Jiggs Whigham

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Jiggs Whigham
Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson
Jiggs Wigham and John Clayton in 1989, photo courtesy of the Fraser MacPherson estate

Jiggs Whigham (born Oliver Haydn Whigham III on 20 August 1943) is an American jazz trombonist.


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he began his professional career at the age of 17, joining the Glenn Miller/Ray McKinley orchestra in 1961.[1] He left that band for Stan Kenton, where he played in the touring "mellophonium" band in 1963, then settled in New York City to play commercially.

Frustrated with commercial playing, Whigham migrated to Germany, where he still lives, He taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He played for many years in the big band of Kurt Edelhagen, was a featured soloist in the Bert Kaempfert orchestra, and was also a member of the Peter Herbolzheimer band. He is widely admired by trombonists and other musicians for his fluent and expressive playing, and has produced an extensive discography as a leader, including work with Bill Holman, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Carl Fontana, and many others.

In recent years, Whigham has been musical director of the RIAS (Radio In The American Sector) Big Band in Germany. He is currently conductor of the BBC Big Band in Great Britain and artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Orchestra with singer Marc Secara.[2][3][4] He is featured on the Berlin Jazz Orchestra albums Update, You're Everything and music DVD (Polydor/Universal) Strangers In Night - The Music Of Bert Kaempfert. He is visiting tutor and artist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.[1] He is artist-in-residence for the Conn-Selmer company, maker of the King Jiggs Whigham model trombone. He continues to tour worldwide as soloist, conductor, and educator.

He makes his home in Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


  • The Jiggs Up (Capri, 1988)
  • First Take (Mons, 1994)
  • Hope (Mons, 1995)
  • Jiggs & Gene (Azica, 1996)
  • Blue Highway: The Music of Paul Ferguson (Azica, 1998)
  • Jazz Meets Band (1999)
  • The Heart & Soul of Hoagy Carmichael (TNC Jazz, 2002)
  • Two-Too (Summit, 2006)
  • Strangers in the Night: The Music of Bert Kaempfert (Polydor, 2006)
  • Live at Nighttown: Not So Standards (Azica, 2015)[5]

As sideman[edit]

With Peter Herbolzheimer

  • 1973 Wide Open
  • 2005 Toots Suite
  • 2006 Getting Down to Brass Tracks

With Stan Kenton

  • 1998 Concert in England
  • 2000 Live at Newport: 1959, 1963, 1971
  • 2001 Back to Balboa: Tribute to Stan Keaton, Vol. 6
  • 2003 At Brant Inn 1963

With Kenton Alumni Band

  • 1992 50th Anniversary Celebration: The Best of Back to Balboa
  • 1995 50th Anniversary Celebration: Back to Balboa
  • 1995 'Round Midnight Concert, Shades of Kenton Jazz Orchestra

With Bud Shank

  • 1992 The Awakening
  • 1995 Lost Cathedral

With Paul Kuhn

  • 2008 As Time Goes By
  • 2013 Swing 85

With Carl Fontana

  • 1999 Nice 'n' Easy
  • 2002 Keepin' up with the Boneses

With others


  1. ^ a b "Jiggs Whigham". Royal Northern College of Music. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Jontz, Sandra (12 January 2011). "Renowned jazz musician Jiggs Whigham strikes right chord with DODDS students". Stars and Stripes. 
  3. ^ Sawer, Patrick (25 December 2016). "Swinging sounds of the trombone make a revival, thanks to a plastic version". The Telegraph. 
  4. ^ "Big Band Special - About the Team". BBC. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Jiggs Whigham | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Jiggs Whigham | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 

External links[edit]