John is amazing. He takes the time to explain what a Kora is, how he came to play one, and the history of the music he performs. He plays both traditional and original music. It is equally impressive that he makes his own instruments and shares that process with the audience. From relaxing to upbeat, John's music will leave you wanting more.
John Hughes is an innovative kora (West African harp) player, percussionist and vocalist whose style ranges from elegant and stately classical West African harp music to jazzy, hypnotic grooves that cross cultural boundaries and fuse disparate cultural influences. Playing ancient traditional instruments not often heard in the United States (many of which he builds himself), John takes his audience on an intimate tour of universally musical expressions of joy and hope, at once soothing and up-lifting. Whether playful or romantic, Johns music will cast a web of delight, creating the ideal ambience to unite all in attendance in fellowship and joy.
* Cocktail Hour
* Garden Parties
* Corporate Functions
* Dinner parties
The kora is an ancient 22 stringed harp from the Mandeng people of West Africa. Nearly as far back as a thousand years ago, the kora set the tone in the royal courts of the emperors of West Africa. It was present at all community celebrations including weddings, births and initiations. It was played in courts of law to ground and harmonize disgruntled plaintiffs. It inspired celebrants at parties to dance and sing and soothed children gathered in village courtyards each night before bed.
John Hughes is an internationally recognized kora player, percussionist, singer, dancer, sculptor, instrument builder and educator. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, England. John has studied the music song and dance of West Africa for over 25 years, training with numerous master drummers and dancers from Guinea and Mali, including Mamady Keita and Famoudou Konate. As a Kora player, John is primarily self-taught and has developed a style all his own, though deeply rooted in the ancient Mande tradition.
John has released five CDs of original music.
Also available: The Kora & Cello Duo
Kora player John Hughes and cellist Stephen Katz are each exceptions to many a rule. The duo's avant-garde fusion of African and European strings reaches, at once, deeply into their respective traditions and far and wide outside of the proverbial 'boxes' of both. The result is an errant complicity of deeply poetic proportions.
Focusing on the essence - rhythm, harmony, and silence - John and Stephen bring to their collaboration unique and proprietary styles of playing as well as the compositional agility and deep listening of consummate improvisers. Stately and elegant, intense and passionate, precise and playful, the music frolics through time and space like bees in a field of wildflowers - euphonic praise of life and fellowship!
The k o r a & c e l l o d u o is available for concerts, weddings, private parties, etc.