Primary Instrument: Saxophone
James is a Detroit-based saxophonist, composer and educator. He has been performing professionally for nineteen years and teaching for more than twenty. He has taught jazz the last seven years at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and has recorded with the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, Keith Vreeland, Bobby Streng's House Big Band, and Carl Cafagna's North Star Sextet. He has performed with Dave Liebman, Jimmy Heath, Lew Tebakin, Richie Cole, Arturo Sandoval, Kurt Elling, Jerry Bergonzi, Aretha Franklin, and Josh Groban. His debut recording co-lead with Jimmy Smith FROM HERE ON OUT is now for sale.
Awards:Presidential Scholarship, Wayne State University 1993 Outstanding Collegiate Soloist, 1997 Detroit Jazz Festival Composition Competition Winner, Wayne State 2007, 2008
“From Here On Out...contains original compositions reflecting the unique and special sound of Detroit jazz. Joy, tenderness, hope, boldness and youthful curiosity...Jimmy Smith and James Hughes have added to our appreciation of local music with From Here On Out and will do so for years to come.” Linda Yohn - WEMU
“The only thing The HSQ concern themselves with is making the music swing. They deliver and then some on From Here On Out.” Al Campbell - allmusic.com
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
I can help develop comprehensive practice routines where time is used effectively. Technique, tone production, rhythmic internalization, theory, harmony, and arranging skills are stressed. I approach students with respect and take a real interest in their musical lives.
I demonstrate the process of learning and internalizing the harmony of a song to jazz students. I also work with saxophone sections and explore the history and variety of big band section sounds, including techniques of articulation, vibrato and phrasing.