Mikko Innanen is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader from Finland, currently residing in Helsinki. A multifaceted and open-minded musician, he thrives in settings that span jazz’s past, present and future: be it in freely improvised solos, duos or trios, small and large ensembles playing his own compositions, or working as a sideman interpreting other people’s music.
A 2022 DownBeat Rising Star, Innanen has performed in 38 countries, in five continents. The diversity of Innanen’s playing and composition is well documented, with a discography of almost 80 records. This active touring and recording allows him to continuously expand his network of collaborators, and to find further opportunities to explore the spontaneous creativity at the heart of his musical vision.
His journey through jazz and improvised music began in Loviisa, in small-town southern Finland, where the contents of his father’s comprehensive jazz record collection of jazz records led him to pursue the saxophone further. After starting out in local marching and big bands, he studied at Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, during which time he spent a crucial exchange year at Copenhagen’s Rhythmic Music Conservatory.