Curriculum Vitae - PDF

Drummer, percussionist & body musician

Pekka Saarikorpi (b. 1977) feels a predilection for Brazilian and West African rhythms, improvised music and the European tradition of jazz: styles of music close to his heart. Pekka’s way of playing drums has a strong legato feel to it – even light touches set off the tone and make the heads resonate. On the other hand, he has a talent for bringing out the percussive side of the instrument, making the kit sound like a complete African or Brazilian drum group.

Pekka Saarikorpi Lento

Pekka Saarikorpi Lento - strongly visual and ritualistic body percussion performances. Pekka Saarikorpi Lento combines the spontaneity of improvised music and expressionistic dimensions of the Nordic folk traditions - music, mythology, and rituals.

Saarikorpi Brom - water music

Drummer and percussionist Pekka Saarikorpi was intrigued by the idea of arranging his own compositions for different ensembles. This is how Water Music came to be – an album best described as a composing drummer’s debut. It is deep in personal flavour – strongly percussive but simultaneosly lyrical and minimalistically melodic. The recording contains Saarikorpi’s solo pieces for marimba, percussions, and drum kit, as well as arrangements for varied ensembles, among others a jazz quintet.


Over the years, Pekka has worked as drummer and percussionist in a number of groups, among others Korpi Ensemble, Riikka Timonen, Nuria, Kurkirku, Veljeni Valas and Pasi K. & Hurmos. Pekka has also worked as a session musician on numerous recordings.

Apprentice and Master

Pekka’s teachers include Mika Kallio, Marko Timonen, Kepa Kettunen, Sakari Löytty, Fernando Paiva (Brazil) and John Riley (USA). He has studied also percussion and rhythmics with Ramiro Musotto (Brazil/Argentina), Max Pollak (USA), Keith Terry (USA), Bryan Dyer (USA), Nicholas Young (USA/STOMP), Leela Petronio (France/STOMP,hipTapProject), Jep Melendez (Spain), Raul Cabrera (Cuba), Thanos Daskalopoulos (Greece), Petros Kourtis (Greece), Peter Stavrum (Denmark/STOMP) and Lars Storck (Denmark). Currently, Pekka teaches drumming and rhythmics himself at the Karelia University of Applied Sciences in Joensuu and at the Keskuspuisto conservatory in Espoo.

Sea and Family

In his free time, Pekka is passionate about sailing and during the summer months enjoys spending time with his wife Kaisa and daughters Iida and Elli in their old wooden sailing boat (Nordic Folkboat F-195, Veljeni Valas). They sail on the Sea of Åland and the Archipelago Sea off the Finnish coast.

“The drums should be played like a wooden boat plays the sea – waves and surges, calms and currents – dawn in the distance.”