Born in Altona, Manitoba, Canada on December 31, 1975, Karl began playing the drums at the age of 7. As a teenager in Brandon, Manitoba, he studied with local drummer Doug Sullivan who introduced him to jazz and allowed the young drummer to sit in on his gigs. In 1993 Karl moved to Montreal where he attended McGill University and in 1997 completed a Bachelor of Music degree with High Distinction. While enrolled at McGill Karl studied with drummers Peter Magadini, Chris McCann and André White and composition with Jan Jarczyck, Kevin Dean and Joe Sullivan.
Receiving grants from the Canada and Quebec Arts councils in 1999, Karl moved to New York for nine months to study with drummer Tom Rainey.
Karl has become one of the top call drummers in France since his move to Paris in 2001. At the age of 36, Karl has performed and/ or recorded with Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Randy Brecker, Sheila Jordan, Louie Bellson, Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Hays, Ben Monder, Peter Bernstein, David Binney, Seamus Blake, Michel Donato, François Bourassa, François Théberge, Ingrid Jensen, Bojan Z, Christine Jensen, Joel Miller, Brad Turner, David Linx, Stephane Belmondo, Laurent Coq, Jacky Terrason, François Moutin, Rick Margitza, Nicolas Folmer, David El Malek, Baptiste Trotignon, Sophie Alour, Niels Lan Doky, Paolo Fresu, Pierre DeBethmann, and Sara Lazarus.
As a teacher, Karl has been on the teaching staff at the Jazz in Marciac workshop since 2005. He has been a jury member for the Conservatoire de Marseille and since 2007 has given masterclasses at the Centre des Musiques Didier Lockwood (CMDL) and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSMDP) in Paris.
Karl can be heard on over sixty recordings as a sideman. His first release as a leader, “Liberating Vines” (FND 042) received an Opus award for “Jazz and World Music Record of the Year”. In 2004 Karl’s composition “House of 100 Faces” was awarded the CBC Etoiles Galaxie prize for most original composition at the Montréal International Jazz Festival. His second cd “Thinking in Colours” (Effendi & Cristal record labels) released in 2008, received rave reviews from the critics. His much awaited third cd as a leader, “Streaming”, was released in April 2010 under the label of the new collective, Paris Jazz Underground, in which Karl is one of the founding members. The cd is comprised of ten of the drummer’s original compositions and features Canadian vocalist Sienna Dahlen. "The Halfway Tree", his latest opus, continues his collaboration with Sienna and is comprised of eleven new original compositions.