonia. His third CD: Listen! was released by Art Of Life Records in 2008.
Pekka Pylkkänen's Tube Factory has played more than 300 concerts during the last few years, almost all of them abroad.
Recordings as a leader for Naxos Jazz: Pekka Pylkkanen: Pekka's Tube Factory (released in 1999) Pekka Pylkkanen's Tube Factory: Opaque (released in 2001) Recordings for YLE The National Broadcasting Company: With the Tube Factory in 1997, 2000 and 2004; with The Onfonia Saxophone Quartet in 2002 and 2004; with pianist Greg Burk as a duo in 2008. First appearance in China at the Beijing Music Festival, 1999 Appearances on festivals such as: Trondheim Jazz Festival (05), Beijing Jazz Festival (07), Jarasum Jazz Festival (07), Water Village World Music Festival (07), Jazz It Up! Shanghai (07), Providencia Festival de Jazz (07), San Pedro Festival De Jazz (07), IAJE/New York (07), La Plata Festival De Jazz (03), Jazz Peru (03), Jazz En Abril (05), major jazz clubs in Japan, Argentina, Peru, China, and concert hall and Broadcasting Studio (TV) appearances in Korea.
Started giving saxophone and flute lessons already in -83, continued to teach at local music institutes, including the Pop And Jazz Conservatory, Kerava Music Institute and also at the Joensuu Conservatory. Started teaching full- time at the Pop and Jazz Conservatory in 1997, leading to a post at the Stadia Helsinki Polytechnic in 2000, heading the wind instrument department, teaching saxophone and flute, improvising and ensembles and lecturing in the teacher training program. Year 2002 became Principal Lecturer and stayed in the school's board for many years, also joined/visited many international conferences and committees while working as such, including IASJ Jazz Meetings, IAJE, Nord Plus/Nord Puls (Nordic Countries Network for Jazz Colleges), worked a few years also in an unofficial board of Nord Puls (Working Group) etc. Has been giving master classes, private instruction and workshops around the world, including Finland, Sweden, China (many cities), Argentina (many cities), Peru, USA, Japan.
Full-time teaching position from 1997 until 2000 at the Pop and Jazz Conservatory. From 2000 until 2007 working as a principal lecturer at Stadia Helsinki Polytechnic, giving instrumental lessons, teaching improvisation and pedagogy, coaching ensembles and workshops. Also heading the international affairs and joining committees and conferences worldwide. Has been giving workshops and lecturing in Ingesund College of Music (Sweden), Escuela Musica Moderna (Argentina), EMU Education Musical (Argentina), Collegium CEIM (Argentina), Jazz House Peru, MIDI School of Music (China), Contemporary Music Institute (China), Institute for Performing Arts (China), Shanghai Conservatory (China), PAN School of Music (Tokyo, Japan), Nagasaki University (Japan).
Awards:Jazz emma prize 1996 (Finland) The official IAJE Award NYC, January 2007
He certainly maintains a very individual and always interesting sound.” - John Henry-Audiophile Audition - March 2002 ”Pekka Pylkkänen is back with another notable collection of razor sharp contemporary jazz.. Pylkkänen, once again, blows through his variety of winds on this collection of mostly his originals.” - C.Michael Bailey - www. allaboutjazz.com ” Kein Wayne Shorter, kein Jaco Pastorius, kein Joe Zavinul spielen hier ausgelassen (und glucklicherweise auch keine, die sich dafur halten), hier musiziert eine ferfekt harmonierende Band, die ein wenig nordische Schwermut in die Kompositionen bringt, ohne diese damit völlig zu uberfrachten: Besonders hervorzuheben sind das virtuos- gewitzte ”Tom Cat”, das hypnotische ”The Picture Of Dorian Gray” und das hinreissend melancolische ”Black Pearl” - der Schallplattenman Sagt, 3.12.2001 . Pekka send me a copy of his latest recording, and what I hear is a mature player who has truly come up with a compelling sound, both as a composer and instrumentalist. The music on this cd is simply great, and I am very happy to see and hear that Pekka has grown into the musician that he is today. He’s created compositions with an elegant complexity that showcases his saxophone playing in a unique and personal way. Excerpt from liner notes by Bob Mintzer, December 2008
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As an educator Pekka has worked 7 years as a principal lecturer at the Stadia Helsinki Polytechnic, Pop and Jazz Music Department. Before that, and also while teaching at the Stadia, he has worked as a clinician at Ingesunds Music College in Sweden, EMU Education Musical, Escuela De Musica Contemporanea and Collegium CEIM (all 3 in Argentina), Jazz Peru in Lima, Peru, Shanghai Conservatory, MIDI School Of Music and Contemporary Music Institute, Institute for Performing Arts (all 4 in China), PAN School of Music (Tokyo, Japan) among others. He has also taken part and worked as a teacher on IASJ Jazz Meetings on 2002 in Helsinki and on 2007 in Siena, Italy, as well as performed at the IAJE Conference in New yYork. He is a member of IAJE and ISIM.
1) A CLINIC/CONCERT (length about 2- 3 hours) On this clinic I would perform with my group for about 45 minutes- 1 hour. After the concert I would present some of the compositions we played, how I wrote those tunes, some topics over those tunes and finally how did we approach improvising on those tunes. Students would be welcomed to ask questions as well. 2) JAZZ WORKSHOP (with my group) (length about 3 hours OR 2 times 3 hour sessions) 1) Jazz Improvisation: How to develop your harmony, your lines and your time. 2) Group Playing: How to create a "band sound"- how to communicate musically 3) Repertoire: Learning Standards- how, which tunes and why In case this would be for the same group of people, I would most likely like to combine these things. But they could be taught separately as well. I would be using mostly basic jazz material, blues, rhythm changes, standards etc. and concentrate first on, for example: keeping time, basic harmonic movement, eigth-note lines, rhythmic expression, etc. For the rhythm section I would bring exercises for comping (comping a horn soloist,comping a bass soloist etc.). Also I would work on the interaction between the drums and the piano and so on. Some of my favorite things in working with a student group would include concrete working on the group playing with some exercises I have developed and some exercises I have learned from some very well- known jazz educators. 3) INDIVIDUAL CLINICS AND MASTER CLASSES: A CLINIC 'ON TRANSCRIBING'- HOW TO DO TRANSCRIPTIONS, HOW TO PRACTISE THEM, HOW TO ANALYSE, HOW TO USE THE MATERIAL FROM TRANSCRIPTIONS A CLINIC ON COMPOSITION: HOW TO USE DIFFERENT MATERIALS, HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR IDEAS, HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT CHARACTERS FOR A TUNE AND GET ‘A SOUND’ OR ‘COLOR’ ON A TUNE. A SAXOPHONE MASTER CLASS: ON THIS MASTER CLASS I WOULD CONCENTRATE ON SAXOPHONE TONE PRODUCTION, INTONATION, PRACTISING ROUTINES AND DEVELOPING A PERSONAL SAXOPHONE SOUND. A JAZZ MASTER CLASS ON IMPROVISING: ON THIS MASTER CLASS I WOULD BRING SOME JAZZ CLASSICS TO WORK ON, I WOULD PLAY WITH A STUDENT GROUP, WE WOULD BE LISTENING TO THE ORIGINAL RECORDINGS AND TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT WAYS TO PLAY THOSE TUNES AND HOW TO PRACTISE THEM INDIVIDUALLY. WE WOULD ALSO REHEARSE A FULL SET OF MATERIAL FOR A CONCERT, AND IF THERE IS ENOUGH TIME ( a few days) WE WOULD PLAY A CONCERT WITH THAT MATERIAL.