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Bob McHugh

Bob McHugh was born in Kearny, New Jersey. After taking piano lessons for a few years, he found he was more interested in improvising around the notes on the page rather than playing exactly what was written. At age 14, he found a teacher in Newark, NJ, Bill Manzi, who focused on teaching theory and technique aimed at jazz improvisation. Around this same time, Bob started playing with local dance bands and developed his roots in jazz piano.

After graduating from NJCU, he studied with jazz pianists Morris Nanton and Don Freidman. He also attended classes with Hank Jones. Bob has been versatile in other styles beside jazz. Working as a musician in New York, he collaborated with many international musicians who influenced his piano compositions.

Working as a musician for over 50 years, he has recorded for Perception Records, Peter’s International Records, Alliance Records, Outstanding Records and Lunge Music. He has performed with Joe Morello, Ray Mantilla, Ron Naspo and many others. Bob was the favorite artist on Anima Jazz in Pisa , Italy [2005] and Sky Jazz [2008], and he was chosen ‘Jazz Musician of the Day’ on All About Jazz [2014].

Bob has been a featured guest on radio shows in the U.S.A. and England. He was the commissioned composer for the NJMTA state piano competition, and had compositions on the required list for the National Federation of Music Clubs. Bob’s Latin jazz piece, El Gato Rojo is featured in ASCAP’s podcast #4.

McHugh has performed at The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ, The Newark Museum, The New York Public Library, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and The Morristown Library to name a few. He was a featured performer in the documentary The Art of Worship filmed at Riverside Church in New York City.

Bob recently retired from teaching music in the New Jersey public schools. Upon retirement he established the West Essex Youth Jazz Band, and was honored as the Role Model of the Year in 2012 by the Roseland Boosters Association. Bob continues to perform at venues in the New York- New Jersey metro area.


Commisioned composer NJMTA in 1998 and 1999, ASCAP popular award, winner of jazz poll on Sky Jazz,inclued in Marqus Who's Who in Entertainment and Who's Who in America and role model of the year in 2012 from the Roseland Boosters. 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.


Steinway Piano, Yamaha P255


Album Review

Bob McHugh: On Track

Read "On Track" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Bob McHugh has an has an impressive resume and has been on the New York metro scene for thirty years. On Track is a very pleasant collection of nine tracks ranging in style from the tango to rag to boogie and even three different Greek folk dances. While his playing here cannot be called dazzling, each style is given a clear reproduction. For instance, the playing on “Back Porch Boogie would never be confused with Meade Lux ...

Album Review

Bob McHugh: Another Sunrise

Read "Another Sunrise" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

Quick and to the Point: So so, perhaps even more so....

Another Sunrise breaks with “El Gato Rojo,” where both the charms and chagrins of this self produced release by pianist Bob McHugh become immediately evident. The energy level remains all-encompassing during the straight Latin jam featuring percussionist Ray Mantilla of Mingus fame among other players capable of some notable moments, although they tend to stay mostly rooted in the average realm.

The writing enlarges ...

Album Review

The Bob McHugh Duo: After Midnight

Read "After Midnight" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Both Bob McHugh and Ron Naspo are prime examples of fine talents who have been on the music scene for may years, but are not exactly household names. Both have excelled as educators and performers. Naspo has been involved with classical music as well. This is McHugh's 4th album and he calls his playing style "lunge" to lift it a level or two above the easy listening, like lounge music. McHugh like to record in a small combo environment, using ...

Album Review

Bob McHugh Trio: Soaring on Wings of Ivory and Black

Read "Soaring on Wings of Ivory and Black" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Bob McHugh has been a mainstay in clubs and bistros in and around the New York City for more than thirty years. He is also relatively well represented on records as well. This album for the Outstanding Records label feature McHugh and his trio working through a musical program of mostly familiar standards with some originals by McHugh and members of his trio added to give the proceedings a more modern touch. McHugh plays the piano with a flourish with ...

Album Review

Bob McHugh: Manhattan Sunrise

Read "Manhattan Sunrise" reviewed by Stephen Koch

Feeling like you missed something? You did if you missed Bob McHughs' Manhattan Sunrise. This '94 recording is excellent choice for your collection.

Bob is a pianist,teacher,writer and composer and shares his talent along with three fellow musicians on this set of six originals and five renditions of standards.

The title song has a memorable hook very worthy of a glorious sunrise.Ray Mantilla adds percussion where called for,Kevin McCarthy lays down solid bass lines while drummer Rich Austin holds the ...

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Feeling like you missed something? You did if you missed Bob McHughs' MANHATTAN SUNRISE. This '94 recording is an excellent choice for your jazz collection. —Stephen Koch, All About Jazz

Bob McHugh is one of the finest contempary jazz pianists and composers recording today and gives us an exceptional collection of songs in his AMERICAN CLASSICS. It is a CD collection that will find its way to the hearts of the jazz listening aduience quickly. Unique, fresh, inventive, and enjoyable are words that best describe the solo piano of Bob McHugh in this collection. These jazz performances are among the best found anywhere

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Bob McHugh ia a highly qualified/certified music teacher who has worked as a musician for over 50 years. He has taught music in the public school systym in New Jersey for 26 years and as a private teacher as well. Bob is a published composer with Manduca Music Publications [Piano Teachers Press], and Voice of the Rockies and has been a commissioned composer for the New Jersey Music Teachers Association and the National Federation of Music Clubs and NYSSMA. $60 per hour.



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Lunge Music


Straight Ahead

Lunge Music


On Track

Lunge Music


Another Sunrise

Unknown label


Manhattan Sunrise

Alliance Records


I Remember You

From: Uptown
By Bob McHugh



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