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Langston Hughes II is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader who is primarily based in New York City but frequents the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. A recent graduate of Howard University, Langston seeks to further hone his craft by pursuing a graduate degree in Jazz studies at The Juilliard School, a private performing arts conservatory in New York City. Recently, Langston has hosted several shows, many of which have sold out, solidifying his position as a rising star in the music industry.
The pursuit of music for Langston has been the result of a lifelong passion made reality. Beginning in his grade school years, Langston discovered a fascination with music. Despite originally perceiving his love of music as merely a hobby, with a plan to study engineering in college, he recognized that music was undeniably intertwined with his sense of being. He trusted his faith, took a leap, and committed to his future career as a musician. With the help of peers, teachers, and mentors, Langston emerged with a reinvigorated spirit that assured him he was on his destined path.
During his time at Howard University, Langston studied saxophone, flute, and clarinet under esteemed professor Charlie Young III and mentors such as Cyrus Chestnut, Bruce Williams, Tim Green, Allyn Johnson, Leigh Pilzer, and many others. He continued to develop his skills, knowledge, and creative thinking, culminating in a distinctive sound that emanates beauty, passion, and positivity. Langston channels his upbringing in the church with his love for jazz to create a unique, dynamic sound and style.
In his young, yet blossoming, career, Langston has been the recipient of an array of prestigious awards, achievements, and competition titles, cementing him as a musical force. He has been a featured soloist for the United States Army Blues Orchestra, selected as one of Strathmore’s Artists in Residence during their 2021-2022 performance season, and participated in The Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency under the direction of Jason Moran. Programs like these have allowed Langston to work with and learn from jazz greats such as Jason Moran, Marcus Printup, Peter Martin, Clarence Penn, Casey Benjamin, Micheal Bowie, Chris Thomas, Chamille Thurman, and more.
Since 2019, Langston has worked alongside the Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education, a 501c(c)(3) non-profit based in Maryland serving as ensemble director and teaching private and group saxophone lessons. Langston’s past and present teachers have instilled in him the importance of mentorship and inspired him to pass on to others the knowledge, experiences, and stories of great musicians of our past so that the music can live on.
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Saxophonist Langston Hughes II is a New York City-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader who creates inspirational original compositions and reimaginings of classic songs. Langston's years of experience and growing technical and creative skills have created a distinctive sound that emanates beauty, passion, and positivity. He views his concept and approach as more than a genre but a translation of his life experiences. Langston channels his upbringing in gospel music from artists like Mahalia Jackson, John P. Kee, Sam Cooke, and Richard Smallwood with his love and passion for the jazz tradition to create a distinctive, dynamic sound and style.
Langston was a featured soloist for the United States Army Blues Orchestra and a Strathmore Artist in Residence during their 2021-2022 performance season. He was also selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency at the John F. Kennedy Center where he had the opportunity to study under jazz greats such as Jason Moran, Marcus Printup, Peter Martin, Clarence Penn, Casey Benjamin, Micheal Bowie, Chris Thomas, and Chamille Thurman. Currently, Langston is preparing to pursue a graduate degree in Jazz studies at The Juilliard School, a leading private performing arts conservatory in New York City this upcoming year.