Born in Oslo, Norway, Felix Peikli found his way into music trough the local marching band at the age of 8. They picked out the instrument, which today seems to have been the perfect choice, a clarinet. Two years later, Peikli received a Benny Goodman recording by his grandfather. The motivation came right away after hearing the dazzling and amazing music that a clarinet could produce, and Benny Goodman became the new idol. His first performance was during a jam session at Oslo Jazz Festival in 2002. Too young to enter the bar, Peikli and his mother Une argued their way in. Unaware that celebrities like Joe Lovano were in the audience, Peikli played and was invited back the next day for his first hired gig, playing with a visiting band in the Grand Hotell the Mirror Hall.
This was motivation beyond belief, and hard practicing lay ahead, together with upcoming achievements. Peikli participated in contests such as AOM (local), OM (state), NM (national), and UKM (national) and won a series of prizes. He became a student at Barratt Dues Classical Institute of Norway and studied there with Fredrik Fors (from 2004 to 2008). He also was selected to compete on national TV and won the National Dream Prize in 2005. After that achievement, he began performing heavily, with three to four gigs a week, while still in school maintaining top grades.
Peikli has always cared about helping other people through music and has always volunteered to play for people who need it the most, playing monthly at a center for people with amnesia. He became a student at Foss Music High School in 2006 and in the same year he won the Grand Chance on national TV. After that, Peikli became a national icon and the official face fronting the art of jazz. He begun playing at national and international festivals and making international appearances (in Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Croatia, U.K., and more), and Talent.no became his main sponsor in 2007, working closely with Jorn Hoel. Peikli received the Capital of Norway Honors Prize as the youngest recepiant ever in 2007, and the same year he attended Berklee College of Music's Five-Week Summer Performance Program, where he was granted a full-tuition Scholarship. He is also a recent winner of the prestigious Vandoren Emerging Artists International Contest.
In his mission to help others through his music, Peikli held a concert in 2007 in conjunction with Harry Belafonte's visit to Oslo, Norway, where all the money went to people with AIDS in the third world, raising $5,000 for that cause. In 2008 he had his Ready for Boston concert as a token of his acceptance into Berklee College of Music the same year, and came back one year later, touring Oslo with his Berklee professor Harry Skoler, playing a tribute to Benny Goodman, who would have celebrated 100 years in 2009. In August 2010, Peikli performed his first international tour as a bandleader with his group the Felix Peikli Quintet (Felix Peikli, Italo Cunha, Takeshi Ohbayashi, Justin Richey, and Jeff Fajardo) and appeared at venues such as Oslo Jazz Festival, TV2, NRK1, Rica Victoria, and more.
Peikli began his studies at Berklee College of Music in the fall of 2008 and has been fortunate to have the opportunity to study and play with/for many talented musicians and professors such as Frank Tiberi, Harry Skoler, Terri Lyne Carrington, Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci, Leo Blanco, Greg Osby, Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Eddie Gomez, Aaron Goldberg, Wayne Shorter, Ralph Peterson Jr., and Ben Street. As a part of the newly founded honors program the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (directed by the world-renowned Danilo Pérez and Marco Pignataro), Peikli has had a chance to meet many wonderful musicians worldwide. In 2011 he went with the BGJI to tour New Orleans and Panama.
As of February 2011, Peikli was asked to be a sideman as a part of Ralph Peterson Jr.'s world-renowned jazz group the Ralph Peterson Fo'tet. They have performed extensively in the U.S. and recorded Ralph Peterson Jr's upcoming CD Duality Perspective, due to be released May 20, 2012.
For frequent updates, visit kingclarinet.com or myspace.com/kingclarinet.