Fred Hughes has performed, conducted and presented workshops nationally and internationally for over three decades. His early training includes keyboards and low brass in community bands and jazz ensembles across his home state of Pennsylvania. By age 25, Fred had long been recognized as an up and coming conductor and world class jazz pianist for his work with the First Army Band, Fort Meade, Maryland and the Eighth Army Band in Seoul, Korea.
In 1981, Fred formed the jazz group Just Friends and recorded six albums for Oasis/EMI Records in Seoul, Korea. Just Friends performed for sold out houses and to live radio and television broadcasts throughout the Korean Peninsula. During the same period, Fred served as the rehearsal conductor and jazz coach for the MBC Pops Orchestra in Seoul, Korea.
Fred returned to his native Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1985 and performed throughout the eastern U.S. with his jazz trio, Alternative, before joining the United States Army’s premier touring jazz ensemble, the Jazz Ambassadors. As pianist and soloist for the Jazz Ambassadors, Hughes performed in all fifty states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Europe and at such prestigious jazz festivals as the Newport, Montreux, Nice and North Sea Jazz Festivals.
An avid educator, Fred has taught at the middle and high school levels and was Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd College. He has presented workshops and clinics at conferences for the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA), Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA) and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. His book, The Jazz Pianist: Left Hand Voicings and Chord Theory is published by Alfred Publications.
Hughes has performed with the Baltimore and Chicago Symphony Orchestras as well as jazz greats Claudio Roditi, Al Cohn, Arturo Sandoval, Roy Hargrove, Bill Watrous, and Toots Thielemans. As a conductor, he has directed the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Atlanta and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras, Washington and Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was musical director for the Three Mo’ Tenors.
Fred’s compositions appear on numerous recordings including the Fred Hughes Band’s New Day Dawning, the Fred Hughes Trio recordings Out Of The Blue, Live, No Turning Back and In Concert as well as Ricky Loza’s My Dream and the Pete BarenBregge/Frank Russo Quartet recordings PF Flyer and Point Of Grace. His orchestrations and arrangements can be heard on the Cook, Dixon and Young PBS Great Performances Television Special Cook, Dixon and Young – In Concert as well as a compact disc of the performance distributed by RCA Victor titled Cook, Dixon and Young Volume One.
In addition to maintaining a busy performance schedule, Hughes is the conductor of the Chesapeake Bay Community Band.