Alternate Mode KAT Artists Page

Tommy Vig

Tommy Vig - Alternate Mode Artist

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.