Fred Hughes has performed, conducted and presented workshops nationally and internationally for over two 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. 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 at such prestigious jazz festivals as the Newport, Montreux, Nice and North Sea Jazz Festivals.
Hughes has performed with the Kennedy Center Orchestra and 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 Lyric Opera Orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.