Soli Hughes | Music

Soli website photo cropped.jpg
Soli website photo cropped.jpg

Soli Hughes | Music


Soli’s life as a concert guitarist and ensemble performer has taken him around the world over the last 30 years. Soli has performed as a featured soloist at World Jazz festivals in Finland and Italy, studied Spanish/classical guitar at the conservatory in Madrid, and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Queen and other royalty. In the US, he toured and performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. Some folks may remember Soli as a member of bands like Flyte Time, Moore by Four, Crystal Haze, and the Sounds of Blackness. Listen for his music on the soundtrack of the Disney film John Henry.

Learn more about Soli in his May 2015 Artist Spotlight interview.


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Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs


The Science of Sound Laboratory

The goal of this residency is to have students understand how sound works from a technical and musical instrument perspective and to connect its effects through physical, acoustical and mathematic experiments. Students will also learn how the effects of frequency response, wave form and physical space affect what we hear as opposed to what is actually being sounded.  Students will get to create their own Sound CD by core classroom groups using sound from everyday items, electronic synthesizers, guitar synthesizers, and acoustical music instruments. Students participate in the analyzation of past and present music to see what modes of sounds were being used and to determine if they were man-made or natural. Students will work with MIDI and convert base 10 to base 2. Students will learn how recording mixing boards are used in both the media and the recording industry.


The Digital Rock Clock & HistoPop

The main goals of this residency are:  to re-create the historic and physical environment of the history of rock ‘n’ roll by decades; to promote the understanding of the specific geo/social/music/media/pop culture characteristics that have shaped the decades; and to help the students make connections and decipher differences between the trends of the past and the current digital technology and media influence and presence.

Throughout the two week residency, the classroom is transformed into particular decades as we walk through history. Rotary phones, yo-yo’s, tie dyed t-shirts, bell bottoms, platform shoes, mod shirts, cool painted guitars, 80’s synthesizers and more are brought into the classroom to bring the decade to life.  Students participate in discussions and classroom activities that demonstrate past and present geo-social issues as well as the merge of digital technology and media as prime factors in the music scene today.

Students get a chance to experience decade characteristics through classroom singing, dancing, and creating the sounds of the decades.  Supportive media and digital technology including HD video and CD audio is used to show the growth, fusion, and limitations of the industry. Musical court is held to debate certain historical aspects where replies must be based on fact.

The residency culminates with a live rock show featuring the students performing various songs and dances in clothes from the various decades.  Teachers and staff are welcome to be a part of the show.  As part of the event, the community is encouraged to come dressed in their favorite decade.  Be a singer, be a background dancer, do a walk on, be part of the set-up/tear-down road crew, there’s plenty to do!


Music & Media: Magic or Madness

Throughout the residency, students learn about the relationships between music and media.  This residency starts in the 70’s and looks at the explosion of computers and technology and their beginning influence on music and media. Pop culture fads, integration of computers and music, and the fusion of technology and advertising are important elements.  Group discussions, live examples, and video support educate students and encourage them to analyze and grow with future trends and changes.


Africa to America

The two week residency, Africa to America, follows the saga of Afro-Americans through the music, customs, history, and language of the eight African regions (Savanna, Sahara, Swahili Coast, Ethiopian Highlands, South Africa, Sahel, Rain Forest, and Great Lakes), through the Caribbean into America. One of goals of the residency is to have students understand that some primitive customs have their basis in universal family/tribal traditions of weddings, birthdays, celebrations, games, and humor. Another goal is to have the students connect present day Africa to present day America; discovering similarities in cities, customs and clothes.

During the course of the residency, students learn traditional African and contemporary Afro-American songs, create drumming patterns on their individual drums and discuss transitional history and customs including understanding some of the animal life of the Savanna region. In the classroom, students participate in the Maasai Jumping Ceremony, and learn chants, field hollers, Caribbean songs, foot stomp stepping, and some underground railroad songs.  During the second week, I host World Culture Day in the classroom which consists of students sharing their cultural background and traditional foods eaten in their homes. A discussion follows on the diversity of these things in Africa, America, and other world cultures. On the last day the students present a gathering performance in the gym, where songs, stories, and drumming performances are presented to the community. The residency brings to life the true Africa to America experience for the students, staff and community.



Rockin' Through the Decades

Kick up your heels, raise your hands, come dressed in your favorite decade, and shout it out! Students and staff experience a movin’, shakin’ live rock ‘n’ roll show with an artist who knows the songs, dances, and the history; because he has lived it and played it.

Students and staff get to hear rock favorites and dance with me as I take them through decades of twangy 50’s, acoustic 60’s, disco 70’s, rock ballad 80’s, and alternative 90’s into the current mix of hip hop & pop. The stage is set as you enter the auditorium or gym. Surrounded on both sides of the center mic are disco shirts, fringe vests, a Temptations jacket, a 50’s motorcycle jacket, numerous guitars, and more. Don’t forget to notice the extra 4 to 6 mics - those are for volunteers to come up on stage and add background vocals, dance, and add some cool free stylin’ moves of their own. This is a live 1 hour and 15 minute explosive rock show performance designed to connect you to the decades of songs, dances, and clothes while engaging your participation through the fun of a rock show. You can even volunteer to be a set-up or a tear-down roadie.  Some songs you will hear include: Johnny B. Goode, My Girl, Come together, Black or White, 867-5309, Sledgehammer, Pumped Up Kicks and more!

  • 2 hour set up and 1 hour tear-down time required.
  • Soli will bring his own sound equipment, and there is an additional $100 cartage fee.
  • Designed for Auditoriums or Gyms.

Hear many great hits and stories by, Soli Hughes, a gifted musician who has played it, lived it and even met some of the artists represented in the show! You’ll hear songs by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Santana, The Temptations and many many more.



The History of Rock'n Roll

The workshop focuses on the turbulent 60s and the crazy 70s. Students learn about what shaped each decade’s individual character, using a discussion of key songs, politics and world events as a timeline basis for debate and discovery. Students will explore some of the historic facts that have shaped rock n’ roll and are still major influences today.

Note: Mileage calculated from Big Lake, MN