All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Pekka Pylkkänen

Pekka Pylkkänen

BIO: ​Saxophonist/composer Pekka Pylkkänen has worked with many orchestras and groups during his career, and as a sideman has also shared the stage with greats such as Vince Mendoza, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman, Michael Abene, Odean Pope, and many others. 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. 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 over 1400 concerts during the last 15 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, 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

Read more
”Pylkkänen is among the jazz elite in his native Finland. A stalwart member of the fabled UMO Jazz Orchestra, Pylkkanen shows his crafty wares on his solo debut for Naxos Jazz.On Pekka’s Tube Factory, the multi-reedman displays a fine compositional åen, expressive, accomplished technical skilss and a keen ear for arranging.” - Glenn Astaritawww. July 1999 ”Neben seinen ausgezeichneten solistischen Leistungen auf verschiedenen Holzblasinstrumenten, zeigt sich Pekka Pylkkänen auch als versierter Komponist, der sich fur alle Titel verantwortlich zeigt.” - JazzLive 125/99 ”Taking time off as a member of the UMO Jazz Orchestra, Pekka Pylkkänen makes his leader debut with a sleek ride.” - C.Michael Baileywww.

Read more

Primary Instrument





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.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Read more

View More Photos




Art of Life Records



Naxos Jazz



Stan Getz Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Gary Burton Gary Burton
Sam Yahel Sam Yahel

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.