Pekka Pylkkänen (Helsinki, Finland, September 23, 1964) is a saxophonist, composer, jazz artist and educator, who has worked with many orchestras and groups during his career. Additionally, he has participated as a sideman with greats such as Vince Mendoza, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Mercer Ellington, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman, Michael Abene, Odean Pope, and many others.
Pekka's own group has performed in Finland, Denmark, Norway, USA, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Korea, China and Japan. He has appeared in more than four hundred concerts abroad during the past eight years.
Pekka has held master classes in improvisation, composition, ensemble playing and more, at Ingesund College of Music (Sweden), PAN School of Music (Tokyo Japan), Nagasaki University (Japan), EMU Education Musical (La Plata/Argentina), Collegium CEIM (Córdoba/Argentina), Souza Lima Conservatory (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Universidad de Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre, Brazil), EMESP Tom Jobim (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Escuela de Musica Contemporanea (Buenos Aires/Argentina), Jazz House Lima (Lima/Peru), ISIM Conference (Chicago/USA), IASJ Meetings (Helsinki/Finland, Siena/Italy), MIDI School of Music (Beijing/China), Shanghai University (China), Contemporary Music Institute (Beijing/China), Institute for Performing Arts (Beijing/China), Carl Nielsen Academy /Denmark), Hong Kong Institute for Education, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Koyo Conservatory (Kobe/Japan), Tokyo College of Music (Japan).
His two first CDs were released by Naxos Jazz. The latest album, on Blue Music Group, is called "Listen!":
"I first met Pekka Pylkkänen in the early eighties while working in Helsinki with the UMO Big Band. He was an aspiring saxophonist who approached me about having a lesson. I remember this young lad coming to my hotel with a moderate amount of skills and a strong desire to learn as much as he could about the music. Even then I sensed that this guy would go far. Fast-forward 25 years. Pekka sent 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 album 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. The band sounds wonderful on Pekka's arrangements, and plays the music with grace and style. The music warrants multiple listenings in order to catch all the nuance of the writing and playing. I find that I like the music more with each listening. I urge you all to let this recording grow on you, and spend the time to fully absorb all that it has to offer. Pekka Pylkkänen and company have made a great recording that will remain in my CD changer for quite a while to come."