GREENVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – For the past seven months, Jeff Hughes has been hanging out with his father instead of playing music on a cruise ship — the job he had before COVID-19 hit.
He’s hoping to get back to work by spring but until then, he’ll be on dry land in Pennsylvania.
“I miss performing, I miss an audience, I miss the applause, I miss all my musician mates,” he said.
Before COVID-19, Jeff had reached the pinnacle of his 28 years as a musician in the cruise industry. He was the music director on the Queen Mary 2, a position he was thrilled to get.
“It’s one of those names where, ‘Oh, I heard of that,'” he said.
Above his piano at his childhood home, Jeff has a map with pins that mark the 500-600 places he has visited.
“Blue for Alaska where it’s cold, red for South America. Pretty much on every continent,” he said.
And he has the pictures to prove it — outside the Colosseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Greece and the Sphinx in Egypt.
But since February, when the cruise industry shut down, he has taken up residence at his father’s home in Greenville.
“Yeah, I haven’t seen Four Seasons in a long time. It’s been fun. I really enjoyed it,” he said.
“Oh, I’m enjoying him being home, better than being here by myself,” said Lynn Hughes, Jeff’s father.
At this point, Jeff is hoping to be back on the Queen Mary 2 by April.
“But it’s going to take some time until people feel free to travel and feel safe. The ships are very safe but we rely on so many different countries, not only to supply our crew but passengers, and the whole point of a cruise is to go somewhere,” Jeff said.
Until then, Jeff will continue hanging out in Greenville.