Gary Wiggins (musician)

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Gary Wiggins
Detroit Gary Wiggins.jpg
Background information
Birth name Gary Allen Wiggins
Also known as Detroit Gary Wiggins
Born (1952-11-10) November 10, 1952 (age 65)
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres Jazz, Blues, Soul, Chicago Blues, Detroit blues, Funk, electric blues, Rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Bandleader, songwriter, producer, and director
Instruments Saxophone, vocals
Years active 1962–present
Labels Ornament Records, Imtrat, CrossCut Records
Website Official website

Gary Allen Wiggins, known as "Detroit" Gary Wiggins (born 10 November 1952, Detroit) is an African-American musician.


While he was still an infant his family moved to the west side of Detroit, on Oregon Street, where he was raised. His late mother, Ruth Russell Wiggins (1920-1999), reared him in the church where he began to perform on the saxophone with Brother Lawhorn in 1962. He attended Northwestern High School until 1970, and played in a jazz band while attending community college.[1][2]

At age 14[citation needed] he played in Bobo Jenkins Blues Band,[3] Detroit. Wiggins made his first recorded release That good old Funky Feeling on 45rpm at the age of 17 with his band The Impacs.[2]

The Impacs were a backing band for several of the Detroit R&B vocal groups like The Dramatics. After touring with The Dramatics and performing in such places as the Apollo in Harlem, the T.P. Warner Theater in Washington D.C. and tours through Panama, and the eastern coast of North America, he headed west and camped in California for five years. During this time he performed with musicians such as Eddie Shaw, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Johnny Heartsman, Roy Brown,[4] Big Mama Thornton,[2][5] and many other musicians on the West Coast music scene.[6]

In 1982, he spent a year in the Chicago blues scene where he played in the bands of the late Lefty Dizz, Sunnyland Slim,[7] Johnny Littlejohn and Sugar Blue.[8][9][10] and they released three vinyls.[11]

Since moving to Europe in 1983 and in addition to producing several music concerts for Jazz Clubs and Festivals, he has toured with Charlie Musselwhite,[12][13] Arnett Cobb,[14][15] Screaming Jay Hawkins [2][16][17] Jimmy Rogers,[17] Johnny Copeland, Big Jay McNeely (Saxomania Tour, Europe),[2][18][19] Katie Webster,[20] Scott Hamilton,[21] Louisiana Red and Carey Bell.[22]

He joined the Ray Charles show in Germany twice, and went to Japan. In Osnabrueck, Germany, Rannenberg and Wiggins founded the Pink Piano Jam Sessions [23] (where Arnett Cobb's last performance was recorded)[15] and, after moving to Berlin, he continued inviting international stars to the Berlin Blues Café.[24]

Wiggins plays in the A-Trane[25] International Jazz Club Berlin - that announced him as "one of the most important american Saxophonists living in Europe"[26] – since more than 20 years, as well as Europe's Oldest Jazzclub in Paris Le Caveau de las Huchette.[27][28]

The International Blues Duo[29] produced and released three albums, and Wiggins has recorded with, among others, Bobby McFerrin,[30]Robert Covington,[31] and Roy Gaines.[32][33][34]

Wiggins won the Berlin Jazz & Blues Award in 2002 and the German Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 1994 for Acoustic Soul, as well as the Gong Show in 1977 with Rick Murphy and David Winans as The Show Bizz Kids.[2]


  • Introducing The International Blues Duo To The World (1984)
  • The International Blues Duo Meets Blues Wire - Truly International (1987 / 2014)
  • Bobby McFerrin feat. Detroit Gary Wiggins: Bobby's Thing & Lady Fair (1988)
  • The International Blues Duo Featuring Katie Webster (1989)
  • Time For Saxin’ (1990)
  • Detroit Gary Wiggins & C.C. the Boogieman: Acoustic Soul (1992)
  • I Got Up (1996)
  • Fabrice Eulry & Detroit Gary Wiggins: Paris Jook (1996)
  • Ballads in a Diplomatic Lounge (2004)
  • Zeitlos (2005)
  • Saxin’ the Blues (2011)

As a side-person

  • Lefty Dizz & Shock Treatment: Live in Chicago (1982/2008)
  • Klaus Lage: Schweissperlen (1985)
  • Johnny Heartsman: Sacramento (1987)
  • Roy Gaines: Going home to see Mama (1987)
  • Angela Brown: Live (1993)
  • The Gospel Messengers: Lean on Me (1996)
  • EB Davis: Fool for the Ladies (1996) mit Big Jay Mc Neely,
  • Siggy Davis: Live (2013)
  • Jimmie Smith: Timemensions
  • The Cat - several Albums
  • Errol Dixon: Mr. Boogie Woogie
  • Robert Covington: The Golden Voice Of Robert Covington (1987)
  • The Dramatics: What you see is what you get (1972)
  • Jimmy Scott: A Pair and a Spair (1973)
  • Rickmond, Cindy: New Ideas (1990)


  1. ^ Cadence. B. Rusch. 1993-01-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Wiggins, Gary (Allen) – Encyclopedia of". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  3. ^ "Radio Swiss Jazz - Musiker". Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  4. ^ Rauhut, Michael (2008-01-01). Ich hab den Blues schon etwas länger: Spuren einer Musik in Deutschland (in German). Ch. Links Verlag. ISBN 9783861534952. 
  5. ^ "Feelingoodproductions Tours". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  6. ^ "Jimmy Scott". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  7. ^ ""They came to keep the Blues alive" -The Michigan Chronicle, February 1, 1986". Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  8. ^ Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning: Swedish journal of musicology (in Swedish). Svenska samfunde. 1986-01-01. 
  9. ^ Rauhut, Michael (2016-05-01). Ein Klang - zwei Welten: Blues im geteilten Deutschland, 1945 bis 1990 (in German). transcript Verlag. ISBN 9783839433874. 
  10. ^ Living Blues. Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the University of Mississippi. 1987-01-01. 
  11. ^ Blues Unlimited. BU Publications Limited. 1982-01-01. 
  12. ^ "Neue Welt Ingolstadt/Konzerte Charlie Musselwhite & Gary Wiggins & Chris Rannenberg". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  13. ^ "Charlie Musselwhite & "Detroit" Gary Wiggins in Concert". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  14. ^ "The Life of Arnett Cobb by Ingrid Montgomery-Swinton, Lizette Cobb". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  15. ^ a b Arnett Cobb's Last recorded performance, retrieved 2016-07-10 
  16. ^ "Screamin Jay Hawkins and "Detroit Gary Wiggins" Gallery". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  17. ^ a b Wölfer, Jürgen (2008-01-01). Jazz in Deutschland: das Lexikon; alle Musiker und Plattenfirmen von 1920 bis heute (in German). Hannibal. ISBN 9783854452744. 
  18. ^ PopEBvideoproduction (2012-03-07), "Reed Story" - starring "Detroit" Gary Wiggins, retrieved 2016-07-10 
  19. ^ BluesFilmer (2013-11-24), 9.SWF Blues Festival '89 Vol. 2 Saxomania feat. Roy Gaines & Big Jay McNeely & The International Blues Duo & Daryl Taylor, retrieved 2016-07-10 
  20. ^ "Illustrated Katie Webster discography". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  21. ^ "Jazz in sanguinet: gary wiggins + scott hamilton — Sortir Bordeaux Gironde". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  22. ^ Jazz, All About. "International Blues Projekt". Gallery. Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  23. ^ Big City Blues Magazine. Detroit Blues Magazine. 1997-10-01. 
  24. ^ Living Blues. Center for the Study of Southern Culture, The University of Mississippi. 1994-01-01. 
  25. ^ "a-trane: Programm". Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  26. ^ "GARY WIGGINS COTTON CLUB ORCHESTRA @ A-Trane, Berlin". Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  27. ^ "CAVEAU DE LA HUCHETTE - Les grands noms du Jazz". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  28. ^ Doriz, Danny (2008). 60 Ans de jazz au Caveau de la Huchette. Paris: Christian Mars. pp. 86–87. ISBN 2-8098-0033-2. 
  29. ^ ""Detroit" Gary Wiggins: Blues Photograph Collection (Blues Archive of the University of Mississippi Digital Collections)". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  30. ^ "Catawiki". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  31. ^ Whiteis, David. "Robert Covington--The Golden Voice of Robert Covington". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  32. ^ "Roy Gaines - Going Home Too See Mama". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  33. ^ Saxophone Journal. Dorn Publications. 1992-01-01. 
  34. ^ Blues Guide Germany: das Buch über den Blues in Deutschland: [Bands, Clubs, Agenturen, Labels, Festivals, Initiativen] (in German). Verlag Dirk Föhrs. 1997-01-01. ISBN 9783980449601. 

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