Jiggs Whigham

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Jiggs Whigham
Jiggs-Whigham DSC04965.jpg
Background information
Birth nameOliver Haydn Whigham III
Born (1943-08-20) August 20, 1943 (age 79)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Years active1960–present

Jiggs Whigham (born Oliver Haydn Whigham III; August 20, 1943)[1] is an American jazz trombonist.


Jiggs Whigham and John Clayton in 1989, photo courtesy of the Fraser MacPherson estate

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States,[1] he began his professional career at the age of 17, joining the Glenn Miller/Ray McKinley orchestra in 1961.[2] He left that band for Stan Kenton, where he played in the touring "mellophonium" band in 1963,[1] then settled in New York City to play commercially.

Frustrated with commercial playing, Whigham migrated to Germany, where he still lives.[1] He taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He played for many years in the big band of Kurt Edelhagen,[1] 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,[1] and has produced an extensive discography as a leader, including work with Bill Holman, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Carl Fontana, and many others.

In more recent years, Whigham has been musical director of the RIAS Big Band in Berlin, Germany. He is formerly conductor of the BBC Big Band in Great Britain and currently co-director of the Berlin Jazz Orchestra with singer Marc Secara.[3][4][5] He is featured on the Berlin Jazz Orchestra albums Update, You're Everything, Songs of Berlin and music DVD (Polydor/Universal) Strangers In Night - The Music Of Bert Kaempfert. He was visiting tutor and artist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and KUG in Graz, Austria.[2] 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. Since 2008 he has been a regular musical director for the Bundesjazzorchester working with the top student jazz musicians in Germany.

Jiggs Whigham and the U.S. Navy Band

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


  • Values (MPS, 1971)
  • 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)
  • Live at Nighttown: Not So Standards (Azica, 2015)[6]

With the Berlin Jazz Orchestra

With the hr-Bigband

  • Strangers in the Night: The Music of Bert Kaempfert (Polydor, 2006)

As sideman[edit]

With Carl Fontana

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

With Peter Herbolzheimer

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

With Stan Kenton

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 Paul Kuhn

  • 2008 As Time Goes By
  • 2013 Swing 85

With Bud Shank

  • 1992 The Awakening
  • 1995 Lost Cathedral

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2667. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b "Jiggs Whigham". Royal Northern College of Music. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  3. ^ Jontz, Sandra (12 January 2011). "Renowned jazz musician Jiggs Whigham strikes right chord with DODDS students". Stars and Stripes.
  4. ^ Sawer, Patrick (25 December 2016). "Swinging sounds of the trombone make a revival, thanks to a plastic version". The Telegraph.
  5. ^ "Big Band Special - About the Team". BBC. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Jiggs Whigham | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Jiggs Whigham | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

External links[edit]