Gwen Hughes

Gwen Hughes

 Atlanta, Georgia, USA
BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

"The Love Child of Peggy Lee and Muddy Waters." Merge elegant jazz ...add a dash of big horns when the mood strikes...get barefoot & dirty with the blues when you have to. "Imagine if Cassandra Wilson and Tina Turner somehow combined genetic material..." (Wildy's World)

Biography

Jazz? Pop? Post-modern melodic posturing? Funkified low-carb song styling? Well, you won’t find GWEN HUGHES in the sale bin with Perry Como, that’s for sure. The “love child of Muddy Waters and Peggy Lee” is, in the end, best described as a fusion artist – a fusion of jazz, blues and classic funk. Her bands, THE GLOBAL JAZZ BAND (original groove music) and THE RETRO JAZZ KATS (swing and jazz) blend all these influences seamlessly.

Her first CD, TORCH LIFE (released on FAIRFIELD RECORDS), highlighted this fusion & which birthed her wildly successful “Kool Kat Lounge A-Go-Go” show – replete with cigarette girls, jugglers, comedians and a 14-piece band. Next came two more CDs: the introspective studio recording LOST AND FOUND and a spontaneous, live release, THE MISPLACED MARTINI. Both of her original offerings have had GRAMMY entry, and individual tracks have been recognized by National Public Radio, Just Plain Folks and CDBaby. She's a Chapter Governor of The Recording Academy, working actively to preserve music in the public schools and in American culture. As a multiple winner of BEST JAZZ ARTIST in the region (Creative Loafing Magazine), she is a popular ambassador of the genre.

Along the way, she has crooned from Paris to Prague, collaborated on a film about Elvis impersonators (WE THREE KINGS) , and appeared as a character in a detective novel (DANCING MADE EASY, Dell Books). Her songs have been requested for UK use (Waitrose Stores) and by PBS for their hit series, ROAD TRIP NATION, as well as in the films such as "Blood Ties" and "Jack Satin."

Look for a live album this summer (from THE ELEKTRIK JAZZ label in Eastern Europe) of her annual tours in Europe.

Her latest album, INSTEAD OF LIGHT, brought her together with Drew Young (of Putumayo World Music) and Danny Kopelson (Blue Note mix producer of Cassandra Wilson, Amos Lee, Holly Cole, et al).

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS

Ateliers d'Artistes de Belleville (Paris, France)
A Benefit for the Washington Academy (Casablanca, Morocco)
Jazz Piazza Series (Muggia, Italy)
Opicine-Tabor Series (Trieste, Italy)
410 The Bridge Outreach (Nairobi, Kenya)
Music on the Square (Porec, Croatia)
Lent Festival (Maribor, Slovenia)
Bled Festival of Lights (Bled, Slovenia)
National Jazz Festival (Cakovec, Croatia)
Yellow Nights (Koper, Slovenia)
Jazz Nights (Piran, Slovenia)

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL FESTIVALS

LMNOP Festival (New Orleans, LA)
Georgia Music Week * Georgia Music Hall of Fame (Macon, GA)
Callanwolde Jazz Series (Atlanta)
Sandy Springs “Concerts By The Springs” (Atlanta)
Atlanta Jazz Festival
Thomas A. Dorsey Festival (Villa Rica, GA)
Macon Cherry Blossom Festival (Macon, GA)
Decatur Arts Festival (Decatur, GA)
Reedy River Jazz Festival (Greenville, SC)
Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art
City Stages (Birmingham, AL)
Dogwood Festival (Atlanta)
Atlantis Music Conference
One City, Many Voices (Atlanta) (producer & performer)
Montreaux-Atlanta Music Festival
Jazz Jamboree (Stone Mountain, GA)
The Lake Oconee Jazz & Balloon Festival (Greensboro, GA)
Yellow Daisy Festival (Stone Mountain, GA)
Inman Park Festival (Atlanta)
OysterFest (Atlanta)
Pleasure Island Seafood & Jazz Festival (NC)
Red Wine Festival (Seaside, FL)
Sunset Serenade (Seaside, FL)
Columbus Music Festival (GA)

CONCERT SERIES

GA Council for the Arts “Grass Roots Series”
Hotel Indigo “Live After 5” (Athens, GA)
Georgia Music Hall of Fame “Live After 5!”
Low Country Jazz Concert Series (Hilton Head Island, SC)
Centennial Olympic Park Concert Series
Black Mountain Concert Series (NC)
University of West Georgia Concert Series
Friday Jazz * The High Museum (Atlanta)
Martinis & IMAX * Fernbank Museum of Natural History (Atlanta)
Marietta Concerts on the Square (GA)
Conyers Olde Towne Concerts (GA)

SPECIAL APPEARANCES

The Fox Theatre (Atlanta)
The Rialto Theatre (Atlanta)
The Buckhead Theatre (Atlanta)
The Douglass Theatre (Macon, GA)
The Kodak Theatre (Los Angeles)
Symphony Hall (Atlanta)
ALMAS * Atlanta Local Music Awards
Operation Starting Line (federal penitentiary performance concert)
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Thrashers
NASCAR (Jonesboro, GA)
The Mayflower Hotel (Washington, DC)
The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs,WV)
The Atlantic Philharmonic Orchestra
Atlanta Pops * Peachtree City & Galleria Amphitheatres

CLUB APPEARANCES INCLUDE

Theresa Café (Deutchlandsberg, Austria)
Perla Casino (Nova Gorica, Slovenia)
Da Noi (Piran, Slovenia)
Bluebird Cafe (Nashville)
Opus Cafe (Paris, France)
Rogoz Theatre (Varazdin, Croatia)
Club Zelezna (Prague: Czech Republic)
U Mahelo Glena (Prague: Czech Republic)
Beat Kitchen (Chicago)
Eddie's Attic (Atlanta)
Churchill Grounds (Atlanta)
The Continental (NYC)
Downtime (NYC)
Hannah's (Savannah, GA)
Cafe 290 (Atlanta)
Sambuca Jazz Cafe (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver)
The Links (Cayman Islands)
Elephant Room (Austin, TX)
The Red Room (Ne

Lyrics

Grace Rain Down

Written By: Gwen Hughes (RedWarbler Music, BMI)

Grace Rain Down
(words & music by Gwen Hughes/RedWarbler Music)
Out and Out 70s Funk Rocker, Contemporary Christian

I got the total ammunition for spiritual fruition burning holes right thru my hands
4000 years of teaching the Father's perfect plan
But when I wake up in the morning and I look into the mirror, I amazed to often see
A soul so lost and wondering, drifting in and out and up and down and all around
Worldly philosophy..

CHORUS
Oh Grace...Grace Rain Down
(2nd & 3rd time): (No timetable, no scorecard, no gold star, it's just where you are)
Grace...Grace Rain Down
(2nd & 3rd time): (Rain on us, my Lord, make us all of one accord)
Take the very last of the very best
Make enough room for all the rest and grace...
Grace Rain Down.

Well, I scratch my head at the total watershed idea of grace rainin' on us all
No matter where you been, you got a safety net now in your fall
But the first in line might also be the very first one to wait
While all the others who showed up late get first class seating and expenses paid
And beaming escorts inside...the pearly gates...

CHORUS TO BRIDGE

Well, I'm talking about forgiveness (it's all about)
Forgiveness (it's what I shout)
Forgiveness...it's what we all should give/what we all should live...
(Repeat)

(instrumental break)

We make some legroom in the empty tomb for the others hoping to be saved
Are we the chosen few and if so, who are they?
Well, we work so hard to please ourselves and we call it pleasing God
But our Lord's got it all in place...our help saves us instead of His face...

DRUM BREAKDOWN
...because He's forgiven in a better way
a debt we can never hope to repay
we shout our prayers and we nurse our hurts
we look for favors to put us first
our brother is blessed and so are we
no matter the tenure of our malady
we point our fingers and we list our ills
but our God has paid......all outstanding bills

CHORUS TO BRIDGE

Soft Touch

Written By: Gwen Hughes (RedWarbler Music, BMI)

Soft Touch
(Words & Music by Gwen Hughes/RedWarbler Music)
“Frisky Swing Music with Latin Throwdown at End””

Tell me the way things are – go ahead, you’re right
Play out my destiny, but keep the moment light
You tell me you’re no fool – that you live by one golden rule
You’re the No. 1 man, the dog at the top
But I’ve got a feeling you’re bubble’s gonna pop

CHORUS

I’m the soft touch that you need
The tenderness that you lack
The passion in your playthings
So play me, boy, I like it like that

I’m the soft touch that you need
The balm in your Gilead
The whisper of love in your chaos
The only hope, boy, that you ever had…

Hide away your feelings – go ahead, that’s right
The phone won’t ring, don’t worry, close your fortress tight
Oh, you tell me you are no fool – that you play every moment cool
You’re the No. 1 man, that’s good enough for me
So, darlin’, get a clue, stop this insanity

CHORUS

INSTRUMENTAL W/SCAT

CHORUS

LATIN OUTRO

Did It Really Happen

Written By: Penny Gibson

Did It Really Happen
Or was it in my head
did he really kiss me, or did I make it up instead
the night seemed misty or was I just asleep
well, dream or not I know that when he held me I fell deeply into his arms
into his charms
oh, did I fall in love

Did it really happen, oh I can't conceive
did he really kiss me, was it something I just dreamed
there's no use praying
coz I'm already gone
my heart has just been aching for that boy way too long
did I dream the sweetness of his kiss
and that I fell in love...

Discography

5 Recordings (Fairfield Records)

Torch Life
Lost and Found
Misplace Martini
Instead of Light
Big Kids Jazz (digital release only)

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Set List

Set List is always determined by the gig: Outdoor festival? Intimate crowd? Do they prefer covers or originals? Is dancing important, or are they just there to listen? Always a mix of original songs and covers done in an original way.

A typical set contains elements to satisfy all of the above, as per the following:

1. Come to Me (orig.)
2. The One Who Fooled Them All (orig.)
3. You're so Good at Loving Me (orig)
4. There Is No Greater Love (jazz standard)
5. Well You Needn't (offbeat jazz standard)
6. I Wish (w/tuba) (Stevie Wonder tune)
7. Dixieland tune (New Orleans-ish)
8. Giant Step (cover, rustic jazz)
9. Whole Lotta Love/You Need Love (weird jazz into blues)
10. Mean Old Bedbug Blues (bump n' grind blues)
11. So & So (obscure jazz cover)

(...if you want the Horn Band, we'll throw in some Glenn Miller, Earth Wind & Fire and some original Big Band tunes of Gwen's, too)