Born in Oslo, Norway, Felix Peikli ‘12 was introduced to music through the local marching band at the age of eight, and over the course of the following decade, he studied classical music with Fredrik Fors and earned several awards at international jazz festivals, including (on national television) the National Dream Prize and the Capital of Norway Honors Prize (of which he was the youngest recipient to date).
While attending Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance program, Peikli was granted a full-tuition scholarship and he moved to Boston in 2008. At Berklee, he toured with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) under the direction of Danilo Perez, and in 2009, he joined his mentor and professor, Harry Skoler, in a tour of Norway in which the pair paid homage to their shared idol, Benny Goodman, for the centennial celebration of his birth. Peikli also met and performed with and for many of today’s leading figures in jazz, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Gomez, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Joe Lovano, among others.
As a sideman with Ralph Peterson Jr.’s world-renowned jazz quartet, Peikli (who played on the group’s 2012 recording, The Duality Perspective) was praised in a New York Times review as “forthright and flexible, eager and full-toned — a star, basically.” In May 2015, Peikli released his debut album as a bandleader, Royal Flush; the all-alumni Royal Flush Quintet collaborated with several jazz greats, including Grammy-winner Marcus Miller, Lee Hogans, and Albino Mbie '13.
Listen to music from Felix Peikli and the Royal Flush Qunitet here:
“There’s a significant distinction between being a musician and being an artist,” Peikli says. “First step is to figure out if you want to be an artist or a musician, where your niche has a place in the music industry, how much you want it, and how hard you are willing to work for it. I believe there is a finite amount of space for musicians, but the world always has room for another artist.”