Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

Mika Pohjola

Mika Pohjola is a Finnish-born jazz pianist and composer, who resides in New York City. He is one of the most prolific Scandinavian jazz musicians in his generation.

Childhood in Helsinki, Finland 1971-87

Mika Pohjola was born in Helsinki, Finland, and grew up in the neighboring city of Vantaa. He received his formal education in a Steiner school, where his first instrument was violin. He then studied drums, and in 1979 piano and basic music theory with his father, Heikki Pohjola, who is a notable Finnish jazz guitarist. In 1982, young Pohjola entered the Helsinki cathedral boy choir, Cantores Minores under the direction of Heinz Hofmann. At the age of ten, Pohjola had started studies in classical piano, music theory and counterpoint at the Vantaa Conservatory, while also starting to play jazz. His early classical influences were Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg and Johann Sebastian Bach, and Finnish prominent composers, such as Selim Palmgren, Oskar Merikanto and Aarre Merikanto. Pohjola was introduced to the music of Art Tatum, Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson by his father, who played his large record collection at home. Pohjola performed music by Mozart, Beethoven and Debussy at regional recitals and received a shared second prize in the classical piano competition of Vantaa in 1987, and represented his city and conservatory at the Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition.

Read more
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Mika Pohjola has been the recipient of some conspicuous attention these days. A stylist who possesses enormous chops, Pohjola delivers the goods in prominent fashion. Mika Pohjola is a young talent on an upward spiral. Sparked by a skilled rhythm section, the pianist pronounces a highly literate jazz vernacular yet counterbalances some of the austere implications with buoyant interplay and airy lyricism that provides an indelible stamp of authenticity. The Down Beat Magazine

Finnish pianist/composer Mika Pohjola is a superb technician who also possesses a crafty compositional pen. This 1998 effort represents a joyous event that supersedes a good portion of the nondescript, overly hyped, and rigorously marketed 1990s and 2000s brand of post-bop

Read more

Primary Instrument

Piano

Location

Stockholm

Willing to teach

Advanced students only.

2 Photos

Albums

Videos

Similar

All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.