Woodward Horns

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Woodward Horns
Woodward Horns Logo.png
Background Information




Motown, Soul, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Jazz

Years Active

2015 - Present


James Hughes - Saxes
Bobby Streng - Saxes
Jimmy Smith - Trumpet
Matt Martinez - Trombone




The Woodward Horns are a four-piece horn section from Detroit, Michigan. Performing in and around the region, they have earned a reputation of the highest level of musicianship. As a group, they have performed/recorded with Tunde Olaniran, Bobby Murray, Ben Sharkey, Beth Stalker & Ron Otis. Individually, the have performed with many different acts including Aretha Franklin, Idina Menzel, Josh Groban, Leonard Slatkin, the Verve Pipe, Mayer Hawthorne, & many others.

As composers, arrangers and performers, The Woodward Horns have the ability to breathe life into a project from its earliest stage of inception through to completion. Whether the call is for songwriting or planning, studio recording or live performance, the creativity and expertise provided by these players have positioned them as a premier horn section in the Midwest.

The Woodward Horns


Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith.jpg
Detroit based trumpeter, composer, and arranger Jimmy Smith is among the most sought after musicians in the Midwest. He holds a Masters degree in jazz performance from The Aaron Copland School of Music, and is an alumnus of The Berklee College of Music as
well as Wayne State University. Also a music educator, Jimmy has held numerous artists in residence positions in the NYC public schools, and is a certified music teacher in Michigan.

He recently released his second album as a co-leader (with The Hughes/Smith Quintet), EVER UP & ONWARD which was selected as one of AllMusic's "Top Jazz Albums" in 2015!

In addition to being a member of The Woodward Horns and The Will Sessions Band, Jimmy is also a member of The Paul Keller Orchestra. An active freelance musician, he has performed with a number of regional and national artists/acts, including The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Verve Pipe, Alexander Zonjic, Mitch Ryder, Stewart Francke, Jill Jack, Karen Newman, Melvin Davis, Pat Lewis, Johnnie Bassett, Ben Sharkey, Nicole New and Bobby Murray.

Jimmy along with James Hughes hosts a jam session every Wednesday at Black Lotus Brewing Co. in Clawson, MI. Weekly they feature a different themes and rhythm sections each week. Previous themes include Hank Mobley's "Soul Station," the CTI years of Freddie Hubbard, The Brecker Brothers, Larry Young's "Unity," The music of Lee Morgan, and the music of Fred Wesley.


James Hughes

James Hughes.jpg

Jazz Saxophonist James Hughes is one of Detroit's most original voices on the scene. His music is full of personality, freshness and distinction, while staying rooted in the great tradition of be-bop and swing. He studied jazz at Wayne State University and earned his Masters of Music in 2009.

He is a first-call freelance Saxophonist in the Detroit area and has worked with notable artists Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, The Temptations, The O'Jays, Kenny G, and Bernadette Peters. He has performed with jazz giants Jimmy Heath, Richie Cole, Dave Liebman, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval and Eddie Daniels.

His composition "Luna di Luna" was debuted by Jerry Bergonzi at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. James has recorded with many artists: Scott Gwinnell, Carl Cafagna, Bobby Streng, Paul Keller, Keith Vreeland, Ed Nuccilli, Melvin Davis, Motor City Jazz Orchestra, Davidson Magpie and Pirhana Head. He can even be heard playing tenor Sax on the New Looney Tunes Show.

In addition to a busy performance schedule, James maintains a teaching studio and is a conductor of jazz at Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp. He has two recordings under his own name, co-lead with trumpeter Jimmy Smith, FROM HERE ON OUT (2013) and EVER UP & ONWARD (2015).

For more information on James, check out his website: jameshughesmusic.net


Matt Martinez

Matt Martinez.jpg

Matt Martinez is a freelance trombonist with roots based firmly in the heart of Detroit. He was raised on the sounds of Motown and soul music and his early musical education consisted of a steady diet of artists from Philly to Memphis to Chicago, the Beatles to Frank Sinatra, Alice Cooper to the incomparable Stevie Wonder. This led him to continue his musical education at Wayne State University, where he was fortunate enough to study under both Matt Michaels and Russ Miller.

With a keen ability to play any style, Matt has been afforded the opportunity to perform with many national and regional artists including Aretha Franklin, George Clinton, Dave Liebman, Patti Austin, Don Was, The Temptations, The O'Jays, The Four Tops, Wayne Kramer, Karen Newman, Alexander Zonjic, Melvin Davis, Amp Fiddler, & The Paul Keller Orchestra.

In his collaborations with Will Sessions, he has played at SXSW & the San Jose Jazz Fest, opened for Snoop Lion (then Snoop Dogg), performed with members of the legendary hip-hop group Slum Village, and recorded various "funk 45s" with Funk Night Records.

In addition to Will Sessions, Matt is a member of Bobby Streng's House Big Band as well as The Motor City Jazz Orchestra. He is also a founding member of The Woodward Horns, a Detroit-based freelance horn section.

Matt has recorded with Eminem, Royce Da 5'9", Mayer Hawthorne, GRiZ, Tunde Olaniran, Dennis Coffey, McKinley Jackson, former American Idol contestant Jena Irene, Randy Scott, Brian McCarty (Trash Brats), The Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra and many others.

With a versatility that is driven by dedication, skill and a passion for music and the arts, Matt has garnered a rich list of experience that has made him a most respectable player in every facet.


Bobby Streng

Bobby Streng.jpg

Bobby Streng is a saxophonist, composer, and arranger of all genres of music.

When not leading his own jazz fusion groups such as Liquid Street, the House Big Band, Saxomble, or the Bobby Streng Group, he has been heard as a member of Walter White and Small Medium at Large, the Paul Keller Orchestra, and as a freelance musician around Detroit and the Midwest. From 2007-2011, Bobby enjoyed the privilege of traveling nationally and internationally with the Harry James Orchestra led by trumpeter Fred Radke. In addition to his classic big band work with the HJO, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra featured Bobby in the lead alto role of Jimmy Dorsey on their 2009 US tour. He has also performed with Motown legends like The Temptations, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, and The O'Jays.

In the classical music realm, Bobby recorded under Maestro Lenard Slatkin on William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Exerience which earned the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording.

Bobby earned his bachelors degree from the University of Dayton and a masters from the University of Michigan where he studied with the renowned saxophonist Donald Sinta.


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