Grace Hughes is an accomplished singer and songwriter who has performed in the U.S. and overseas. For several years, she has been the lead female vocalist for The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, now in its 37th season. The jazz orchestra, founded and lead by Mark Harvey, was the winner of the national Independent Music Award in 2000 for best jazz recording and was the 2008 first runner up in the Phoenix/FNX Best Music Poll.
Grace has shared her gift of song around the U.S. and overseas, including at the Regattabar at the Charles Hotel, Scullers Jazz Club, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, churches, community centers, and universities. Grace recently performed with her quartet, The Grace Hughes Quartet, at a fundraising event to support Roz Savage, who is "paddling the Pacific, rowing towards a greener world, one stroke at a time" to become the first woman to row solo from California to the Kiribati Islands.
In addition to performing, Grace has received awards for her dynamic vocals and songwriting abilities. In June 2003, Grace won the prestigious Next New England Singing Competition and performed the National Anthem at Fenway Park, home of the 2007 World Series Champions. In 2005, Grace won top prize in a national competition, The WRA Song Competition, sponsored by the Alpha Music Group, in conjunction with the Oberlin College Conservatory, for her song, “Pennies on the Ground”, which she co-wrote with Bob Yen Jr. The competition sought songs that addressed peace, love, community and speaking out against violence, war, or hate.
In 2008, Grace released her debut album, Right At Home, which is a collection of songs influenced by her love for music including gospel, soul, jazz and blues. "With her first CD, ‘RIGHT AT HOME,’ she shows a versatile singing style and wide emotional range that will be sure to delight listeners across many genres of contemporary music. Whether softly sensitive or powerfully exuberant, Grace knows how to deliver the essential meaning of words and music to maximum effect." Review of Right At Home CD by Mark Harvey, bandleader of The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra.
In addition to her own debut album, Grace was a featured soloist on The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra’s 9th CD entitled, No Walls/A Christmas Concert. She was also a featured soloist on The New England Conservatory Gospel Choir 2008 Recital Concert CD.
Grace Hughes- Vocals
Band varies, but instruments often include:
Keyboard, Drums, Guitar, and Bass.
EP- "Pennies on the Ground" Apr. 20, 2007
Album- "Right At Home" Aug. 11, 2008
Review Of "Right At Home" CD
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Grace Hughes has arrived! With her first CD, "RIGHT AT HOME," she shows a versatile singing style a...Grace Hughes has arrived! With her first CD, "RIGHT AT HOME," she shows a versatile singing style and wide emotional range that will be sure to delight listeners across many genres of contemporary music. Whether softly sensitive or powerfully exuberant, Grace knows how to deliver the essential meaning of words and music to maximum effect.
From smooth pop balladry to relaxed reggae to light rock feels, the sounds here are all elegant and rhythmically engaging. Prayerful meditations of gratitude and remembrance
are complemented by infectious Gospel treatments of classics like "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Her own original compositions, including the title track, and "Pennies on the Ground," co-written with Bob Yen, provide a wonderful window on her inner musical soul.
Joined by a superb band, anchored by keyboardist and co-producer John Funkhouser, Grace Hughes has put together a terrific CD. This recording deserves a wide hearing
and will repay listeners many times over by making them feel "Right at Home."
Music Director, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra
Pennies On The Ground Song Review
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Grace Hughes….what a soothing combination of gospel, R&B and jazz. She cites her childhood growing...Grace Hughes….what a soothing combination of gospel, R&B and jazz. She cites her childhood growing up singing gospel in church along with being influenced by contemporary artists such as Duran Duran, Michael Jackson and Bonnie Raitt. The song she co-wrote with Bob Yen, “Pennies On The Ground” has a solid, classic R&B feel with a cool retro vibe that brings to mind that 70’s soul sound…… her smooth vocals are straight and to the point while emotionally connecting with the lyrical message. Thematically, this song is a poignant and deeply self-reflective piece that addresses those times in our lives when we’ve walked away, ignored or just have had trouble acknowledging individuals that are in some type of challenging life situation. It by no means makes the listener feel guilty, but rather inspired to see beauty and strength in those who are dealing with hardship and suffering…and not taking for granted the things you have in your life.
The brilliant comparison of the “penny” to a person who is either homeless, destitute or in some other crisis strengthens the reality behind the song’s message. – to not judge people from what we see on the outside and demonstrate compassion when we have an opportunity to assist those in our communities or in the world that are in need. ”Pennies On The Ground” allows us to see our own potential to create peace in our communities and in the world……I suggest you get on board Grace Hughes’ one way train to UTOPIA.
Right At Home CD Review
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Grace Hughes brings a youthful freshness along with a Gospel influenced fervency to her vocals. This...Grace Hughes brings a youthful freshness along with a Gospel influenced fervency to her vocals. This is a great combination, providing enough color to each of the varied selections to make you listen—and when you do, you'll be delighted, entertained and have your spirit moved all at the same time.
Chair, Songwriting Department
Berklee College of Music
Taxi Review of Right At Home
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Cohesive, rhymes well, and vocal helps to sell the song! Well-written structure and good music in ve...Cohesive, rhymes well, and vocal helps to sell the song! Well-written structure and good music in verses and choruses. Warm, appealing vocal sound and approach. "It had an enjoyable lilt to it and a smooth, consistent groove, which the vocals "rode" nicely."
For a jazz gig, I usually do standards and compositions.
Otherwise, my set includes all of my original songs and all of the songs released on my debut album, "Right At Home." Genres include soul, gospel, jazz, inspirational, and light reggae.
Song list for "Right At Home":
One Belief Away
Right At Home
Pennies On The Ground
How Could I Ask For More
Lay Down And Rest Your Soul
Up Where We Belong
Something To Talk About
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
There are no upcoming dates at this time.