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November 25, 2020
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Pete Korpela is a Los Angeles based studio and touring percussionist, recognized internationally for his versatility in orchestral, latin, jazz, world, rock, and pop music.
Pete Korpela is a Los Angeles based studio and touring percussionist, recognized internationally for his versatility in orchestral, latin, jazz, world, rock, and pop music. He has collaborated with such renowned talent as, among others: Danny Elfman; Hans Zimmer; Alan Silvestri; Michael Giacchino; John Powell; Harry Gregson-Williams; Josh Groban; Robbie Williams; Jeff Russo; Henry Jackman; Marco Beltrami; Michael Mcdonald; Carter Burwell; Disturbed; Alan Parsons; Calle 13; Rickie Lee Jones; Al DiMeola; Kelly Clarkson; Madeleine Peyroux; Lizz Wright; Ed Chearmur; Kandace Springs; Ana Moura; Joe Trapanese; Rob Simonsen; Melody Gardot; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; Seth MacFarlane; and the 91st Academy Awards Orchestra.
Some of the movie and TV soundtracks Pete has performed on: The Lion King (2019); Spider-Man Far From Home; Mulan (2020); Jumanji 3; Spies In Disguise; The Addams Family (2019); It 2; Doctor Sleep; Ready Player One; Men In Black International; Christopher Robin; The Predator; Ferdinand; LEGO Movie 2; Onward (2020); Call of the Wild (2020); Mandalorian; Star Trek Discovery; Lady and the Tramp; ToGo and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Pete has appeared at Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Sydney Opera House and O2 Arena (London), and has toured across US, Canada, Japan, China, Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa and the Philippines. In 2011, he joined Josh Groban’s “Straight to You” world tour and is currently Mr. Groban’s percussionist. In 2012, he toured extensively, with jazz vocalist Melody Gardot, and with tenor Nathan Pacheco. Between 2003 and 2007, he toured throughout the United States with the first National Tour of Tony-Award-winning Walt Disney’s The Lion King, as a marimbist and featured on-stage percussionist. He has also performed with major Broadway shows Hamilton, Motown and Beautiful.
An active Los Angeles-based studio musician, Pete has been working with composer Jeff Russo on the new Star Trek: Discovery series, which features a wide array of exotic percussion instruments from Pete’s ever-growing collection. His work can also be heard on the award-winning Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations soundtracks—with over 10 million copies worldwide—and in movies Straight Outta Compton (composer Joe Trapanese) and Going in Style (composer Rob Simonsen). He has featured in popular TV shows, including: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; Conan O’Brien; Jimmy Kimmel; Ellen, Good Morning America; Live with Kelly; Later… with Jools Holland; Dancing with the Stars; America’s Got Talent; and PBS Presents: Jackie Evancho. And in 2010, Pete performed with Cirque du Soleil as musical director and lead drummer in a nationally televised project.
Born and raised in Finland, Pete studied orchestral and hand percussion extensively at the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in World Music/Percussion, and at Los Angeles Music Academy. As an instrument-maker and innovator, his collaboration with Pearl Percussion led to an original new design called “The Jingle Cajon” which won DRUM Magazine’s “Drummie” award in 2010. He also designed the critically acclaimed “Shaker Pandeiro” for Cooperman Co.
Pete actively participates in his industry’s humanitarian efforts and showcases at many Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS benefits—an industry fundraising initiative to assist those living with HIV/AIDS.