Phone: (410) 703-0755
Copyright Fred Hughes 2023
Fred began studying keyboards and low brass at the age of 8 and by age 12 was a member of Local 294 of the
American Federation of Musicians in his hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He performed alongside his
father in the New Holland and Bainbridge Bands on tuba and in his dad’s jazz group on organ. Professional
performances continued with his own organ trio until graduating from high school.
In 1979, Fred enlisted in the United States Army and upon advancing out of the Armed Forces
School of Music, was assigned as a tuba player in the First Army Band at Fort George G. Meade,
Maryland. His keyboard prowess soon had him playing in the duty combo, show band and big
band with the First Army Band as well as an organ trio in his off-duty time in the
Baltimore/Washington area. He also performed with the UMBC Jazz Ensemble, under the
direction of Ron Diehl, playing with such guest artists as Al Cohn and Ashley Alexander.
From concerts, recordings and military service in Seoul, Korea to jazz festivals as a Jazz Ambassador; conducting orchestras across the United States
as a musical director to recording and producing records as a pianist and leader of his own group; Fred Hughes has had a long and varied musical
1981 to 1985 was a period of tremendous opportunity for Fred, not only as a member of the Eighth Army Band in
Seoul, Korea, but numerous performance opportunities in his free time. As a soldier-musician, he was rising
quickly up the ranks, reaching the rank of staff sergeant. His responsibilities included leader of the duty combo,
show band, and big band for the Eighth Army Band as well as operations non-commissioned officer; overseeing the
booking of the organization.
In his off-duty time, Seoul was becoming a hotbed of jazz activity and Fred was performing almost
every night of the week by the time he left Korea. His group, Just Friends, had recorded six albums for
the Oasis/EMI label and had become popular across the Korean Peninsula; performing for sold-out
houses and to live radio and television audiences. It was through these performance opportunities
that Fred had the honor of being chosen to serve as the rehearsal conductor and jazz coach for the
MBC Pops Orchestra.
Returning to his native Lancaster in 1985, Fred began performing extensively in a piano trio setting with the
group Alternative. Alternative, which included Harrisburg legend Sammy Banks on drums and the formidable
J.J. Wiggins, now Hassan Shakur on bass. Alternative was in demand in the Central Pennsylvania area and was
the house band at what is now the Eden Resort Inn in Lancaster.
In 1989, Fred reentered the military joining the United States Army’s premier touring jazz ensemble, the Jazz
Ambassadors. As pianist and soloist for the Jazz Ambassadors, he performed in all fifty states, Canada,
Mexico, Japan, and Europe; with jazz greats Arturo Sandoval, Ed Shaughnessy, Allen Vizzutti and Toots
Thielemans; and at such prestigious jazz festivals as the Newport, Montreux, Nice and North Sea Jazz
Fred left the Jazz Ambassadors in 1996 and the Fred Hughes Trio released their first recording, Out Of The
Blue, in December of that year. Although the Fred Hughes Trio had gotten its start in the jazz clubs of
Washington, DC in 1989, it wasn’t until 1996 that the group began to flourish with performances at the 1996
Summer Olympics, the Elkhart, Rehoboth, and Cape May jazz festivals as well as becoming the rhythm section
for groups including the Vaughn Nark Quintet and Tim Eyermann’s East Coast Offering.
The Trio has performed with such artists as Claudio Roditi, Jon Fedchock, Warren Vache and Larry
Coryell and the group's recordings include Out Of The Blue (1996), Live! (1998), No Turning Back (2001),
New Day Dawning (2006), In The Mist (2012), Love Letters (2015), I'll Be Home For Christmas (2015)
which received 5 Stars from Amazon.com, 3 ½ stars from Downbeat and garnered considerable radio
airplay; finishing out 2015 in the number 5 slot on the CMJ Jazz Radio Chart, and Matrix (2016) which
spent 5 weeks in the #1 spot on the Top 50 Jazz Album Chart at Roots Music Report and finished 2017
in the Top 5 of the Roots Music Report's Top Jazz Albums for 2017. The Trio has a DVD, In Concert
(2002), released by GMC in the Republic of Korea. A sampling of the groups performing credentials
includes the East Coast, Clifford Brown and Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festivals, tours to the Republic of Korea in
2001 and 2002, and clubs and concert venues from Toronto to Orlando.
In 2002, Fred became the musical supervisor and conductor for Three Mo’ Tenors who later became Cook, Dixon
and Young. In this role, he directed the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Atlanta and Grand Rapids Symphony
Orchestras, Washington and Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as many
contracted orchestras on shows across the United States. 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.
Fred was Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd College and 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. He has conducted numerous county, state and regional honors groups
including the Maryland All State Jazz Band and the MENC All-Eastern Honors Jazz Ensemble. His book, The Jazz
Pianist: Left Hand Voicings and Chord Theory is published by Alfred Publications.
In 2019, Fred founded Jazz Alive, a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation based on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Jazz
Alive is dedicated to the continuation and preservation of jazz, America’s indigenous art form, and was created
to bring this great music to audiences and students who have little to no opportunity to hear and learn from
the genre’s great practitioners. Jazz Alive is committed to presenting concerts, school assemblies, master
classes, and school residencies in under-served communities that may be off jazz touring routes, lack jazz
presenters, or have little funding for jazz events.
Fortunate to have many great teachers and mentors in his life including his father, Ben Iannone, Al Hermanns, Bill Horn and Kenny Werner; Fred’s
experiences as a young apprentice in the community and professional organizations of Lancaster County Pennsylvania provided the opportunity
and training that shaped him into the musician he is today. Whether house pianist at the Willard Hotel (2005 to 2008) and Gaylord National
Resort (2008 - 2011), conductor of community groups like the Chesapeake Bay Community Band (2004 - 2015), his newest appointment as
director of the Columbia Jazz Band (2017 - present), or performances on stages around the world; Fred brings his years of experience on the
bandstand to every musical opportunity.
Download Fred’s Bio
Download Fred’s Short Bio
The Fred Hughes Trio
Originating in the jazz clubs of Washington, DC, the Fred Hughes Trio has been performing, recording and presenting clinics and
workshops since 1989 and brings over three decades of musical experience to the stage. A sampling of the groups performing
credentials includes the Elkhart, Rehoboth, Cape May, East Coast, Clifford Brown and Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festivals, the 1996 Summer
Olympics and tours to the Republic of Korea in 2001 and 2002.
Hughes, Simonson & Taylor
With each artist having careers ranging from classical music to blues, pop, R & B, and straight-ahead jazz; pianist Fred Hughes, bassist
James Simonson & percussionist David Taylor bring all these influences together to create a style of jazz that respects the past all the
while pushing beyond the present. From unique takes on the jazz standards, lesser-known gems from some of the art form's greatest
practitioners, with some originals thrown in the mix - - Hughes, Simonson & Taylor create a program that reflects the complexity of this
great American art form.