Timo Pratskin.com
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Page updated 6 February, 2024

Timo Pratskin began playing at the age of six, when his parents gave him a guitar. His first public performance, as a drummer, took place in 1978. At the age of fifteen, Timo finally decided on keyboards as his favorite instrument, and put together his first band, which played instrumental music written by him. A year later, at the age of sixteen, Timo joined FAROUT, a band that had won the championship in the competition for the best Finnish band a few years earlier.

In 1983 Timo was asked to play with Remu Aaltonen, the Finnish rock legend, who was recording his solo album. Remu is the leading figure and the drummer of The Hurriganes, a band that was extremely popular in Finland in the 1970s and the 1980s.

In 1985 Timo played on the solo album by Juha Björninen, one of the most highly appreciated session musicians in Finland. Over the years Timo has also played on records produced by Juha and thrown gigs as a member of his band.

In 1987 Timo joined INSTINCT, a band headed by Ilkka Niemeläinen. The other members of the band included Pentti Lahti, Keimo Hirvonen, Jussi Liski and Ville Forss. The drummer of the band was later replaced by Anssi Nykänen. Among other things, INSTINCT performed on the main stage at the Pori Jazz festival in 1989.

The same year - 1987 - Pepe Ahlqvist called Timo and asked him to join the SUNSET BOULEVARD (1987-1988) band, which later became known as H.A.R.P. (1988 -). H.A.R.P. published altogether 5 CDs, and toured Europe throwing gigs in Germany, Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands, among others. In 1993, at the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, Jeff Healey performed on the main stage during the day, and in the evening, Healy joined the audience in a club where H.A.R.P. was performing. After a while, quite unexpectedly and spontaneously, he came on stage and began jamming with the band. At that time the gig was almost over and had been going on for two hours already. Due to Jeff joining the band on stage the gig was prolonged and lasted altogether for nearly three hours. A magnificent moment and memory in the history of the band. Another memorable moment worth mentioning here includes the making of a music video clip for "Bubble struggle" from the "Rocks and water" album; this video clip was directed for the band by the famous Finnish film director, Mika Kaurismäki. The band quit touring at the end of 1995. However, H.A.R.P. has recently (2016) ended its long silence and starts throwing gigs again. For more info, check out H.A.R.P.´s facebook page.

In 1998, Jarmo Nikku's master tape was recorded at Finnvox's studios for Yleisradio (YLE Radio) which included compositions by Jarmo and Timo. The line-up in addition to Jarmo and Timo included Juha Tikka bass, Anssi Nykänen drs, Tapani Rinne sax and Mongo Aaltonen perc.

In August 1990 Timo was in a studio session at Finnvox studios, where Albert Järvinen was working on his own solo album at the time. One day, in the middle of the session, Albert Järvinen and his producer T.T.Oksala dropped by, and asked Timo to play on Albert's forthcoming solo album. Timo played keyboards on a few tracks of the album that was released under the title "Mirror Tower". During spring 1991 there was some talk about further collaboration, but sadly Albert passed away later that spring...

In 1993 Timo put together a band called FISSIO (1993 - 2000). At first this trio played Timo's music and, in addition to him, included Harri Rantanen (bass) and Harry Ala-Kojola (drums). After a while Timo felt like extending the band, and asked guitarist Jere Ristmäki to join the group. In addition to increasing the number of the members, the band also expanded on its musical material, performing music by Harri Rantanen. In 1994 Peter Engberg replaced the former guitarist, and percussionist Leevi Leppänen (1994-1995) joined the band, too. A year later there were some changes again; Sami Kuoppamäki joined the band as the new drummer, and Mikko Vuorela as the new bass player. FISSIO toured Finland performing in clubs and at festivals, and published one CD titled I´mpossible (1998), featuring Mongo Aaltonen on the percussions. The CD consists of music composed by Timo and Peter.

In 1995 Pekka Pohjola called and asked Timo to join his band. Timo played a few gigs with the band and was featured in a TV-document on the band. This collaboration lasted for over a year. In addition to working with Pekka Pohjola at the time, Timo joined the LOOP TREATMENT band led by Anssi Nykänen. This band toured Finland between January and November 1995 and performed at the Pori Jazz Festival, among other things.

In 1997 bass player Jan-Olof Strandberg asked Timo to join his band, and they threw a few gigs in Finland and Sweden. In addition, Timo plays on Strandberg's solo CD Great Moments. The same year - 1997 - Timo played on Seppo Tyni's solo CD called "Niin aina". Seppo played in Pekka Pohjola's band for several years, and was Timo's fellow band member in LOOP TREATMENT.

A year later, in 1998, guitarist Antti Kotikoski asked Timo to join a band called AK-47. AK-47 was a multi-national band, featuring Antti Kotikoski (USA), Richard Hallebeek (The Netherlands), Jaan Wessman, Harri Lehtonen and Timo Pratskin (Finland). The band has toured in Finland between 1998 and 2000.

In 2002 Timo played on a few tracks for Husband's CD called "Husband". The permanent band members of Husband include Varre Vartiainen, Marzi Nyman, Anssi Nykänen and Harri Rantanen. Timo also played on SF-blues' first CD called "SF-blues". This band is led by Heikki Silvennoinen and Pepe Ahlqvist, and the performing guest artists vary.

In 2004 Timo recorded his solo CD "update", which was published on September 3rd, 2004. For more info on this CD, please click here. The same year - 2004 - Timo performed with Jarmo Hynninen Band. These gigs featured, among others, Dana Fuchs (USA), Heikki Silvennoinen (FIN) and Pepe Ahlqvist (FIN). Jarmo has published a solo CD called "In the mood for playing" (2001), and Timo plays on this CD, too

In 2005 Timo played on stage with his own Timo Pratskin update band, and as a visiting artist with the Husband. In addition, he performed with Jarmo Hynninen Band. This gig featured Dana Fuchs (USA) and Dr. Helander (FIN).

Meeting Helander resulted in further cooperation, for example in performing together at Puistoblues, Järvenpää and working on a new CD titled Dr. Helander and his Medicine Men "Freedom music". Timo produced this album together with Esa Kuloniemi. This Blues record features Timo on keyboards, guitar, percussions and drums. In addition to arranging the music for several of the included pieces, Timo composed some of the songs together with Dr.Helander. This CD has received excellent reviews around the world.

After a long pause Timo threw a few gigs with Pepe Ahlqvist. In its new composition the band performed during 2005 and 2006 at Rauma blues, Korppoo Sea Jazz and Lahti Blues & Roots festivals, among others. This composition was known as Pepe Ahlqvist R & B Band.

In 2006 Umo big band & Pepe Ahlqvist recorded two pieces, composed by Timo, on their CD called "Mister blues", published in June the same year. These two pieces, namely "Heal me with the blues" and "No more affection", have previously been recorded by Pepe Ahlqvist H.A.R.P., and are included in Rocks and Water (1994) and Honey Hush (1992). During this year Timo played gigs with the Jarmo Hynninen Band (featuring Dana Fuchs, USA and Bill Öhström, SWE) and Husband.

In September 2006 Timo played the keyboards on Rekku Rechard's solo album. "Rekku" is the guitarist of the legendary Finnish band called Wigwam. The CD was released in February 2007.

In May and June 2007 Timo worked as the band leader and arranger for the international Blues Heritage Contest organized by compo10.com in association with the Lakeside Blues Festival. This particular year the contest was organized in honor of the 30th anniversary of Finland's biggest blues festival, the Lakeside Blues Festival, Järvenpää. The 2007 finalists were Gerard Maunick (Australia), Troels Skovgaard (Denmark), Bubs McKeg (USA), Layla Zoe (Canada), Thorbjørn Risager (Denmark) and Bryn Jones (Finland). Layla Zoe from Canada won the contest. The general public's favorite was also announced at the finals. The public's favorite was Gérard Maunick from Australia.

In August 2008 Timo did some overdubs for Tuppu Orrenmaa's CD. He played a few organ tracks without solos on pieces that had otherwise been recorded earlier the same year, during the spring and the summer. The line-up playing on Orrenmaa's CD "Make my day" is: Tuppu Orrenmaa, Billy Cobham, Tower of Power, Pekka Pohjola, Rob Dominis , Pekka Tyni, Verneri Pohjola and Timo Pratskin. The CD was released in 2009.

During October and December 2008 Timo participated in a music play based on Janis Joplin's biography / life story and music, directed by Susanna Haavisto and written by Peter Snickars. The main role was played by Marjo Leinonen. Lauri Porra acted as the conductor and the bassist of the band. This music play was performed in 2009, too.

In addition, during 2008 Timo threw a club gig with Frank Robson, the singer of the legendary Tasavallan Presidentti band.

In March 2009 Timo had the honor of playing with the legendary drummer, Billy Cobham. The event in question was the publishing gig of "Make my day" record by Tuppu Orrenmaa's band here in Finland. The line-up for the publishing gig was: Billy Cobham drums, Tuppu Orrenmaa gtr, Rob Dominis keys, Timo Pratskin keys, Jukka Korpela bass, Verneri Pohjola trumpet, Ilmari Pohjola trombone and Marko Portin baritone sax.

In July 2011 Timo was asked to perform with the famous Finnish band called "Suurlähettiläät". He toured with the band until they decided to take a break and quit throwing gigs for a while. Vibrafonist Severi Pyysalo played as a special guest of the band's gig at the Down By The Laituri festival in Turku.

In August 2013, Timo joined the Farout band during one gig for the first time in more than 40 years. The original members of the line-up were Jouni Limingoja, Lauri Valjakka and Jarmo Nikku. In addition, Ike Kallio, who had been in the line-up for a long time and played on the band's only album, was the second keyboard player at the gig. The newest member of the gig was phonist Panu Syrjänen.

After a long break Pepe Ahlqvist H.A.R.P was in the studio in April and recorded their first song in more than 20 years called "One day less, one day more". The band returned to the gigs, performing on the main stage of the 2.7 Puistoblues (Lakeside Blues) festival and touring Finland for a few months. The band's original drummer Anssi Nykänen played during the last two gigs of the tour in October in Helsinki.

Timo's solo album "update" got a new distributor when the collaboration with Bluelight Records Ltd began.

Jarmo Nikku released his first solo album on which Timo plays a few songs. The collaboration between Timo and Jarmo began as early as 1980 in the Farout band. In September, the recording ensemble performed once at a concert in Espoo Sellosali. Pepe Ahlqvist H.A.R.P. live album was released by Bluelight Records Oy on April 13 at the Lahti Grand Blues festival in connection with the gig and the band threw some more gigs during the spring and the summer. The album was recorded during the 2016 gig. The gig venue was Lahti / Möysän Esso, nicknamed "Mössö"

Dr.Helander & Third Ward released a new album, on which Timo appears as the organist.

In 2022, Jukka Korpela's project "Northern Reflection" released its debut album "Time Flies". Timo is involved in a few tracks on the album. The album opens with the song "Agent Hawthorn", with Billy Cobham playing the drums and Timo playing the "moog" solo. The other musicians on the album include: Jukka Gustavson, Rami Eskelinen, Mika Mylläri, Maria Hänninen, Tapani Rinne, Jaku Havukainen, Rami Hillilä, Mertsi Tuomainen, Jussi "Jay Day" Penttinen, Pete Korpela, Jonas Rintala and Jukka Korpela.

Jarmo Nikku's second solo album "Landmarks" was released the same year, and it contains two of Timo's compositions. The line-up on the album is Jarmo Nikku, Jari Nieminen, Jari Heino, Topi Kurki and Timo Pratskin.

In 2023, Jarmo Nikku's quintet (JNQ) did a few gigs with the same line-up as on the "Landmarks" record. In addition, Timo was part of Vesa Aaltonen's Prog Band line-up. Prog Band did gigs together with the band Wigwam Revisited, which plays the music of the legendary Finnish band Wigwam. The Prog Band lineup included Jukka Tolonen bass, Jukka Gustavson vocals, Vesa Aaltonen drums, Jari Heino bass, Jere Haakana guitar, Ella Tepponen vocals, Ilmari Rönkä saxophone/ flute and Timo Pratskin keyboards. In the fall, the bands also toured together, and the event was sold out in almost all locations. Prog Band performs music from the following bands and artists: Tasavallan Presidentti, Pekka Pohjola, Made In Sweden and Frank Zappa.

Over the years Timo has also worked as a studio musician, a musician in television bands, and a musician and a conductor in a theatre.
In addition, he's played gigs with several Finnish artists and bands, and has worked as an arranger.