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Tommy Víg Farewell Concert

20:00 - 21:30
Open-air stage
Program series
House of Music Hungary production
Mia Kim
double bass
Tibor Csuhaj-Barna
György Jeszenszky
vibraphone, drums
Tommy Víg

Tommy Víg Farewell Concert

This concert is intended as a farewell to Tommy Vig, the musician who was once considered a child prodigy here in his native Hungary and, after emigrating, went on to achieve tremendous success in the United States, playing with such international stars as Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson and enjoys great recognition as a jazz drummer and percussionist to this day. Even after returning home in 2006, he continued to give numerous major concerts while also winning the hearts of jazz fans playing with various formations at smaller clubs. His unique musical world combines elements of contemporary and classical sounds and jazz.

His Farewell Concert is scheduled for 8 pm on Saturday, 29 June, two weeks before his 86th birthday, at the House of Music Hungary: this will be the last time he takes the stage together with his fellow musicians in front of a live audience, capping off a nearly eight-decade career loaded with amazing experiences.

Tommy Vig left Hungary in 1956. Previously, he had made a name for himself only as a drumming prodigy, having already given quite a few performances by the age of seven, including at the Liszt Academy, the Capital Circus of Budapest and the City Theatre. He was eight years old when the album he had recorded with top Austrian jazz soloists was released in Vienna. In November 1956, at the age of 18, he fled communism, and, shortly after drumming with Joe Zawinul’s trio at the Vienna Academy of Music, he travelled to the United States and settled there. He lived and worked in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas until 2006. The half century he spent abroad rewarded him with a significant career, allowing him to perform and collaborate on recordings with such superstars as Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr, Michel Legrand, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye, Art Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield, the Beach Boys, Dr John, the Carpenters, Henry Mancini, Maurice Jarre, the Manhattan Transfer, Woody Allen, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, and even Michael Jackson. He worked as a film composer, conductor, arranger, drummer and vibraphonist at the world’s best-known major studios, including Warner Brothers, Fox, Universal, CBS, and Columbia Pictures. With more than 1,400 studio recordings to his name, he has performed twice at the Oscars ceremony, and in 2001 the Los Angeles Jazz Society presented him with its equivalent of an Oscar for his instrument. And Tommy also served as the director of the official Olympic Jazz Festival in Los Angeles in 1984. Still living in America at the time, he coordinated the four-day event around the days of the sports competitions and managed it as part of the Olympic Arts Festival held over the previous weeks.

The event featured artists like Benny Carter, Shelly Manne, Terumasa Hino and Albert Mangelsdorff, all accompanied by Tommy’s own orchestra throughout the four days of the jazz festival. In doing so, Tommy and the other organisers of the Olympic Arts Festival were able to sneak the Coubertinian philosophy back into the Games. It was not the spirit of competition, but the ideal of an international review of jazz that left its mark on the Olympic Jazz Festival. Albeit in a more modest fashion, Tommy has continued what he started in Los Angeles here in Hungary.


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