James Hughes James Hughes

James is a Detroit-based saxophonist, composer and educator. He has been performing professionally for since 1997. He has been on jazz faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp since 2007.

James has recorded with the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, Keith Vreeland, Bobby Streng's House Big Band, Melvin Davis, The Paul Keller Orchestra, Ed Nuccilli & Plural Circle, Alyssa Chirco, 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. He has two recordings of his own, co-lead with Jimmy Smith, titled FROM HERE ON OUT and EVER UP & ONWARD.


Selmer MKVI Alto, E Soloist; Selmer SBA Tenor, Claude Lakey Apollo 7; Yanigisawa 991 Soprano, Bari 66


“James Hughes revealed a supple technical command on alto saxophone...” Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press 9/6/2010

“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

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


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.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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.


Albums by James Hughes

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