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Tommy Vig

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 live 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 an album (called “The World Champion Kid Drummer”) with the best Austrian jazz players in Vienna, including Hans Koller, Ernst Landl and the Hot Club of Vienna (on Elite Special Label). 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 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 and Joe Zawinul. 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 worked with Red Rodney, Don Ellis, Cat Anderson, Terry Gibbs, Art Pepper, Milcho Leviev, Joe Pass, and the Miles Davis-Gil Evans Big Band amongst many others. 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.

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