Sarah Hughes, born December 4th, 1986 is primarily an improvising alto saxophonist and music educator from Pasadena, Maryland. She also plays the flute, the clarinet, lite electronics, and sings. She moonlights as a painter, poet, and wannabe entrepreneur of her inactive incorporation/utopian/now-more-hypothetical-than reality projects, Sonic Temple and Positive Structures.
Sarah’s formal studies began with classical saxophonist, Dale Underwood, at the University of Maryland. She received a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education in 2008 and taught beginning band and strings programs for five years before leaving Maryland in 2013 to pursue a master’s degree in jazz saxophone performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. While there, she studied privately with Jerry Bergonzi, Ran Blake, Anthony Coleman, and Donny McCaslin and also performed in a duo with faculty member and pianist, Ben Schwendener.
After graduating in 2015, Sarah returned to Baltimore/Washington DC in 2016 and now performs in solo, duo, small ensemble, and large ensemble formats, playing a variety of jazz, swing, contemporary classical, experimental noise, folk, and rap musics. She has played with Baltimore artists and bands including Myelination, Abdu Ali, Peter Redgrave, Dylan Schuman’s Screaming Art Large Ensemble, Mind on Fire, and The New Old Fashioneds. DC bands she plays with include Beauty Pill, Heterodyne, and Shannon Gunn and the Bulletes. Sarah also went on a two week tour of Sweden with founder of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, Amy K. Bormet and her ensemble Ephemera.
Sarah’s own projects include a duo with drummer Nate Scheible, and her avant garde free jazz ensemble, Coy Fish. She plays regularly at Rhizome in DC and a variety of listening rooms and concert spaces including the Hill Center, Goethe Institute, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Phillips Collections, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and Capital Fringe. She currently teaches private lessons and also serves as adjunct faculty at Towson University and McDaniel College.