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Tom-Tom Studio

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Tommy Víg

Tommy Víg


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 clarinetist father. His sense of improvisation, rhythm and energy made him unique, and he performed live concerts on radio and at the Budapest City Theatre, the Music Academy, and even the National Circus! By the age of 8 he made a record (called "The World Champion Kid Drummer") with the best Austrian jazz players in Vienna.

After World War II, Tommy benefited from the lively musical recovery in Hungary, and completed his studies at the Bartók Béla Conservatory in 1955 and the Erkel Ferenc Music High School in Budapest, graduating in 1956. By that time he performed at the Hungarian State Radio as a jazz vibraphonist. But in about 1949, jazz was suddenly forbidden to be played in communist Hungary. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution was defeated, Tommy took a chance and walked through the Russian mine fields to freedom to Austria, where he played at Fatty George's Jazz Club and performed with Joe Zawinul at the Vienna Music Academy, before leaving for New York. He had already chosen his main instrument to be the vibraphone.

Tommy was given a scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music. This gave him the chance to learn composition, and since then he has been highly successful in writing and conducting his own concerts as well as playing all over the United States. He studied history and psychology at Hawaii University in 1960, and law at the Mission Hills College in California in 1985.

From New York Tommy moved to Las Vegas and Hollywood, where his style of jazz was well received. He performed with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Tony Curtis, Miles Davis-Gil Evans big band, Woody Allen, Diana Ross, and The Carpenters, just to name a few. He is the percussionist on all the albums of the legendary Rod Stewart.

In Las Vegas, he was to meet the love of his life - the South Korean born Mia Kim of the famous Kim Sisters trio (You-Tube video here). The Kims were playing back to back with Tommy on a revolving stage. Mia starred at the Stardust and Desert Inn Hotels, and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Live TV Show 24 times. She also appeared on the Dinah Shore, Operation Entertainment, Hollywood Palace and Dean Martin television shows. Tommy's energetic playing and character has been complemented by the tranquil and mellow personality of Mia. This was true in all aspects of their lives together, and showed in his music, business and family life. Mia's velvety voice is still mesmerizing audiences during Tommy's vibrant and unique performances of both classical and improvised jazz.

Over the years, Tommy and Mia have played to packed houses worldwide, and have achieved a unique rapport with their international audiences. Their polished professionalism is always hugely successful and popular, bringing inspiration, verve and fun to the public and fellow musicians.

Tommy's list of credits as film composer, big band leader and studio percussionist is very long. He worked in all the top studios in L.A., including Warner Brothers, Fox, Universal, CBS, Columbia, ABC, Disney, Goldwyn, MGM, Paramount and so on. He participated in more than 1400 studio sessions in Hollywood, including two Academy Awards and produced, directed and conducted the official Olympic Jazz Festival for the LAOOC in Los Angeles, 1984. He also organized and conducted the annual Las Vegas Caesars Palace Jazz Festivals for many years.

He was the Vice President of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers for ten years and has been a member of ASCAP for forty years. He gave master courses at the University of California, Northridge, and at the famous Tatabánya Jazz Academy lead by János Gonda. His appearances in Florida and Nevada for CBS Musical Instruments are some of the countless participations on his part in major musical events over the past fifty years, including the Santa Barbara and Berkeley Jazz Festivals (the latter with Miles Davis and Gil Evans).

Back in Hungary, even while living in America, his career was closely followed by a loving audience. He was awarded the Hungarian Grammy by the State Radio in Budapest in 1994. The Hungarian Jazz Federation awarded Tommy first prize in Musical Arrangements in 2006, while the Budapest Jazz Orchestra commissioned and performed his composition: "Budapest 1956" in front of the US Ambassador April Foley and an enthusiastic packed house at the Museum of Fine Arts.

In the summer of 2006, Tommy and Mia moved to Hungary permanently, where they have been enthralling audiences with their brilliant playing in concerts, and on television and radio. They have recorded several CDs, including the "ÜssDob", ("Beat It!") and "Now and Then".

Whilst performing at every conceivable jazz event in the U.S. 1956-2006, Tommy has never appeared at any major European jazz festival.

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Format: CD
Date of release: 2008-06-03
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