Tommy Vig
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Tommy Vig
Tommy Vig
Tommy Vig Vibes 2.jpg
Tommy Vig in Budapest 2009
(Photo by Zsolt Peth?)
Background information
Born (1938-07-14) 14 July 1938 (age 80)
Origin Budapest, Hungary
Genres Jazz, classical
Musician, composer, arranger, bandleader
Instruments Vibraharp, drums, percussion, xylophone, marimba
Labels Klasszikus Jazz, Milestone, Discovery, Tom Tom, Pannon Jazz, Dobre, Mortney, Take V, Luz
Henry Mancini, Stan Kenton, Red Rodney, Don Ellis, Quincy Jones, Miles Davis-Gil Evans Big Band, Joe Pass, Tom JonesTerry Gibbs, Art Pepper, Cat Anderson, Nelson Riddle, Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Milcho Leviev, Rod Stewart, Don Costa

Tommy Vig (July 14, 1938) is a percussionist, arranger, bandleader, and composer.

Life and work

Born to a musical family in Budapest, Tommy Vig was internationally recognized as a child prodigy by the age of 6, playing drums with his father, clarinetist Gyorgy Vig. He performed concerts in Budapest on State Radio, at the City Theatre, the Academy of Music, and the National Circus. At the age of 8, he made the album The World Champion Kid Drummer with Austrian jazz players in Vienna, including Hans Koller, Ernst Landl, and the Hot Club of Vienna for Elite Special. At the age of 9, his drumming won him the 1947 MGM-Jazz Competition in Budapest. As a result, he made several recordings with the Chappy's Mopex Big Band for His Master's Voice.

Vig completed his studies at the Bartk 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 and Joe Zawinul. After moving to the United States, he was given a scholarship to Juilliard School of Music. Since then he has been writing and conducting concerts. Vig worked with Red Rodney, Don Ellis, Cat Anderson, Terry Gibbs, Art Pepper, Milcho Leviev, Joe Pass, and the Miles Davis-Gil Evans Big Band. In 1961 he settled in Las Vegas, where he performed with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Curtis, Woody Allen, Judy Garland, and Tony Bennett. He was the percussionist on many of Rod Stewart's albums.

In 1970, Vig moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in the studios of Warner Bros., Fox, Universal, CBS, Columbia, ABC, Disney, Goldwyn, MGM, and Paramount. 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. He also organized and conducted the annual Las Vegas Caesars Palace Mini-Jazz Festivals for many years. He wrote the music for 30 films and television shows, including They Call Me Bruce? and The Kid with the Broken Halo. As a percussionist, he participated in the recording of Quincy Jones's soundtrack to Roots. He played on the Jazz Festival Mnster 1986 with Lajos Dudas and participated with the hr-Jazzensemble and Martin Breinschmid.

Vig gave master classes at California State University, Northridge, and at the Tatabnya Jazz Academy. Over the past fifty years his classical compositions were performed by symphony orchestras in the United States, Germany, and Hungary. He was vice president of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers. Vig was awarded the EmErTon Prize by the Hungarian 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 at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Since 2006, Vig has lived with his wife Mia (of The Kim Sisters) in Hungary, where they have been performing concerts,[1] appearing on radio and television,[2] and recording albums, including ssDob (B'eat It!, Tom-Tom Records), Now and Then (Pannon Jazz), and Welcome to Hungary! The Tommy Vig Orchestra 2012 Featuring David Murray (Klasszikus).

Vig invented the scientific method of Non-Subjective Valuing (U.S. Patent 6038554) which is detailed in his book How to Tell What Things Are Really Worth.[]




  • The Tommy Vig Orchestra (Take 5, 1964)[5]
  • Encounter with Time a.k.a. Space Race (Discovery, 1967)
  • The Sound of the Seventies (Milestone, 1968)[6]
  • Just for the Record (1971)
  • Tommy Vig in Budapest (Mortney, 1972)
  • Somebody Loves Me (Dobre, 1976)
  • Encounter with Time (Discovery, 1977)
  • Tommy Vig 1978, (Dobre, 1978)
  • ssDob (Tom-Tom, 2008)
  • Welcome to Hungary! The Tommy Vig Orchestra 2012 Featuring David Murray (Klasszikus Jazz, 2011)
  • Tommy Vig 75! (Klasszikus Jazz, 2014)

Film and television scores


Tommy Vig's compositions performed in the U.S. and Europe include:

  • Concerto for Clarinet, Vibraharp and Orchestra
  • Concerto for Vibraharp and Orchestra
  • Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra
  • Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra
  • Four Pieces for Neophonic Orchestra
  • Collage for Four Clarinetists[9]
  • A Clarinetist and a Harpist
  • Budapest 1956 (Concerto for Jazz Drums and Orchestra)

See also


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes