- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (26,57)
- Incarnation Cross : JX Opinions
American jazz trombonist and bandleader. He has spent most of his career with the Count Basie Orchestra and was the director of that ensemble, 2003-2010.
His family moved to Washington, D.C., when he was nine years old. Hughes began playing the trombone at age twelve or thirteen and was performing at Washington jazz venues by the age of sixteen. While students at Howard University, Hughes and Frank Wess played in the Howard Swingmasters, along with bassist Eddie Jones. The Swingmasters were one of several early groups that helped promote the study and performance of jazz at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
In 1953, he joined Count Basie’s band. Hughes played in a three-piece tenor trombone section with Benny Powell and Henry Coker until September 1957, when he decided to take a break from touring in order to help raise his family. A few years after returning to the band in July 1963, Hughes switched from the tenor to the bass trombone. Hughes took over leadership of the band in 2003 following the death of Grover Mitchell. He retired from the band in September 2010, stating he wanted to spend more time with his wife Dolores, whom he married on 6 July 1952.