Amazon.com Widgets

Take Five With Tommy Vig

Take Five With Tommy Vig
By Published: | 5,631 views
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
Hans Koller
Hans Koller
b.1921
, Ernst Landl
Ernst Landl
b.1914
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
Fatty George
b.1927
and Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
1932 - 2007
keyboard
. After moving to the United States, he was given a scholarship at Juilliard School of Music. Since then he has been writing and conducting his own concerts. Vig has worked with Red Rodney
Red Rodney
Red Rodney
1927 - 1994
trumpet
, Don Ellis
Don Ellis
Don Ellis
1934 - 1978
trumpet
, Cat Anderson
Cat Anderson
Cat Anderson
1916 - 1981
trumpet
, Terry Gibbs
Terry Gibbs
Terry Gibbs
b.1924
vibraphone
, Art Pepper
Art Pepper
Art Pepper
1925 - 1982
sax, alto
, Milcho Leviev
Milcho Leviev
Milcho Leviev
b.1937
piano
, Joe Pass
Joe Pass
Joe Pass
1929 - 1994
guitar
, and the Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
-Gil Evans
Gil Evans
Gil Evans
1912 - 1988
composer/conductor
Big Band, amongst many others. In 1961 he settled in Las Vegas, where he performed with Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
vocalist
, Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr.
1925 - 1990
vocalist
,Tony Curtis, Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen
b.1935
clarinet
, Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland
1922 - 1969
vocalist
, and Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
b.1926
vocalist
. He was the percussionist on many of Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
b.1945
vocalist
's albums.

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
Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
b.1933
producer
' 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.

Vig invented Non-Subjective Valuing (TM)—U.S. Patent 6038554.

Google reveals more than 800,000 entries for Tommy Vig.

Instrument(s):
Vibes, drums, arranger.

Teachers and/or influences?
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
, Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
, Beethoven, Lutoslawski.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was five, and watched my father play lead alto in a big band

Your sound and approach to music:
Influenced by Gene Krupa
Gene Krupa
Gene Krupa
1909 - 1973
drums
on drums, Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
1908 - 2002
vibraphone
on vibes and Bartók as a composer.

Your teaching approach:
Understanding and inspiring.

Your dream band:
I had my dream band in real life on the Milestone Sound of the Seventies album, featuring Victor Feldman
Victor Feldman
Victor Feldman
1934 - 1987
multi-instrumentalist
, Shelly Manne
Shelly Manne
Shelly Manne
1920 - 1984
drums
, Red Mitchell
Red Mitchell
Red Mitchell
b.1927
bass
, Louie Valizan, Bud Brisbois, Charlie McLean, Bill Perkins
Bill Perkins
Bill Perkins
1924 - 2003
saxophone
, Frank Rosolino
Frank Rosolino
Frank Rosolino
1926 - 1978
trombone
, Al Porcino
Al Porcino
Al Porcino
1925 - 2013
trumpet
and Carl Fontana
Carl Fontana
Carl Fontana
1928 - 2003
trombone
.

comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.