Huu Bac was born in Vietnam from parents of Chinese/Vietnamese descent. His family moved to Canada when he was 2. His musical journey started in Montreal, at McGill University, with a sound foundation in jazz guitar. In 2002, he discovered the beauty of the Vietnamese monochord, the Dan Bau, under the guidance of master Pham Duc Thanh. In 2003, an international study grant lead him to the Shanghai Conservatory where he learned the chinese fidlle, the Erhu, which he later perfected at Beijing Central Conservatory with professor Yang Xue and additional private lessons from master Chen Yaoxing.
Back in Montreal in 2006, an encounter with renown Peruvian composer Lucho Quequezana lead him perform in Peru with the group Sonidos Vivos. Huu Bac’s intimate contact with afro-peruvian music and music from the Andes became a source of inspiration in his artistic journey, and lead him to learn the Andean bambo flute, the Quena.
From 2009 to 2015, he collaborated twice with the Cirque du Soleil, recording for the shows “Totem” and “Toruk”. He also recorded for “Canotgraphie”, a show by artistic director Robert Lepage. In 2010, he distinguished himself as finalist for the “Montreal Arts Council Diversity Award”. As a composer, he has been continuously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Quebec Council for the Arts and Montreal Arts Council.
Nourrished by his travels and encounters, he dedicates himself to the composition and performance of a present day jazz music blending eastern and western colours, expressing his asian cultural heritage in the North American backdrop.
In 2013, he founded the Huu Bac Quintet, which has since toured in Canada, the USA, China and Korea. They garnered various awards : “RIDEAU/ROSEQ Award 2014”, “Entrées en Scène Loto-Québec 2015-16”, “Stingray Rising Stars Award 2015”, “MUZ Public Choice Award 2016”, and a nomination for “Montreal International Jazz Festival TD Grand Jazz Award 2017”.
His first album as a composer/multi-instrumentalist, “On the Steps of St-Paul’s”, was released in November 2017.