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.