© Juliana Stankiewicz

Peter Van Huffel is a Belgian-Canadian saxophonist and composer living in Berlin, Germany since 2008. His primary project, the thrash-jazz trio GORILLA MASK has toured extensively across Europe and Canada since its inception in 2009 and has released a total of five albums, four of those with the acclaimed Portuguese label Clean Feed Records and the first – “HOWL!” (2012) – with Between the Lines from Germany. Each of GORILLA MASK’s releases has received rave reviews, as well as honourable mentions and features in radio and print media around the world. Most recently, Van Huffel has formed the bassless quartet “CALLISTO” which features himself on Baritone saxophone and live horn-effects processing, as well as fellow Canadian trumpeter Lina Allemano, Greek pianist and electronics artist Antonis Anissegos and German drummer Joe Hertenstein. The band’s debut album, “Meandering Demons” – recorded at the famous Hansa Studios in Berlin – was released by Clean Feed Records in March 2024.

Aside from his self-led projects, Van Huffel actively performs with the Meinrad Kneer Quintet, Kellen Mills’ TRYON, Anastasios Savvopoulos’s “Resurrection City” and many collaborative projects such the improvised trio “Van Huffel/Kneer/Dimitriadis” which will be releasing their first album on Evil Rabbit Records in 2024. Peter is also currently developing a solo project for saxophone and electronics. He has been developing his use of electronics and digital effects within the context of many bands since 2015, and began conceptualising a solo project during the Corona pandemic. In 2023, Peter spent five weeks at the Foundation Obras artist residencies in Alentejo, Portugal further developing his skills and concept for this solo work.

Notable past projects include Van Huffel’s Berlin-based international Octet, active from 2017 to 2019; “HuffLiGnoN” and “House of Mirrors” – two chamber style groups co-led by Van Huffel and Belgian singer Sophie Tassignon; the Berlin based collaborative trio “The Scrambling EX” with legendary German guitarist Andreas Willers and drummers Oliver Steidle (2013-15) and Devin Gray (2016-19); the Berlin duo “KRONIX” with guitarist Alex Maksymiw; the New-York based trio “BOOM CRANE”, featuring bassist Michael Bates and drummer Jeff Davis; and an international quartet formed in 2009 for the recording of the critically acclaimed release on Fresh Sound Records, “Like the Rusted Key”. Featuring New York pianist Jesse Stacken, Canadian bassist Miles Perkin, and Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer, the quartet followed the album’s release with four extensive tours across Europe and a tour of the Canadian Jazz Festivals in 2010.

In addition, Van Huffel led a stellar quintet during his residency in New York City (2002-08) featuring pianist Jesse Stacken, guitarist Scott DuBois, bassist Michael Bates and drummer Jeff Davis. The group held regular performances at such New York staples as the 55 Bar and the Cornelia Street Café, and toured frequently in Canada. They can be heard on Peter’s 2007 Fresh Sound Records release, “Silvester Battlefield” and on their 2005 independent release “On Common Ground”. Additionally, he can be heard on the 2007 release by the New York trio ANIMAL FORUM; two discs by NYC based guitarist Lily Maase; a re-scored re-release of the Buster Keaton film “Steamboat Bill Jr.” by guitarist Dan Nettles as well as a number of other albums by Nettles’ band “Kenosha Kid” such as “Inside Voices” and “Outside Choices” (2015) and “The October Book” (2022); the Meinrad Kneer Quintet’s “Oneirology” (2015, JazzHausMusik) and “Der Zweite Streich” (2023, Jazzwerkstatt); and his debut CD from 2003, “Mind Over Matter” featuring his early Toronto-based ensemble.

Amongst many others, Peter has performed with: Richard Scott, Ignaz Schick, Lina Allemano, Sophie Tassignon’s KHYAL, Simon Jermyn, Julie Sasoon, Michael Griener, Chris Potter, Clarence Penn, Michael Bates, Scott DuBois, Tobias Delius, Frank Gratkowski, Gebhard Ullmann, Samuel Blaser, Devin Gray, Dan Nettles, Michael Attias, Michael Blake, Thomas Morgan, Tom Rainey and Nate Wooley. 

To date Peter has released a total of sixteen albums as a leader and co-leader.