||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2013)|
|Ivan L. Wilzig|
|Also known as||Peaceman, Sir Ivan, Mr. Mitzvah|
|Born||January 6, 1956|
|Origin||Newark, New Jersey|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, Philanthropist, Media personality|
Tommy Boy Records
Jellybean RecordingsArtemis Records
Ivan L. Wilzig (born January 6, 1956), also known as Sir Ivan or Peaceman, is a recording artist and songwriter who is best known for his pop-dance remakes of 1960s and early 1970s peace songs, including, but not limited to, "Imagine" "San Francisco" "Hare Krishna" and "Live For Today”. He also created The Peaceman Foundation, a non-profit organization that battles hatred, violence and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In the US alone, he has appeared on various reality television shows, such as Who Wants to be a Superhero?, on Syfy, Epic Homes on the Travel Channel, The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons on VH1, Chef Roble & Co. on Bravo, and most recently on Super Heroes in 3D TV on 3Net.
Early Life and Banking Career
Ivan Wilzig was born in 1956 and raised with his two younger siblings, Alan and sister Sherry, in Clifton, New Jersey. Wilzig's father Siegbert (Siggi) Wilzig (March 11, 1926 – January 7, 2003), came to the United States as a young, destitute German Jewish Holocaust survivor. Fifty-nine of his relatives were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. His mother is Naomi Wilzig. After multiple salesman positions, Siggi B. Wilzig ultimately became Chairman, President and CEO of Wilshire Oil Company of Texas, then listed on the NYSE; and Chairman, President and CEO of The Trust Company of New Jersey, then listed on NASDAQ. Ivan’s mother, Naomi Wilzig, owns the World Erotic Art Museum in South Beach; his brother Alan owns Wilzig Racing Manor in upstate New York.
Ivan Wilzig graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1977, earning a B.A. degree in European intellectual history. He then earned his law degree at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in 1980. Instead of practicing law, he joined his father in running The Trust Company of New Jersey, a full service commercial bank founded in 1896. Most of Ivan Wilzig's work at the bank was in advertising, marketing and public relations. One of his most notable accomplishments at The Trust Company of New Jersey was the brokering of various deals that allowed 50 bank mini-branches to open up in A&P, Pathmark and ShopRite supermarkets, in NJ's most affluent counties. He sat on the Board of Directors of The Trust Company of New Jersey for many years.
Music (Ivan Wilzig Becomes Recording Artist Sir Ivan, aka Peaceman)
When asked why he calls himself “Sir” Ivan, he jokingly responds, “I didn’t ask permission from the Queen of England to build my own castle(see Sir Ivan’s Castle section), so why should I wait for her to knight me? And so, I knighted myself.” “Also, I thought “Sir Ivan” makes a great stage name. Ivan alone, reminds people of the Russian Czars, like Ivan the Terrible and Ivan the Great, and Wilzig is too hard to spell.”
Ivan Wilzig began voice lessons at the age of 10. In his youth, he attended an Orthodox Hebrew school, where he sang in the synagogue choir. Ivan’s first professional gigs were singing at Kutsher's Country Club in the Catskill Mountains, and then as a soloist at Town Hall in New York City with the Samuel Sterner Choir, where he sang a duet with the late Shalom Katz, a well-regarded Cantor. Later, he performed in both high school (Fiddler on the Roof) and college (Bye Bye Birdie) musicals. However, his father Siggi discouraged him from continuing in music as a career, wanting his son to have a more secure profession.
In 2001, Sir Ivan knew recording artist Dave Jurman, Executive Director of Dance Music at Columbia Records. Jurman introduced Sir Ivan to two-time Grammy-Award Nominee and record producer Ernie Lake, who produced Sir Ivan's remake of John Lennon's "Imagine," with Sir Ivan performing vocals. Tom Silverman, owner of Tommy Boy Records signed the track and released it on September 4, 2001. exactly one week before September 11, 2001. "Imagine," sold 10,000 vinyl copies in its first three months and became a Top-40 hit on the Billboard Club Play Chart. By combining techno tracks with hippy lyrics, Sir Ivan had developed a new style he called “technippy.”
Sir Ivan's follow up single, "San Francisco," was signed by label owner Jellybean Benitez, and released on Jellybean Recordings, reaching #7 on the Billboard Singles Sales Chart. Sir Ivan’s third single, "Peace on Earth," was his first original song, and was released by Artemis Records under the leadership of Daniel Glass. It too, made the Billboard Charts, but, more importantly, reached number #2 on the DMC (Dance Music Community) World Chart, in the UK. The song was very popular in Ibiza, Spain, the world's epicenter for dance music afficiados.
Sir Ivan's debut full-length 15-track album, I Am Peaceman, was released in September 2010 under his own label, Peaceman Music, and was produced by FORD, who had earned 18 gold and platinum records throughout his own career. Sir Ivan’s single off the album, remake of "Hare Krishna" went Top #10 on the Billboard Dance Charts on April 16, 2011. The success of "Hare Krishna" in Billboard lead to an album distribution deal in 2012 with Worldwide Records, the leading music distribution company in India. “La La Land,” the first song co-written by Sir Ivan, is his biggest hit to date, having made the Billboard Top 40 Airplay Chart, the leading pop radio indicator.
Television & Film
During the first season of Who Wants to be a Superhero? in 2006, Ivan attempted to audition with the producers as Peaceman, but he was too late to be included. He was encouraged to audition for the next season. His Peaceman character made the cut for Season Two, but as a precondition, the SyFy channel owned by NBC, was to obtain the trademarks to contestant characters. Ivan refused to give up the trademark to Peaceman, and attempted to create a new character Mitzvah Man, but the name had already been trademarked. Mr. Mitzvah, however, was not trademarked, and Ivan took on the identity of Mr. Mitzvah for the show becoming “The World’s First Jewish Superhero.' Although he was eliminated after the 3rd episode by the iconic comic book superhero creator Stan Lee, sole judge and jury on the show, Ivan considers himself the winner, because, at that time, his IMDB rating was two-to-four times higher than any other character on the show, including the ultimate winner at the end of the season.
Other Television and Film
Sir Ivan has appeared on numerous lifestyle and reality television shows since 2000. He was on the Travel Channel Manhattan on the Beach in 2000, the WE show Single in the Hamptons in 2002. VH1’s Hopelessly Rich (Hopelessly Rich) VH1's (The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons). in 2007. In 2012, Sir Ivan appeared on “The Crazy Hamptons Blowout,” Episode 5 of Bravo's Chef Roble and Co., which aired January 1, 2012. Most recently, Sir Ivan made his first 3D TV appeared on 3Net’s Super Heroes show, which first aired on February 10, 2013.
While he has been featured on TV programs across the globe, Sir Ivan is most popular in France and Germany. With the last two years, he has been featured on TF1 and Channel 6 in France, and RTL and ProSieben in Germany. He (first?) appeared on the German TV channel ProSieben right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, where he discussed his single, "Imagine." Also present on the show was Mina Otsuka, Sir Ivan’s girlfriend at the time, who had escaped the attacks from her Fuji Bank office on the 79th floor of Two World Trade Center. Thirty-three of her colleagues were not so lucky.
In early 2004, this time as part of the series So lebt ein Milliardaer! Lifestyle of a Billionaire, Sir Ivan appeared as Peaceman next to supermodel Naomi Campbell, DJ Paul Oakenfold and tennis player Venus Williams. In 2006, ProSieben featured him in Die Maedchen und der Milliardaer (The Girls and the Billionaire).
Sir Ivan's movie experience consists of a major part in a full-length documentary, King of the Hamptons, and a minor role in an independent SAG film, called The Gold and the Beautiful.
The Peaceman Foundation
Sir Ivan is the founder of The Peaceman Foundation, a non-profit charity that battles hatred, violence and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His personal recording artist royalties from album sales are donated to the Foundation. As the Foundation's spokesperson, he dresses as a caped character called Peaceman and sometimes goes out on good-will missions dressed in costume. The Foundation has made a substantial contribution to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth (LGBTQ.) He also financially supports Superheroes Anonymous, an organization of real-life super heroes that perform community service, including feeding the homeless.
Sir Ivan's Castle
In the late 1990s Ivan and his brother Alan built a 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) medieval-style estate in Water Mill, in the Hamptons, on Long Island, New York. Originally called “Wilzig Castle” when co-owned with his brother, it is now referred to as "Sir Ivan's Castle," and has been dubbed by the media as the "Playboy Mansion of the East Coast". The Castle has been featured in a numerous television shows, including the Travel Channel's Grand Castles of America and Epic Homes.
- "Imagine" Remix (2001, Tommy Boy Records)
- "San Francisco" (Jellybean Recordings)
- "Peace on Earth" (2004, Artemis Records)
- "For What It's Worth" Remix (Peaceman Music)
- "Kumbaya" (Peaceman Music)
- "Hare Krishna" Remix (2010,Peaceman Music)
- "Live For Today” (2011, Peaceman Music)
- "La La Land” (2012, Peaceman Music)
- I Am Peaceman (2010,Peaceman Music)
- I Am Peaceman (2012, Peaceman Music/ Worldwide Records) - India
- Davidovit, Aliza. "Sir Ivan Wilzig". Lifestyles Magazine (Jewish Virtual Library). Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- Jacobs, Andrew (October 9, 2004). "A Caped Crusader for Peace (and Fun); Rich and Famous for His Fame, He's Shooting for Techno Stardom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- Tore, Ulysses de la (August 5, 2004). "Ivan Wilzig: The Peaceman Cometh". East Hampton Star. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- "Biography". Sir Ivan Music. May 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- Zeveloff, Julie (July 19, 2012). "Meet Sir Ivan, The Ex-Bank Executive Who Runs The Playboy Mansion Of The Hamptons". Business Insider. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- "A Caped Crusader for Peace (and Fun); Rich and Famous for His Fame, He's Shooting for Techno Stardom". The New York Times. October 2004.
- Rich Dude's Bellybutton Flips Inside Out and Nearly Kills