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 over 1200 concerts during the last 10+ 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
Pekka has held clinics about saxophone, improvisation, composition and group playing (among other topics) in dozens of music universities 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. He still continues to teach and head the Pop/Jazz Program at the Karelia University of Applied Sciences in Joensuu, Finland. His former long-time educational work was at the Metropolia University in Helsinki, where he was heading the Wind Instrument department.
His 2 first CDs were released by Naxos Jazz, with a worldwide distrubution.
The latest released CD called 'Listen!' was originally released as a CD on LUMINO RECORDS label and digitally through Blue Music Group. Nowadays the CD ‘Listen!’ is also licensed to China on Starsing Records. There will be new releases coming out very soon by him.