Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Jukka Perko: Hot Sax.

28 October 2002 | 1:00 am | Deb Morrice
Originally Appeared In

All Perko Go Play.

Jukko Perko plays the Powerhouse Theatre on October 30.

Saxophonist Jukka Perko is one Finland’s Premier Jazz Artists. Last year he and the Hurmio Orkesteri achieved the first Finnish recording on the Blue Note record label with their album project – Music of Olavi Virta.

The Jazz/Finnish flavoured Tango arrangements are a tribute to the legendary Finnish entertainer.  Perko truly desired to honour Virto in such a way. He grew up listening to this singer who had a Frank Sinatra type persona and naturally took in the sounds of the Tango music Virto made popular.

“Everyone in Finland has heard Olavi Virta”, say Jukko. “He recorded so many tunes and his recording are still played on the radio. He started his career in the early forties and finished in the early 70s. You know he made 100s of records.”

The Tribute CD has a very unique sound and Perko explains why there is no piano presence that one would naturally associate with the Tango sound: “It’s a very personal sound the line-up, two saxophones, bass and drums. It’s an almost naked sound and that’s why our melodies are coming out so well and if we would have piano added to that maybe the harmonies may sound too obvious for the jazz audience. There’s more space for the audience to imagine and take part in the music.”

Perko and the Hurmio-Orkesteri form a quartet setting. The personnel involve Jukko Perko on alto and saprono sax, Manuel Dunkel on tenor sax with guitarist Lasse Lindgren and drummer Teppo Makynen.

At 34 years of age Jukko Perko is a rising, rising, rising star on the international jazz scene. He grew up on a farm on the Western side of Finland nurtured by a very musical family. His interest in sax eventually led to his interest in jazz and the music of Paul Desmond and Charlie Parker. By the time Perko was 19 he was ticking off some pretty impressive career highlights with Mc Coy Tyner and the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Anniversary Big Band. He’s enjoyed a front-line five-year stint in Finland’s only professional Big Band, The New Music Orchestra and collaborations time with Finnish Vibraphonist Virtuoso Severi Pyysalo. This year he clocks up two tours to Australia.

As for the Blue Note recording featuring the Music of Olavi Virta it’s a major milestone in Jukko Perko’s career and a glimpse at a very promising future.