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Peter Van Huffel is a Belgian-Canadian saxophonist and composer living in Berlin, Germany. His primary project, the thrash-jazz trio GORILLA MASK with bassist Roland Fidezius and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner, has been active since 2009 and has toured extensively across Europe and Canada since its inception. GORILLA MASK released their debut CD “HOWL!” in 2012 on the German label “Between the Lines”, and has since released four succeeding albums with the acclaimed Portuguese label Clean Feed Records: “Bite My Blues” (2014, CD), “Iron Lung” (2017, CD & LP), “Brain Drain” (2019, CD & 180g LP) and “Mind Raid” (2022, CD). 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 bass-less quartet “Callisto” featuring himself only on Baritone saxophone (as opposed to his traditional alto) and live horn-effects processing. The band also features fellow Canadian trumpeter Lina Allemano, Greek pianist and electronics artist Antonis Anissegos and German drummer Joe Hertenstein. Callisto’s first performance took place in 2021 and in October 2022 the band recorded at their debut album at the famous Hansa Studios in Berlin. A release of the recording is expected in late 2022 or early 2023. 

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 nearly six year 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” including “Inside Voices” and “Outside Choices” (2015) and “The October Book” (2022); the Meinrad Kneer Quintet’s “Oneirology” (2015, JazzHausMusik); and his debut CD from 2003, “Mind Over Matter” featuring his early Toronto-based ensemble.

Aside from his self-led projects, Van Huffel actively performs with the Meinrad Kneer Quintet, Sophie Tassignon’s Arabic themed project “Khyal”, and can be heard in numerous collaborations with musicians such as Yorgos Dimitriadis, Richard Scott, Ignaz Schick, Tasos Savvopoulos, Simon Jermyn, Jonathan Lindhorst, and Michael Griener amongst many others.

(Updated 7.03.2023)