Tyler Hughes - biography
Tyler Hughes hails from Big Stone Gap, Virginia, where he began learning the traditions of mountain music and dance at age 12. He performs regularly, but also dedicates time to teaching through private lessons and a variety of music programs as an adjunct professor at the Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap. Tyler is currently honing his skills in Square Dance calling and also took the 3rd place ribbon in clogging/flatfooting at the Morehead Old-Time Festival . As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, he has performed all across the southeast of the United States both as a soloist and with several bands including the East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band, Fifthstring, and the Empty Bottle String Band. He currently attends East Tennessee State University where he pursues degrees in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies and Appalachian Studies.
At age 19, Tyler made the move from student to teacher at Mountain Music School and is currently still teaching the week long course in String Band music. His course centers on playing dance music as a band and a brief history of historically significant bands from the Appalachians. Tyler has also worked in Wise County with the after school music program Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) to incorporate the teaching of traditional music and dance to youth in the public school system. His earlier group, Fifthstring, worked to boost enrollment for the county’s first program in Coeburn, Virginia. Tyler Hughes released his first full length album at age 19, titled “Wise County Jail.” Hughes has also been featured on the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band’s album, “Testing Tradition,” and the Home Craft Days Festival 40th Anniversary album, “Legend & Legacy.” He has studied traditional music at home in the Appalachians and across the Atlantic in Ireland and Scotland.