Gwen Hughes
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Gwen Hughes

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter

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"ON STAGE..."

"Seated at a side table with a crowd of rockers…I’m tickled to see that everyone’s watching with slack-jawed attention – the whole performance is genuinely breath-taking…” - Creative Loafing, Atlanta, GA


"ON STAGE..."

"Seated at a side table with a crowd of rockers…I’m tickled to see that everyone’s watching with slack-jawed attention – the whole performance is genuinely breath-taking…” - Creative Loafing, Atlanta, GA


"ON RECORD..."

Of course, you've seen the scenario in the movies: a smoky bar, smartly dressed men & women on the make...there's a din of noise and the musky swirl of sexual tension.

On stage is a wiry chanteuse. A gauzy dress drapes her impossibly thin figure and a mane of red, flowing hair cascades over her shoulders. She begins to sing and the entire place stops dead silent. Her rich, throaty voice, graciously backed by a small jazz combo, has the crowd mesmerized.

That's Gwen Hughes. And that experience is thrillingly captured on her fourth album, INSTEAD OF LIGHT. She transcends the sultry lounge diva on many of the tracks, but that's the core of her being and it permeates the disc like a haunting perfume lingers in the air long after the wearer has passed.

She proudly calls herself the "love child of Hank Williams and Peggy Lee," and that unholy union is very fitting. Her southern heritage weaves through her persona like kudzu around a fencepost. On the collection, co-produced with Danny Kopelson (Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole) and Drew Young (former guitarist of the late, great Athens band, Ruben Kincaid), she mixes her originals with interpretations and the results play like an album of completely new material. Hughes injects an atmospheric piece like "Come to Me" with the same seething energy and attitude as "Whole Lotta Love" or "Time of the Season."

With this essential addition to her already impressive canon of performances, looks like she'll be on that stage for years to come, with a thoroughly mesmerized crowd in tow, hanging on every nuanced interpretation.

- Georgia Music Magazine


"ON RECORD..."

Of course, you've seen the scenario in the movies: a smoky bar, smartly dressed men & women on the make...there's a din of noise and the musky swirl of sexual tension.

On stage is a wiry chanteuse. A gauzy dress drapes her impossibly thin figure and a mane of red, flowing hair cascades over her shoulders. She begins to sing and the entire place stops dead silent. Her rich, throaty voice, graciously backed by a small jazz combo, has the crowd mesmerized.

That's Gwen Hughes. And that experience is thrillingly captured on her fourth album, INSTEAD OF LIGHT. She transcends the sultry lounge diva on many of the tracks, but that's the core of her being and it permeates the disc like a haunting perfume lingers in the air long after the wearer has passed.

She proudly calls herself the "love child of Hank Williams and Peggy Lee," and that unholy union is very fitting. Her southern heritage weaves through her persona like kudzu around a fencepost. On the collection, co-produced with Danny Kopelson (Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole) and Drew Young (former guitarist of the late, great Athens band, Ruben Kincaid), she mixes her originals with interpretations and the results play like an album of completely new material. Hughes injects an atmospheric piece like "Come to Me" with the same seething energy and attitude as "Whole Lotta Love" or "Time of the Season."

With this essential addition to her already impressive canon of performances, looks like she'll be on that stage for years to come, with a thoroughly mesmerized crowd in tow, hanging on every nuanced interpretation.

- Georgia Music Magazine


"ON THE RADIO..."

"Upright bass, hepcat kind of stuff...great makeout music!"

WNNX-FM, 99X

"Some may know of Gwen Hughes, some may not...but they will."

WRFG-FM, Radio Free Georgia





- 99XFM & WRFG-FM


"ON THE RADIO..."

"Upright bass, hepcat kind of stuff...great makeout music!"

WNNX-FM, 99X

"Some may know of Gwen Hughes, some may not...but they will."

WRFG-FM, Radio Free Georgia





- 99XFM & WRFG-FM


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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Bio

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