Welcome to my website!  This is the home of Detroit Saxophonist James Hughes.

I recently released my fourth recording with co-leader Jimmy Smith titled THE GATES, but this time we teamed up with NYC Trombonist John Yao

 JazzTimes calls THE GATES  "...a thing of beauty...a well-wrought affair."

Dan Bilawsky - July 27, 2019

and All About Jazz writes:

"The entire project demonstrates the continuing power of hard bop when played with energy and focus. These players make it sound fresh and new."

Mark Sullivan - August 2, 2019

You can purchase it HERE!

Make sure to check out my performance calendar and sign up for the mailing list!
AND please enjoy my blogs below...

Join the mailing list here!

Joshua Redman's Melodic and Rhythmic Brilliance 

Joshua Redman has long been a favorite Saxophonist of mine. His album “Wish” was an early influence on my playing and inspired years of dedicated practice. Besides his warm, singing tone and his elegantly whimsical and effortless altissimo, it was his linear melodic approach and cozy rhythmic feel that drew me to his playing. 

Many years later, I have revisited some of his recordings only to find that I appreciate his playing even more than before. I've been listening to “Trios Live” lately, and decided to transcribe his solo on Soul Dance. This tune first appeared on “Wish."

What I enjoy about his solo on this album is his rhythmic clarity and freedom, his use of varied articulation, how he patiently works out motifs, how he juxtaposes one phrase to the next as well as linking one to another, and how he constructs the entire solo from beginning to end. There's still more to listen for and learn from, but that's a good start. Enjoy reading along with this great solo from a true master.


If you want a free version of this, go to my Store!


Michigan Jazz Festival Webinar 

I am honored to be on a panel discussing careers in music. Despite being humbled, I do feel I have acquired some knoweldge, insight and wisdom that may be helpful to folks wanting to make a career in the music business. There are so may paths to take, too many for me to have anything intelligent to say, but I can speak on my path. 

Even if you are not pursuing a career in music, I think the panel discussion will be of interest to you. We musicians are a peculiar lot, and anyone who can make a living doing it has a philosophy and outlook on life that is unique. My hope is that you find appreciation for an artistic life, and gain some motivation and inspiration to fuel your endeavors. 

Tune in Sunday March 5 from 7-9pm! www.MichiganJazzFest.org


The HSQ is Back! 

The Hughes-Smith Quintet will be playing a week at THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE! Come on out and celebrate life with us!!!

July 14, 15, 16, & 17...seating starts at 6pm

Reservations highly recommended

View details and make reservations here: Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe

Stitt's It! 

I have moved on to phase TWO of my transcription project: SONNY STITT

I have started off with a relatively easy blues (in Db) to get a baseline of some of Sonny's language. "Blues for Pres, Sweets, Ben, and All the other Funky Ones" comes from the recording he did with Oscar Peterson for Verve, so of course it is swinging like none other. It is a peculiar one because Sonny is blatantly honoring a few of his influences (not just Charlie Parker, all you haters). It's cool to hear such an accomplished player's version of "the other funky ones."



Besides that, there are a few beautiful moments where Sonny flashes his own stuff and it's absolutely brilliant. Anyways, take a listen and enjoy!

If you want a free PDF, go to my store page and 'order' it there. The one file has all concert, Bb, Eb, and bass clef versions.


I have my last installment of my Cannonball transcription project and this one is a burner! It comes from a bonus track of a reissue of his second recording "Them Dirty Blues." It's a live cut and possibly one of my favorite 'ball solos out there. It took me a while to lift it and even longer to work it up to record it. Like I said before, it's a burner clocking in at 300bpm and creeping up from there! Enjoy!




In The Woodshed 

I am in the middle of a transcription project inspired by NYC pianist/educator David Hazeltine. His method of solo transcription and analysis has intrigued me for a while, but I have never had the time to dive into it until now. I keep a very busy performance schedule and find most of my practice time devoted to keeping up with that. So when this quarantine hit and found myself with extra time, I decided to adopt his method. The basic idea is that you transcribe 3-5 solos of 2 artists, then compose an etude based on the ideas from each artist.

So I have chosen to to lift Cannonball Adderley solos first, and then Sonny Stitt's after. Getting back to the basics :)

I chose these two Saxophonists because of their effervescent and sunlit tones, soulful and optimistic melodic lines, impeccable time feel, and sheer mastery of their instruments. I will blog my way through this journey and upload videos of the solos as I go. I am also making available, for free download, the transcriptions at the "store" page of this website.

Hope you enjoy!


Here is what I have thus far:



Honoring the Music of CURTIS FULLER 

Our monthly Cliff Bells Jam will honor the music of trombone legend CURTIS FULLER.

We play at Cliff Bells on Wednesday Dec 4, 8-11:30pm.

Jimmy Smith and I are very excited to be welcoming Detroit's own Vincent Chandler to our front line as we pay tribute to Curtis DuBois Fuller. Jimmy and I have been doing these tribute sets as an opening to our jam sessions for four years now, most of which were on a weekly basis. Now we would transcribe, hunt down and scavenge charts for these events fiendishly every week, so collaborating with Mr. Chandler is a double treat because not only do we get to play with him, he has provided all the music! I'll get into the band later, let me share my thoughts on the composer of interest.

Curtis Fuller has long been on the "Mount Rushmore" of jazz trombonists and any aspiring trombone player would have had to check him out. He has left a lasting impact on the language of bebop and beyond. He has recorded over 30 albums as a leader and 100s as a sideman with all top jazz artists of his time. Most folks recognize his work with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, The Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet and his stellar playing on John Coltrane's Blue Train. Fuller recieved the NEA Jazz Master Award in 2007.

There are so many wonderful things to get into about his playing and career, but I want to turn your attention to his compositions and writing style.

Curtis Fuller tunes are painted with broad strokes and in bold colors. They are usually shorter forms without a lot of decorations (interludes, transitions, shout sections, etc.). He gets right down to the point of the piece and within 4 measures you know what it's about.

His melodies are very lyrical, singable, mostly diatonic and congruent (Darryl's Minor). He often writes in traditional four bar phrases with ample space between each phrase. His melodies are also contained within a reasonable range and don't utilize wide or awkward intervals (Judy's Dilema). His rhythmic concept is very similar to his Detroit counterparts of the day (I'm thinking of Roland Hana, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris) in that a melodic statement is often 'answered' by a rhythmic statement (Sortie). The rhythm section plays a crucial role in his tunes to this end.

Harmonically, Fuller writes tunes to be vehicles for soloing. Two chord vamps, modal harmony, and blues changes dominate his portfolio making his tunes accessible to the listener and improviser alike (eg. A La Mode, Arabia, Sortie, Down Home).

Performing these tunes on Dec. 4 will be a stellar rhythm section; Corey Kendrick on piano, John Muir-Cotton on bass, and Louis Jones III on drums with the aforementioned front-line of Vincent Chandler on trombone and our monthly hosts Jimmy Smith on trumpet and yours truly holding down the Saxophone chair.

We hope to see you at Cliff Bells Dec 4...if not, we encourage you to take the time to digest some of the prolific career of one of our Detroit heroes, CURTIS FULLER!!!



The Music of Herbie Hancock 

This month at Cliff Bells we will be offering up a set of music featuring 1960s compositions by vanguard pianist HERBIE HANCOCK.

As many of you know, Jimmy Smith and I host a monthly jam on the first Wednesday at Cliff Bells in Detroit where we feature a new rhythm section and the music of a composer. On Wednesday November 6 at 8pm we will be presenting the music of Herbie Hancock with our friends Demetrius Nabors, John Barron, and David Zwolinski.

What does Herbie Hancock's music from the '60s mean to you?

I will address what his composition style means to me.

There is a spaciousness in his tunes, even the more busy ones. Think of Maiden Voyage, Finger Painting, and even the brisk One Finger Snap. In the most basic analysis, you can hear how often he uses whole notes or tied whole notes as well as prolonged rests in his melodies. I can't think of too many jazz composers who do that, save his long time compatriot Wayne Shorter.  Even his harmonic rhythm is generally slow moving, not the rapid fire chord progressions of the be-boppers or his oft band-mate and prolific composer Wayne Shorter. I think he writes tunes this way to give the rhythm section plenty of room to maneuver and be creative while accompanying the melody (Ollioquiy Valley). I have noticed that when performing Herbie tunes with various rhythm section players, they always play more "outside the box" than they normally would. I love that about well crafted tunes, how they can push the composer's vibe onto the bandstand.

Going along with spaciousness, I feel his melodies are neither bright nor dark, but comfortably stay neutral in the most hip way. Often times when his melody is angular, atonal and busy (One Finger Snap, Survival of the Fittest, Eye of the Hurricane), he is able to sweeten it up so not to be shrill or too bright. Likewise when he has a gentle flowing melody (Dolphin Dance, Tell Me a Bedtime Story), he can brighten it so it isn't too heavy or plodding. One way I think he manipulates melodies is through his chord choices underneath.

He also has many "groove" tunes that are heavily based on blues and swing, but usually are off-set with a wrinkle or two. Tunes like Watermelon Man, Driftin', and Cantaloupe Island are all based on the blues form one way or another, but with a twist. Watermelon man is a blues with an extended turnaround, Driftin' is not a blues form at all, but prominently features the I7-IV7 chord movement that is so characteristically the blues, and Cantaloupe Island is a minor blues with a substitute for the IV.

Harmonically, Herbie writes tunes that synthesize the be-bop tradition with modal jazz and the blues...a true post-bop artist. Most are not too esoteric and usually follow a very logical progression and any time there is dissonance, he follows it up with a one or two chord vamp section. He keeps the listener engaged through this use of balance; complexity and simplicity, forward motion and stagnation, both sides play an equal role as he doesn't favor one over the other.

Herbie always arranges his tunes deftly. The role of piano and bass are of vital importance as he has very specific bass lines and piano 'hooks.' It's hard to imagine Cantaloupe Island without the exact bass line or piano thing on it. The rhythm section 'hits' are crucial, too (Dolphin Dance, Driftin').

I thoroughly enjoy listening to and performing Herbie's music. They make me a better musician by learning, studying and playing them and they make me a better person by listening to them. I hope you take the time to sit down with some vintage 1960s Herbie at some point and step into his world.

Peace, Love and Harmony,



The "James & Jimmy" Jam is back! After a summer long hiatus, we have regrouped and are ready to come out swinging!

It was sad to see our Wednesday home at The Black Lotus fold up, but it provided us with a much needed mental break. We are very excited to be starting a new monthly series at Cliff Bells doing the same thing we did the past three and a half years. We will feature a different rhythm section each month and play the music of a particular composer or recording and then open things up for a jam session. This will happen the first Wednesday of each month from 8pm-12am.

This month at Cliff Bells we will be presenting the Joe Henderson recording LIVE AT THE LIGHTHOUSE (1970). I thought I would take a little time here to blog my thoughts about this underground album beloved by so many musicians.

The Lighthouse Cafe located in Hermosa Beach, CA has long been a favorite spot for jazz musicians to play when out on the west coast. They first started featuring jazz there in 1949 and for the most part have had jazz there ever since. So many great recordings have come from that room, and on each one, you can hear relaxed, uninhibited and inspired playing proving that is a special venue. Players like Lee Morgan, Jazz Crusaders, Elvin Jones, Cannoball Adderly, and Art Blakey have all recorded there. But our attention is on Joe Henderson's dynamic quintet that recorded there on Sep 24 1970.

The lineup is one not heard to often together and provided crazy energy that sizzles from the first downbeat. Woody Shaw (tpt), George Cables (elec pno), Ron McClure (b) and Lenny White (d) all bring the heat. The tracks are made up of Joe Henderson originals and a couple standards. What's really refreshing is to hear Joe's tunes recorded years after him playing them nightly as opposed to the Blue Note recordings where they were very new to him and the band still. These versions of Blue Bossa, Recorda Me, Isotope, Shade of Jade and Mode For Joe sound more open and the band stretches out on them. Joe's technique is on full display burning through Isotope like it's a riff tune or something. I think one reason so many jazz musicians like this album is because we get to hear Joe and Woody address these tunes like how we encounter them today, live and raw, opened up with tons of solo space. We get to hear Joe and Woody throw down some wild and woolly language on Mode For Joe and is pretty obvious there is some friendly fire being tossed around. I have heard that Woody was not thrilled with his playing on this record, probably due to the fact that Joe is untouchable here, nevertheless, Woody sounds amazing and is going for it wall to wall.

The rhythm section deserves recognition, too! Ron McClure anchors the section down, yet still plays super melodic bass lines and pops with Lenny White left and right. Lenny is going full tilt on this recording too, full of fire, but still sensitive and always conversing with the soloist. George Cables is on Fender Rhodes the whole time, which can be overbearing and redundant, but in his hands it never gets there. George doesn't play it like a piano, he honors the sound of the instrument and colors beautifully all the bombastic playing going on around him. His accompaniment on 'Round Midnight is most notable...ears wide open, following Joe wherever he goes, and reharmonizing without losing the integrity of the original tune. He is able to lighten up the dark spots and cast shade on the bright corners of the tune...pure genius!

If you can't tell, I LOVE THIS ALBUM! Personally, it has had a huge impact on my playing. When I first heard Joe's unabashed, aggressive, rhythmic and sly melodic playing on this record, it was like someone opened a door up for me and said, "come in...you can do this, too!" It was a green light in my playing life and I've been going ever since. I hope you have a moment to check this phenomenal recording out! It's well worth the time :)

yours in music,



Come check us out! The first Wednesday of each month at CLIFF BELLS in Detroit. 8pm-12am

October  - Joe Henderson LIVE AT THE LIGHTHOUSE

November - music of HERBIE HANCOCK

December - music of CURTIS FULLER

New Recording! 

"The Gates" is out!

My new sextet record is finally out. I collaborated with Jimmy Smith (trumpet, DET) and John Yao (trombone, NYC).

Backing us up is a swinging rhythm section: Corey Kendrick (piano), Jeff Pedraz (bass), and Nick Collins (drums).

We recorded it in 2018 when it was absolutely frigid here in Detroit at Longview Studios under the expert engineering eye of Mark Byerly. Leslie Kelly did the artwork and it was mastered by Chicago sound guru Anthony Gravino.

Here's a little background on the album...

Jimmy and I made a trip out to NY, connected with John Yao who Jimmy met back in their college days at Queens College, and rented a rehearsal space to read through some tunes and hang. The three of us had a sound right away...not just blending well, but a unique sound all unto it's own. That was it.  We knew we had to record together at some point in the future.

Over the next few months we planned out a session and each started writing a few tunes. We never talked about exactly what each of us was working on, but had the memory of what we sounded like together.

The first time hearing all of our tunes was at the first read-through many months later. It was crazy how well each tune went with another. It was like a nine-piece suite. The vibe was so consistent from one to the next we knew we would have a congruent album.

It has been a pretty funny (funny, weird, amazing) thing to witness come together the past year and I am quite proud of the work we did on it. Everything was recorded in just two short days. Proof of the fact that each one of these cats is a true professional.

We shopped the album around and were happy to have found Shifting Paradigm Records and are very pleased to be a part of their family.

I hope you have time to give us a listen and hear our stories told through our tunes.

You can purchase our music here: https://shiftingparadigmrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-gates



Thanks for being you,


There Goes Another Year 

Time seems to run downhill after September and 2018 is coming to a close. We have one more month to complete....er, close the gap....ok, maybe start some of those New Year's resolutions from eleven months ago.  Let me tell how how I've fared with my musical goals for 2018.

Since my college days, I have been trying to create a practice routine that sticks in my schedule, so for the past 20 years I've been tinkering with it. It's an ongoing struggle, but I have learned that specific yearly goals help keep me focused on a somewhat regular regimen. This year was successful in practicing something nearly every day.. a feat I am quite proud of! It is so easy to not do it when I'm busy, sick, or tired...but I didn't cave in and could always do at least 10 minutes of something.

Let's talk about those 'somethings' of practicing.

This year I wanted to expand my comfort level with improvising in 7/4. It was a very fun and gratifying goal because it forced me to focus my listening, transcribe new things and be able to lean into soloing on 7/4 tunes instead of tip-toeing around them. I still have far to go, but at least that proverbial bus is pointed in the right direction!

I also wanted to work on the Jean-Marie Londeix Nouvelles Etudes...which I have barely touched. It's been an epic fail! I guess it's a good thing there are a few more weeks left in 2018 to try and put a dent in these. It feels that other practice goals take precedent over this one because these etudes don't appear to have a direct influence on my gigs. Not a good mindset, I know.

Another failure this year has been my goal of transcribing several solo breaks. I love listening to a great solo break...when pulled off with skill, they are condensed bits of improvised magic, full of everything I want in my playing; cozy time feel, good language, clear ideas, and usually a bit of humor.  I haven't transcribed one yet! This goal definitely got swept under the rug.

It's not all bad, though. I wanted to improve my time-feel on tempi between 200-240 bpm as well as smooth out major and harmonic minor scales. I worked on this consistently and was a part of my daily practicing all year long. I am pretty happy about that!

I wanted to get a couple Joel Frahm solo transcriptions...I did! Check that off the list!

The last musical goal of note I laid out for myself last January was to acquire more diminished patterns for improvising, to which I have done so. I worked on about six of them early in the year, although only two or three have found their way into my soloing. It's probably time to revisit those.

It's a crazy busy month coming up (they all are though, right?)...fingers crossed I can get to some of these unfinished goals.

How are your resolutions coming along?

2018 Detroit Jazz Festival 

The HSQ is super excited to be playing a set at the Detroit Jazz Festival! Everyone in the quintet has had a very busy year and involved in many diverse endeavors that we don't get to play together as much as we would like. But we are coming together for this one! We had a fantastic rehearsal last night and are ready to take the stage. Most of our rehearsing is actually conversing and catching up, but we took care of all the necessary spots, lol! We have a very ambitious set planned, we would love to see you out there. Here is a link to the festival website:DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL

We play on Saturday September 1, 3:30-4:45pm at the Pyramid Stage and will be signing CDs from 5-5:45pm. Come on through! If you have never been, it's a wonderful festival that is completely free!!! If you've been there before, you know how amazing it is to have so much world class talent performing all over from noon to midnight. There is nothing quite like it in the entire world. The vibe downtown Detroit is unlike any other time in the city, too...definitely worth your time :)


Junior Cook Transcription 


Tonight we will be performing music from Blue Mitchell's classic Blue Note album THE THING TO DO at The Black Lotus Brewery in Clawson. So I thought I would share my transcription of tenor Saxophonist Junior Cook's solo on "Step Lightly."  Junior's well conceived lines and logical flow are in full display as is his beautifully large tone and swinging time-feel. Check out how patient he is with different motifs!

His solo begins here at 1:08. Also check out a very young Chick Corea on piano! Amazing solos on this record and fantastic 'comping.

Happy listening! Happy practicing!






The Reviews are In! All About Jazz Reviews MOTION 

The HSQ's latest recording MOTION has been out for a few months and reviews are trickling in. The most recent is from the acclaimed website All About Jazz.

Check them out!


The James Hughes - Jimmy Smith Quintet : MOTION          

By MARK SULLIVAN   allaboutjazz.com    May 17, 2018 


      Detroit's The James Hughes - Jimmy Smith Quintet keeps the hard bop flame burning in this follow up to Ever Up & Onward (Self Produced, 2015). The album shares the same personnel—this has been a working band since 2013, and they sound like it—and the same positive energy. The program is all originals this time. 

Trumpeter Jimmy Smith's "The Runaround" opens the set with a blast of infectious funk (or perhaps it should more appropriately be called soul jazz, the label popular during the hard bop era). Pianist Phil Kelly adds the Fender Rhodes to his keyboard arsenal for this (and "Waxwing"). Bassist Takashi Iio plays a funky solo, and drummer Nate Winn gets a brief feature at the end. A fine showcase for the entire band. 

"Sidamo" is a Latin/Swing tune built around James Hughes' soprano saxophone. His tune "Rue" has a reflective melody played by both horns, over an insistent drum and bass rhythm. It's the closest thing to a ballad in the program. Or perhaps that honor could go to "Elizabeth," with an insistent modal vamp reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" (like the opener "Audio Culture" on the previous album). "Gig Fries" is essentially an unaccompanied drum solo (bracketed by a head from the whole band): short and sweet. I'll definitely have fries with that! Feels like it belongs with "Chips & Slaw," which closes the set with more soul jazz. 

It's always a pleasure to hear hard bop played with this much style. Great tunes, great playing, great positive energy—what's not to like? I'm already looking forward to the next installment. 

Track Listing: The Runaround; Intersections; Waxwing; Sidamo; Elizabeth; Rue; Wanting More; Promenade with Molly; Gig Fries; Chips & Slaw. 

Personnel: James Hughes: saxophones (alto, soprano, tenor); Jimmy Smith: trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn; Phil Kelly: piano, Fender Rhodes; Takashi Iio: bass; Nate Winn: drums. 

Title: Motion | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced 


Dear All About Jazz Readers, 

Mark Sullivan is a musician/composer (librarian by profession) with a special interest in bebop-based jazz and experimental music. 

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. 

allaboutjazz.com      -         Reporting on jazz from around the globe since 1995

The HSQ's Third Album MOTION is Here! 

The Hughes/Smith Quintet is very happy to announce that our third SELF-RELEASED album is finally here! We called it "MOTION" because that's where we are at, in a state of constant motion. We built it from the ground up, got it running and are enjoying the ride.

It features the same stellar rhythm section of Phil Kelly (piano & fender rhodes), Takashi Iio (bass), and Nate Winn (drums). Their playing individually and collectively is spectacular, and I am so grateful for their contributions and dedication to this project. We enlisted Mark Byerly to record us again and he knocked it out of the park again! Mark has such a great ear and affinity for our sound, it was very comforting working with him again. This time around we took the mixed tracks to the amazing and storied Mastering Engineer Don Grossing. Don has mastered scads of Grammy Award nominees and winners through his career including Branford Marsalis, Miles Davis and The Rolling Stones. It is such an honor having his finishing touch on our record!

The album is 10 tracks of all originals and mixes several influences like funk, R&B and the avant garde with our foundation: Detroit Be Bop. We have put our hearts and should into this one and am sure you will enjoy listening to it! 

Check us out at Cliff Bells FEBRUARY 2, 9pm for our CD Relaese Party and pick up your hard copy..we'll sign a copy for you :)

Wednesdays in January 

Each and every Wednesday, Jimmy Smith and I put together a set of music featuring a different composer and have a different guest rhythm section in to play with us.We open things up for a jam session after the first set so come on out and enjoy the music and bring your axe and sit in with these stellar musicians!  

Every Wednesday at Black Lotus Brewery 9:30pm-12:30am  

no cover, free parking, full dinner menu  

1 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson MI  

Jan 3 


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet    Matt Martinez - trombone

Kris Kurzawa - guitar  Dale Grisa - piano  Tim Shallebarger - bass  Jason Gittinger - drums  


Jan 10


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet    

Duncan McMillan - piano  Sam Harris - bass  Pete Siers - drums  


Jan 17



Jan 24


  Jimmy Smith - trumpet  Bob Mervak - piano


Jan 31


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet

Phil Kelly - piano   Takashi Iio - bass   Nate Winn - drums

Pick up our new recording MOTION!!! We will sign it for you :)

Each Wednesday in December 

Each and every Wednesday, Jimmy Smith and I put together a set of music featuring a different composer and have a different guest rhythm section in to play with us.We open things up for a jam session after the first set so come on out and enjoy the music and bring your axe and sit in with these stellar musicians! 

Every Wednesday at Black Lotus Brewery 9:30pm-12:30am 

no cover, free parking, full dinner menu 

1 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson MI 

Dec 6 


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet    Dominic Bierenga - sax

Zen Zadravec - piano  Rocco Popielarski - bass  David Zwolinski - drums 


Dec 13


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet   

Zen Zadraveck - piano  Jeff Pedraz - bass  Pete Siers - drums 


Dec 20

WAYNE SHORTER'S album "The Soothsayer"

James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet  Keith Kaminski - sax  

Phil Kelly - piano  John Barron - bass  Pete Siers - drums


Dec 27

JOHN COLTRANE'S album "Blue Train"

James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet  Rob Killips - trombone 

Phil Kelly - piano  Takashi Iio - bass  John Hill - drums

Black Lotus Jam in August 

Each and every Wednesday, Jimmy Smith and I put together a set of music featuring a different composer and have a different guest rhythm section in to play with us.We open things up for a jam session after the first set so come on out and enjoy the music and bring your axe and sit in with these stellar musicians!

Every Wednesday at Black Lotus Brewery 9:30pm-12:30am

no cover, free parking, full dinner menu

1 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson MI

Aug 2


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet  

Jacob Schwandt - guitar  Rocco Popielarski - bass  Tom Starr - drums

Aug 9


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet  

Corey Kendrick - piano  Jeff Pedraz - bass  Jeff Shoup - drums

Aug 16


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet  Terry Kimura - trombone  

Duncan Mcmillan - piano  Ben Rolston - bass

Aug 23

Hosted by Scott Gwinnell

Aug 30


James Hughes - sax  Jimmy Smith - trumpet   Phil Whitfield - keyboards  

Kris Kurzawa - guitar   Takashi Iio - bass  Jesse Kramer - drums

Wednesdays in May at The Black Lotus Brewery 

Trumpeter Jimmy Smith and I host an evening each and every Wednesday where we feature a different rhythm section and jazz composer for the first set.  After that, we open things up for a jazz jam session and encourage all members of the jazz community to participate, from beginners to seasoned professionals, swinging in the spirit of collaboration and community.

Every Wednesday from 9:30pm-12:30am at The Black Lotus Brewery



ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Corey Kendrick, Stephen Boegehold 




ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Peyton Miller, Phil Whitfield, Sam Chase Harris, Jesse Kramer 



Music of BRAD FELT 

ft. Steve Wood, Terry Kimura, Duncan McMillan & George Davidson




ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Leonard King, Matt LoRusso & Rocco Popielarski 




ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Scott Gwinnell, Jeff Pedraz, & Pete Siers  


pay what you want cover - free parking - jam session after first set 

1 E. 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI

Every Wednesday in April at Black Lotus 

Here is a list of the things we are presenting at Black Lotus Brewery this month. I hope to see you there one of these Wednesdays! There is ample free parking in back, pay what you want cover charge, full menu, and award winning crazy-good brews on tap. It's also a very friendly, casual environment :)

Every Wednesday from 9:30pm-12:30am
James Hughes & Jimmy Smith host THE LOTUS JAM


Music of THAD JONES 

ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Scott Gwinnell, Rocco Popielarski, & Bill Higgins 



ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Kris Kurzawa, Dale Grisa, Damon Warmack, & Jesse Kramer 



ft. Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, Michael Malis, Joe Fee, & Stephen Boegehold 


A night with the DALE GRISA QUINTET 

ft. Kris Kurzawa, Bobby Streng, Takashi Iio, & Quentin Joseph 

pay what you want cover - free parking - jam session after first set 

1 E. 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI

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