Savolainen studied classical piano, but switched during his studies at Berklee College of Music ( from 1980) to jazz. During this time he had the opportunity to work with musicians such as saxophonist Rick Margitza and trumpeter Wallace Roney.
In 1998 he released the album John's Sons in trio with bassist Ulf Krokfors and drummer Markku Ounaskari. For the album Grand Style ( 2000), he expanded the formation and the trumpeter Eric Vloeimans.
As a sideman Savolainen worked on more than fifty albums, including the saxophonist Eero Koivistoinen and pianist Jukka Linkola. From 1983 to 1986 he was a member of Jukkis Uotila band from 1987 to 1992, Pekka Pohjola band. Often he also worked with the UMO Jazz Orchestra and the Espoo Big Band as well as the groups Roommushklahn and Suhkan Uhka.
Savolainen composed jazz pieces for various ensembles ranging from solo piano to big band, moreover, drama, dance, television and film scores.
Savolainen died on June 11, 2009 in Helsinki as a result of an illness.
- Jarmo Savolainen Nonet, 1985
- Blue Dreams, 1987
- Loru with make Lievonen, 1988
- Phases with Seppo cantons, 1989
- Songs for solo piano, 1990
- First Sight with Wallace Roney, Rick Margitza, Ron McClure, Billy Hart, 1992
- True Image with Dave Liebman, Sonny Heinilä, Tim Hagans, Ron McClure, Billy Hart, 1995
- Another Story with Tim Hagans, Sonny Heinilä, Anders Jormin, Markku Ounaskari, 1997
- John's Sons with Uffe Krokfors, Markku Ounaskari, 1998
- Grand style with Uffe Krokfors, Markku Ounaskari, Eric Vloeimans, 2000
- Times like thesis with Uffe Krokfors, Markku Ounaskari, Eric Vloeimans, 2002
- Soloduotrio with Sonny Heinilä, Maria Ylipää, 2004
- Songs for trio with Uffe Krokfors, Markku Ounaskari, 2006