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John Hughes

J. Hughes (Michael Wassenberg).jpg


John Hughes began his career as a bassist in Baltimore, MD in 1993, working primarily in the bands of the saxophonist John Dierker. In 1998, John moved to Hamburg, Germany and has been performing, composing, and organizing platforms for the presentation of Jazz and free improvised music since his arrival.

John Hughes (Babette Brandenberg).jpg

John organized the Phenomorphonic Festival in 2004, and the concert series Echolot (with Heinz Erich Gödecke and Björn Lücker) from 2009-2010, Creative Improvised Music in the Gängeviertel (with Björn Lücker) from 2011-2013, and Multiphonics Hamburg (with Rolf Pifnitzka, Björn Lücker, Dirk Dhonau, and Chad Popple) from 2014- 2018, for which he was awarded the “Club Award for best Veranstalter” in 2016 from the Club Kombinat Hamburg. John has presented large ensembles, compositions and conceptional works as an organizer at the Blurred Edges festival for the previous seven years. John is currently presenting the monthly concert series Audible Instances at Westwerk.


Together with the percussionist Chad Popple and pianist Jörg Hochapfel, John has played in countless ensembles and bands, including the Sun Ra tribute band Rocket Number Nine and the piano trio Hosho. Together with pianist Marte Winnitzki and drummer Björn Lücker, John also plays in Winntizki/Hughes Lücker play MONK, a piano trio dedicated to realizing the brilliant compositions of Thelonious Monk.

John’s current musical activities are numerous, featuring the bands Hosho (with Jörg Hochapfel and Chad Popple), and Gravelshard (with Olaf Rupp, Luis Vicente, and Vasco Trilla).

Furthermore, John plays in duo with Olaf Rupp, Camila Nebbia, Chad Popple, Chris Heenan, and Tobias Delius, trios with Ove Volquartz and Björn Lücker, with Rudi Fischerlehner and Martin Speicher, with Frank Gratkowski and Chad Popple, and with Heinz-Erich Gödecke and Willi Kellers.


As a sideman, John is currently working sporadically with Heinz-Erich Gödecke’s Eisenrot and with Hannes Claus’s band SLOT. As a collaborator, in the band Psyladellic (with Frank Paul Schubert, Jan Hellwig, and Chad Popple), with Andrew Raffo Dewar and Chad Popple, and with numerous ensembles with the saxophonist Camila Nebbia.


In 2011 John began teaching bass at private music schools and giving jazz workshops for professional musicians with disabilities at the Barner 16, a workplace funded by the Alsterdorf foundation. In the summer of 2021, John was able to include musicians from the Barner 16 in collaborations with professional musicians at the concert series multiphonics - trifft Barner 16!, funded and presented within the Kultursommer Hamburg.


John lives in Hamburg with his family, composes music for double bass, piano and various Ensembles, or for specific locations with spectacular or unique acoustic properties.


2024© John Hughes. All rights reserved.

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