Piano / Synthesizers
Stage Presence / Personality
Composer, Vocalist, Drummer, Pianist, Performer, Recording Artist, Producer, Engineer
After being introduced to a piano by his mother at 4 years old, Jimmy Wilgus taught himself piano as a child and studied drums at the age of 12 with jazz legend Joe Morello. He began writing and recording songs on his 4 track tape player when he was still in high school. By the time he was 16 he was studying vocals with Marty Lawrence of Manhattan. Armed with a trained voice and prolific songwriting talent, Jimmy began recording at professional studios including the Power Station, Skyline Studios, Sorcerer Sound, Water Music, Waterfront, Trax East, Mixolidian, Brielle Music, and Boulevard Music. His song “Colorblind” won the Billboard song writing contest and he’s received honorable mention certificates for “Living in a Bad Dream”, “Where Have You Been?” and several other songs.
Jimmy’s music caught the ear of video director, Chuck Fishbein, Crazy Duck Productions, who made videos of Jimmy and won an award for producing the video for the Jimmy Wilgus classic, “Rock and Roll People”.
At the age of 18, Jimmy took his music out of the studio and into the NY club scene with his 5-6 piece band “Jimmy Wilgus & the People”. Jimmy added 4/5 very talented musicians since quality of music was the focus.
He’s played in such venues as Club Bene, The Count Basie Theater, The Morristown Community theater, NJ Performing Arts Center and The Tito Puente Amphitheater in Puerto Rico, as well as local favorites in NYC such as The Bitter End, CBGB’s and The China Club.
“Jimmy Wilgus and The People” were recognized as one of the Best Unsigned Bands in the country by Musician Magazine back in the 90’s.
In addition to his own band, Jimmy has toured with several groups. Most notably as playing keyboards for the Joe Bergamini progressive rock band, 4-FRONT, who opened for such artists as Kansas, Marillion, The Spin Doctors and Saga. He also played drums for New York songstress NICOLA.
Jimmy also studied culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, earned a degree as Chef and received a special award for creating a practical children’s menu in gourmet dining.
In 2000 Jimmy had a recording facility called THE DEN in Denville, NJ. There he produced or recorded hundreds of artists of all genres of music, including the following:
9 CIRCLES, NICOLA, HEERNT, FRIDAY’S CHILD, CHRIS RICH, NORWAY, MICHAEL KAPLAN, THE FAKERS, ROB CHIOSSI and ATHENIA.
He’s written and recorded music for several television and radio commercials here in the USA, including Rolling Rock Beer, Sprint Communications, Pearle Vision, NBC News, CUBIES reusable ice cubes and the YMCA, as well as several products in Russia.
If you have the chance, you must see a short film written, directed and filmed by Jimmy entitled, THE DIRECTORS CUT, featuring Indians Rich. Jimmy also acted in the movie.
Jimmy has taken the time to teach music to young children at the Valley Music Center in Long Valley, NJ. He also gave private lessons in drumming, piano, keyboard and vocals.
With 20 years of professional experience in all facets of music, Jimmy formed the band WICKED MONKEY with Russian guitarist Yury Nikolaev. With WICKED MONKEY, Jimmy has toured Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, as the front man. He learned the lyrics to a popular Russian folk song which brought the house down at concerts in Russia.
Most recently Jimmy scored several films for Russian director Vitaly Pavlov Pavlov, as well as the theme for a popular TV series in Russia, and was asked to compose all the theme’s and incidental music for the 2013 Pacific Meridian Film Festival in Vladivostok, Russia, where he was honored for his work.
In 2014, Jimmy traveled to Moscow to perform concerts, singing a duet with Svitlana Bolbot. There he met Elena, married her in May 2014 and decided to live in Moscow. He was giving drum lessons to adult Russian musicians and young beginners. He became partners with Russian investors and musicians to set up a new, state-of-the-art recording and production studio. There he wrote many themes for a documentary recognizing the night during World War II when the Germans & Russians put down their weapons for one New Year’s night to socialize together. While working on these side projects, Jimmy was constantly working with Vitaly Pavlov scripting music for motion pictures, a TV series, and video commercials. He appeared many times on TV in concerts, did TV interviews and gave Master Classes at major music stores in Moscow.
Jimmy became a POLITICAL PRISONER on November 7, 2016 as he walked out of his Moscow apartment. He is serving a 12.5 year sentence in a Mordovia Labor Camp until the U.S. Government is successful in negotiating his release. Jimmy will be back! Stay tuned!