Pauli Lyytinen (b. 1983)

composition, tenor, soprano, bass & alto saxophone, electronic wind instrument, synthesizers


Pauli Lyytinen is a Helsinki based musician and composer. Lyytinen´s approach to music is always improvisatory and experimental regardless of the genre. As saxophonist he´s been studying and exploring widely extended sounds and techniques and the use of  effect pedals with acoustic sax. This has led him into the world of electro acoustic sounds and possibilities of solo orchestrations. He´s also familiar with electronical instruments like the electric wind instrument (ewi), variety of synthesizers, samplers and drum machines. 

Lyytinen has made over 80 tours and performed on numerous amount of festivals and clubs in 35 countries in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia with his own bands  since 2006. He has released over 30 albums with his own groups. The musical range spreads from free improvisation and free jazz to experimental pop, ambient and contemporary classical music.

- Artist-in-Residence, Südtirol Jazz Festival (IT) 2018
- Pori Jazz festival´s Ted Curson - award 2017

- Artistic leader of  Voodoo Music Club 2017-

- Co-founder of  Laponia Improvisations school for improvisation and composition 2012-

- 1st prize in 2007  "Jukka Perko - saxophone competition", 2nd prize in 2004

- Nokia Young Talent prize 2004



"Lyytinen's playing has such liveliness and class that you can listen to him for all evening without getting bored for a moment."

- Dick Hovenga, Written in Music 2020

"The Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri's tremendously exciting performance epitomized all that is good about contemporary jazz."

- Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

"...And He Woke Up in Petroskoi (a tune of Machinery) establishes a guimbri-like riff and then solos atop it in breathtaking manner." 

- The Wire

”Lyytinen is a spectacularly inventive saxophone player that you could happily listen to all evening.” 

- Laurence Mackin, Jazzwise

“Saxophonist and kalimba player Pauli Lyytinen is a wild spirit, but he’s also capable of melodic playing.” 

- John Ephland, Downbeat

"A secret destined to come out globally sooner than not, Pauli Lyytinen is THE current Finnish jazzer to follow if woodwinds are your penchant." 

- Finnish Music Quarterly

"Saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen is the driving force behind numerous smaller ensembles, a musician who's concert never lets one down. Along with his memorable live performances, his recorded catalogue is respectable, both wide and of marvellously high-class. Let's put it bluntly: Lyytinen is inevitably becoming one of the absolute greats within the Finnish jazz scene."

- Pentti Ronkanen, Suomijazz

"Lyytinen is one of the most significant saxophonists within the improvised and experimental jazz music scene in Finland today. Pauli is very imaginative and he has a clear focus in exploring and pushing the limits of saxophone playing." 

- Jouko Kirstilä, Jazzrytmit

"Lyytinen is a real find for me. His playing moves from inside to out with complete ease, his solos have their own logic and drive."


”Lyytinen, who is probably the most talented multi- reed instrumentalist of the young generation, has gained reputation among others in Elifantree by his prudent intelligence, minimalistic elegance and melodic sense of drama. With Björkenheim one needs to be able to play brutally and Lyytinen succeeds with that, too.”

- Jukka Hauru, Helsingin Sanomat