Huw enjoyed singing as a child, and considers seeing a rerun of Harry Belafonte's appearance on the Muppet Show (see the video on the left) to be one of his first big musical influences.
He began playing tenor saxophone at age 11 without any prior formal training in music, and within a few years was awarded his school's music scholarship, which he used to purchase a soprano saxophone. He was active in school ensembles of various kinds, including pit orchestras for musicals, and became very interested in jazz. Initially inspired by swing legends of the genre such as Glen Miller's and Count Basie's big bands, and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, Huw's interest gradually expanded to include the innovators of jazz as an art music, including John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Ornate Coleman among others. During the last few years of his pre-university education, he was a leading figure in the regional schools' musical community, as a member and soloist of ensembles and a student-organized jazz quartet.
Huw finished his formal musical training as a saxophonist in 2000 at Leeds College of Music, an institute known for it's affiliations with jazz, and moved to Paris. There he turned his focus to the clarinet, which he had begun playing to become a member of the LCM's Duke Ellington Repertory Orchestra. During this time he also studied with soprano saxophonist and jazz innovator Steve Lacy., who had had a big influence on his approach to both music and improvisation.
Since 2002, Huw has been living in Tokyo, where he has established himself as a respected member of both the musical and music education communities. In 2011 he heard the contrabass clarinet properly for the first time (see video on the right) and developed a fascination for the instrument. Buying one for himself, he has adapted it to his own purposes, initially in The Lacy Foundation, a group dedicated to the compositions of Steve Lacy. Since then, Huw has also used the contrabass clarinet in duo with vocalist Anna Mackie and vocalist/drummer Same Bennett, in projects of his own compositions, in unique quartet NOUON, and in the PopJazz Quartet, which adapts classic and modern pop music into a more improvised context. Exploring the unique nature of the contrabass clarinet in different musical contexts has become Huw's primary focus of performance, though he has continued to play the usual clarinet and occasionally saxophone in jazz contexts, and with New Orleans ensemble King Cake Baby.
He has also expanded his educational activities beyond private lessons on saxophone and clarinet to include improvisation on any instrument, and has devised the workshop/composition Music for Humans, which gives the untrained musician a chance to experience the joy of communal music-making.
Huw's plans for the future include expanding the scope of his educational activities and bringing his personal understanding of music as it is today to a wider audience, particularly through the use of the contrabass clarinet.