|Mikko Innanen, who currently resides in Helsinki, the Finnish capital, was born in February 1978 in Lapinjärvi, Finland. He started playing the alto saxophone at the age of ten after he and his family had moved to nearby Loviisa. His first saxophone teacher was Bengt Ingelin, other important teachers along the line were Jukka Perko, Tomas Franck, Sonny Heinilä, Anders Jormin and Raoul Björkenheim. The saxophonist received his Master of Music degree in 2003 from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Finland. He spent a year of his studies (1998–99) as an exchange student at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. In November 2008, he received the Finnish Jazz Federation’s annual Yrjö Award as the Finnish jazz musician of the year. Arts Council of Finland awarded him a three-year grant for artistic work in 2009. He was nominated for the Nordic Council's Music Prize in 2011. Innanen made his initial entry to the Downbeat (photo by Chris Drukker) Critics Poll in August 2014. To date Mikko Innanen is featured on ca. 25 recordings as a leader or co-leader and more than 20 as a sideman. Some of his latest releases are Mikko Innanen with William Parker and Andrew Cyrille: Song for a New Decade; Innanen/Pesonen/Kallio: Beginnings; Wadada Leo Smith & TUMO: Occupy The World; The Curators: Thank You; Mikko Innanen & Innkvisitio: Clustrophy;Delirium: Green Side Up; Gourmet: Cosmopolitan Sideshow; Kalle Kalima & K-18: Buñuel de jour and Stefan Pasborg: Free Moby Dick.