“Pietilä’s uncompromising approach, search for new angles and refusal to walk the trodden path betray his lofty ambitions – a free improviser & a storyteller who expresses interesting fictionary sagas of imagination” –  Finnish Music Information Center

Esa Pietilä Masterclasses on improvisation & expression

Master classes of 1-5 days time on improvisation and expression in general, and special courses for saxophonists.

Ask for online courses also at: esa@esapietila.com

Esa Pietilä Masterclasses are for contemporary expression in general without any musical genre specified. Pietilä´s workshops are for different sized groups from small to larger ensamble (e.g. big band or chamber orchestra). The courses teach how to find Your own creative voice, how to learn to play with different aspects of rhythm, harmony and soundcolours in different musical situations, as a goal to strengthen Your expression.

The course also teaches free improvisation, collective group improvisation, how to create a form and dramaturgy by improvising and how to explore sonic materials. The masterclasses reveal techniques and insights that one can only learn by playing and performing. The courses are tailor made depending on the number of students and which instruments are available taking account the skill level of students etc. although it is advisory that the level of students would be intermediate – advanced.

The special courses for saxophone only teach how to create Your own personal sound of saxophone and how to access extended techniques of saxophone with multiphonics, special effects and the alterations of sound colours. The course also teaches the many aspects how to develop a solo performance.

“During the years with his own groups, performing as a soloist for orchestras and with totally improvised solo saxophone concerts of his, Pietilä has gained special experience on various topics on how to improvise freely without any pre- planned chords structures, tonality, forms or structures”.

The topics:

  • How to explore all aspects of the sound of Your instrument (extended techniques for saxophone players)
  • finding Your own creative voice
  • roles of equality and leadership
  • creating Your own ideas, vocabulary & expression
  • free improvisation
  • motive improvisation
  • collective improvisation
  • creation of dramaturgy & form when improvising
  •  the importance of roles and hierarchy in communication
  • layers of improvisation (small group vs. orchestra)


Pietilä has presented masterclasses at following Conservatories & Universities:

Jamey Aebersold Jazz Program Studies, Louisville University, Kentucky, USA – University Làval, Quebec City, Canada – Montreal University, Canada – Berklee School of Music, Boston, USA – Conservatory Giuseppi Tartini, Trieste, Italy – Musichochschule Lucern, Switzerland – Privatuniversitet Wien, Austria – Rytmiska Konservatoriet Malmö, Sweden – Jazz Department of University of Graz, Austria etc.

Contact info:
p. +358 400 815007, email: esa@esapietila.com

download masterclass presentation: Esa Pietilä Masterclass

Esa Pietilä Masterclasses