Meet Tommy Vig: Born to a musical family in Budapest, Tommy Vig was internationally recognized as a child prodigy by the age of six, playing drums with his father, clarinetist Gyorgy Vig. His sense of improvisation, rhythm and energy at that young age made him unique, and he performed live concerts on radio, at the Budapest City Theatre, the Academy of Music in Budapest, and even the National Circus. At the age of eight, he made an album, called The World Champion Kid Drummer (Elite Special, 1946), with the best Austrian jazz players in Vienna, including Hans Koller
and the Hot Club of Vienna. At the age of nine, his drumming won him the 1947 MGM-Jazz Competition in Budapest. As a result, he made several recordings with the legendary Chappy's Mopex Big Band (on His Master's Voice Label).
Vig completed his studies at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in 1955 and the Ferenc Erkel Music High School in 1956. Following the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he fled to Vienna, where he played concerts with Fatty George
In 1970, Vig moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in Warner Brothers, Fox, Universal, CBS, Columbia, ABC, Disney, Goldwyn, MGM, and Paramount studios. He participated in about 1500 studio sessions in Hollywood, including two Academy Awards, and produced, directed and conducted the official 1984 Olympic Jazz Festival for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC). He also organized and conducted the annual Las Vegas Caesars Palace Mini-Jazz Festivals for many years. He has written the music for 30 films and television shows, including They Call Me Bruce? and The Kid With the Broken Halo. As a percussionist, Vig participated in the recording of Quincy Jones
' soundtrack to the Roots television miniseries. He played on the Jazz Festival Münster 1986 (album Mistral) with Lajos Dudas, and participated with the HR Jazzensemble and Martin Breinschmid.
Vig has given master courses at California State University, Northridge, and at the famous Tatabánya Jazz Academy. Over the past fifty years, his classical pieces were performed by symphony orchestras in the United States, Germany, and Hungary. He was the Vice President of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC). Vig was awarded the Hungarian Grammy by the State Radio in Budapest in 1994. The Hungarian Jazz Federation awarded him First Prize in Musical Arrangement in 2006, while the Budapest Jazz Orchestra commissioned and performed his piece, "Budapest 1956," in front of U.S. Ambassador April H. Foley and a capacity audience at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Since 2006, Vig has lived with his wife Mia (of the famous Kim Sisters) in Hungary, where they have been performing live concerts, appearing on radio and television, and recording several albums, including ÜssDob ("Beat It!") (Tom Tom), Now and Then (Pannon) and, most recently, Welcome to Hungary! The Tommy Vig Orchestra 2012 Featuring David Murray (Klasszikus Jazz). They have one son, Roger, who has already appeared on television in Los Angeles playing the drums with Vig's big band at the age of three.