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Peter Van Huffel

Berlin-based Canadian saxophonist Peter Van Huffel has been noted as "one of the most intense performers on this instrument" by Raul d'Gama Rose of All About Jazz.

About Me

”Saxophonist Peter Van Huffel may be one of the most intense performers on this instrument,” says Raul d'Gama Rose of All About Jazz. He has played an active role in many of the world’s top jazz scenes, having held multiple performances in major music cities such as New York, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and London; and he has led numerous tours across Europe, the US and his native Canada. Steve Smith of Time Out New York has referred to Peter as “a compelling melodist with a fiery outward- bound streak and a penchant for layering opposed rhythms in quirky, compelling ways...” and in a review of 2008’s HuffLiGNoN, Wilbur MacKenzie of All About Jazz NY, said that “Van Huffel’s playing... is richly nuanced, with melody and texture seamlessly integrated to create colorful and evocative statements.” A prolific saxophonist, clarinetist and composer, Peter Van Huffel appears frequently in all sorts of ensembles and musical settings with musicians from around the world. He is the leader of the energy-packed hard-rock/free-jazz trio GORILLA MASK, (with bassist Roland Fidezius and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner), which has been together since 2009 and has performed at some of the most recognized music venues in Europe. They released their first official CD, “HOWL!”, in November 2012 on the renowned German avant- jazz label “Between the Lines Records”, and have received multiple rave reviews for the recording from across Europe, the US, Canada and Japan. GORILLA MASK will be touring through multiple countries in Europe over the coming year, and has plans for a cross Canada tour in summer 2013. Peter also co-leads the Berlin based ensemble House of Mirrors with Belgian vocalist Sophie Tassignon: a chamber style group - also featuring pianist Julie Sassoon and bassist Miles Perkin - which will release it's first CD in March, 2013 on the German label “Wizmar Records” - a division of NRW Jazz. The music of House of Mirrors covers an eclectic array of musical spectrums, including influences from 20th century composers like Ligeti and Messaein, exploratory improvisations and cleverly unpredictable songs. This recent formation is a follow-up to Peter's original collaborative with Tassignon - HuffLiGNoN (with bassist Michael Bates and trombonist Samuel Blaser) - which released it's debut album on “Clean Feed Records” in 2008, and which received multiple rave reviews including a Disque d'Émoi from France's Jazz Magazine - one of the magazine's top monthly mentions. HuffLiGNoN also held performances in New York and around Canada, and completed three extensive tours in Europe between 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Peter developed an international quartet featuring musicians from all over the globe who came together in Berlin and Cologne to record Peter's second disc for Fresh Sound Records, “Like the Rusted Key”. In 2010, this international quartet, (featuring New York pianist Jesse Stacken, bassist Miles Perkin, and Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer), followed the release of their critically acclaimed CD - which received over 50 reviews world-wide including a “Best of 2010” listing, and many honourable mentions - with a series of four tours across Europe and the entire length of Canada, including performances at four of Canada's top jazz festivals. Previously, Peter led the New York based PVH Quintet with Jesse Stacken, Scott DuBois, Michael Bates and Jeff Davis during his 2002-08 NYC residency. The group held regular performances at such New York staples as the 55 Bar, The Tea Lounge and the Cornelia Street Café, and toured Canada frequently. They can be heard on Peter’s 2007 Fresh Sound Records release, “Silvester Battlefield” and on their 2005 independent release “On Common Ground”. In addition to his principle projects, Peter co-leads the Berlin based trio “The Scrambled EX” with legendary German guitarist Andreas Willers and drummer Oliver Steidle; he is also co-leader of a New York based trio featuring Jeff Davis and Michael Bates, which will be recording a new CD in 2013 for Fresh Sound Records; and he is a member the Andy Schofield woodwind Quartet, and the most recent addition to the new Scott Fields’ Freetet led by the Cologne-based American guitarist. He also hosts the intermittent “Carte Blanche” series at Berlin's Cafe Tasso, for which he created the game piece Glückspiel - an improvied card game for six musicians based loosely on the works of John Zorn. In addition to Peter’s extensive discography as a bandleader, he can be heard on the 2006 release by the collaborative New York trio ANIMAL FORUM, two discs by NYC based guitarist Lily Maase, and a re-scored DVD/CD release of the Buster Keaton film “Steamboat Bill Jr.” by American guitarist Dan Nettles. For more information on Peter Van Huffel, please visit www.petervanhuffel.com

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