Photo: Ville Paul Paasimaa
Vibraphonist Panu Savolainen has quickly secured a steady foothold in the active jazz circles thanks to his knack at effortlessly inserting his personal style of playing and ability to bring out a wide palette of colors from his instrument. Despite his young age, Savolainen has already gained attention especially with his own combo HERD, which won the first prize of the European Jazz Competition presented by Rotterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival in 2011. After that, he has toured in dozens of festivals, clubs and concert hall with repertoires ranging from all-time favorite evergreens to his own compositions. What makes Savolainen a unique jazz player is his background as a classical percussionist. That being said, his playing is a fresh combination of no-nonsense swing and technical finesse, always serving the music at hand.