Brian Hughes (born 1955) is a Canadian guitarist whose work draws from both the smooth jazz and world music genres. (Of the latter, his influences have thus far been primarily Latin.) Not restricted entirely to conventional guitars, Hughes has also been known to employ the oud, bouzouki and balalaika. He has for over twenty four years worked in the studio with singer/songwriter Loreena McKennitt, co-produced many of her recordings, and leads her touring band. Hughes has many albums starting from the early 1990s. His music is contemporary jazz using the jazz guitar for his instrumental music. His latest release is the CD Fast Train To A Quiet Place released in July 2011. Many of his works can be heard on The Weather Channel's Local on the 8's and on Sirius XM's Watercolors channel.
Hughes grew up in Alberta, Canada and studied at Grant MacEwan College (now MacEwan University) in Edmonton and the Banff School of Fine Arts with guitarists Ed Bickert and Gene Bertoncini. In 1981 he moved temporarily to Los Angeles where he studied at the Guitar Institute with Pat Martino, Joe DiOrio and Robben Ford. In 1987 Hughes relocated to Toronto where he began working with harpist Loreena McKennitt and in 1991 recorded his first album as a leader for Justin Time Records. Hughes subsequently recorded "Under One Sky" for Justin Time in 1992 and then started his own label Sylvan House Music in 1995 which was distributed by Warner Music Canada and licensed to Higher Octave / EMI in the USA and abroad. Brian recorded three more albums (Straight To You, One 2 One and Shakin' Not Stirred) under this arrangement before releasing Along The Way with A440 music group in 2003. Hughes returned to his Sylvan House Music imprint for the release of LIVE (2007), No Reservations concert DVD (2009) and Fast Train to a Quiet Place in July 2011. Brian relocated to Los Angeles in 2000 where he continues to reside.
Brian received the SOCAN (Society of Canadian Authors and Composers) Jazz and Instrumental Composer of the Year award in: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2008. He was also nominated for a Juno Award as "Producer of the Year" in 1991 for the Loreena McKennitt album "The Visit".