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Camden Hughes

Jazz Piano Instructor

Biography: Camden Hughes is a jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and music educator from Boise, Idaho. Well-versed in several musical genres, Camden composes, performs and teaches jazz, funk and soul music. Camden currently teaches for the jazz and commercial music programs at Northwest Nazarene University, and Elementary Music at Idaho Arts Charter School.

His father, the late Dr. Walden Hughes, was an NNU professor of music for 41 years in the Music Department. The son of two classical piano teachers, Camden grew up immersed in music, starting the piano at the age of 4, the trombone at age 12 and the guitar at age 14. With years of both jazz and classical training, Camden has a unique perspective on composition informed by a vast array of musical experiences.

Camden teaches elementary music at Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa, Idaho. He also serves as an adjunct music instructor at Northwest Nazarene University, where he received his BA in music education and music theory. He has also served as an adjunct music teacher at NNU since 2007.

In addition to being an in-demand performer in the Boise area, Camden is a passionate educator. Camden started the website www.LearnJazzStandards.com in 2010, which has grown into a trusted jazz education resource all over the world with over 46 million views and 136,000+ subscribers on the Learn Jazz Standards YouTube page. He worked on the site from 2010 to 2016, before selling his share of the business to his former business partner, Brent Vaartstra.

Camden has played over 2,000 gigs in the past 20 years, working with many great musicians. He has shared the stage with The Diamonds, The Coasters, Bruce Forman, Carl Saunders, John Clayton, Curtis Stigers, Dan Balmer, Brent Vaartstra, Scott Whitfield, Stanton Kessler, Bill Watrous, Pete Christlieb, Justin Nielsen, Paul Tillotson, Brent Jensen, the Frim Fram Four, Sandon Mayhew, Phil Garonzik, Thomas Hutchings, Nicole Christensen, Jon Klein, Bill Courtial, Clay Moore and MANY more!

Camden’s first album, “IntroSpective,” an accessible modern jazz collaboration with New York saxophonist Thomas Hutchings, was released August 8, 2015, with overwhelming support from fans exceeding their goal by 121% on PledgeMusic.

Camden’s second album, “McCall,” was released in November 2017. It features Portland guitarist Dan Balmer on guitar, Edwin Wallace Wheeler III on electric bass, Wayne Bliss on acoustic bass and David Gluck on the drums. “McCall” is the result of 10 hours of FREE studio time Camden won in a recording contest held by Blissman Studios in Tacoma, Washington. Sixteen different bands entered music in the contest, and Camden was chosen to receive first prize and 10 hours of free studio time!

Camden is currently working on his master’s degree in Music Business from Berklee College of Music in their online program. His expected graduation date is September 2023.