Gary „Detroit“ Wiggins

english – german/french/italien see bottom of this page

born and raised in Detroit, Michigan is having a long and successful career as a saxophonist.He is known for his soft tone and his very own soulful warm, energetic and recognizable Style to blow his Lupifaro Platinum Saxophone, hand made in Italy.

Gary crossed the globe bringing with him his personal sound and influence to the music of his culture. During a quarter century residing in Europe he has perform countless music festivals, jazz and blues clubs, many private events, television, radio, cinematic film, theater, and public speaking.

He had his first Saxophone at the age of 10, when he started playing ath the at the local Zion Congressional Church of God in Christ at Pastor Winans, head of the “Winans Family”. At the age of 14 years he was member of the Bobo Jenkins Blues Band…. Meanwhile he reached a legendary status, called „The God of Blues“, Paradiese-Bird by the press… Other famous musicians such as Till Brönner or Tommy Schneller refer to Gary as their inspiration and mentor!

Gary Wiggins made his first recorded release on 45rpm

at the age of 17 with his band the Impacs. The Impacs were a backing band for several of the Detroit, Michigan R&B vocal groups. 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, Wiggins headed west and camped in California for five years. During this time he performed with musicians such as Eddie „Cleanhead“ Vinson, Johnny Heartsman, Roy Brown, Big Mama Thorton, and many other musicians on the West Coast music scene. His second Release was with Jimmy Scott „A pair and a spare“ 1973.

1982 Gary spent a year on the Chicago blues scene where he played in the bands of the late Lefty Dizz, the late Sunnyland Slim, the late Johnny Littlejohn, Sugar Blue, Robert Covington, and also Christian Rannenberg, with whom he co-founded the International Blues Duo (IBD).

He was a regular performer in The Kingston Mines, B.L.U.E.S., and The Playboy Club (headquarters). Since moving to Europe in 1983 and in addition to producing several music concerts for Jazz Clubs and Festivals, he has also toured with the late Arnett Cobb, the late Screaming Jay Hawkins, the late Johnny Copeland, Big Jay McNeely (Legendary Saxomania Tours) , Angela Brown, the late Jeanne Carroll, the late Johnny Heartsman, Ingrid Arthur (The Weather Girls), Katie Webster, Louisiana Red and Carey Bell, he was on stage with Scott Hamilton, joined the Ray Charles Show 2 times…

Gary plays in the legendary A-Trane Berlin since more than 20 years and has performed with Stars like Angela Brown, Francisca Urio, Jeanne Caroll, Till Brönner, Wynton Marsalis, James Carter, The Latonious, Bryan Berry, Didier Dorise, Sydney Ellis, Dorrey Lyles, Nina Hill, Ingrid Arthur, Frederik Tuxx, the great legendary Guitar Crusher and many great singers and musicians that is a list to long to name here. Countless Gigs since more than 20 years at the Yorkschloesschen and Badenscher Hof Jazz Club where you find pictures of Gary all over the place…

He and his Band played Tributes to Michael Jackson, Grover Washington, Stevie Wonder and James Brown.

The International Blues Duo produced and released three albums and Wiggins also recorded with Johnny Heartsman, Bobby McFerrin, Angela Brown, Eb Davis, Klaus Lage, Roy Gaines, and live recordings with Big Jay McNeely plus three compact disc recordings under the Detroit Gary Wiggins Group. Gary has been published on several Compilations with John Lee Hooker or Louisiana Red…

In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Berlin Jazz and Blues Award.

Gary Wiggins is an advisor on the advisory board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy located in Berlin und New York, as well as program director of music as cultural diplomacy, bandleader and founding member of The Very Soulful Tenors Show with Fuasi Abdul Khaliq and Ray Blue.

Gary was invited (2008) to Harvard-University to speak about Blues and Jazz in Europe, mainly his own history.

He brought to Paris the show, Saxman And The Divas, performing a five-week engagement at the Quai du Blues with Angela Brown, Queen Yahna, Jeanne Carroll, and several others. Since this time, Detroit Gary Wiggins has become a popular headliner in famous Parisian nightspots such as Caveaux de la Huchette to the legendary jazz clubs of St. Germaine des Pres.

Gary Wiggins and his tenor sax has swung around the world playing a three-month engagement in Tokyo, concerts in Paris, Italy, Panama, concert dates in Switzerland, Bulgaria, Russia, Hawaii, Amsterdam, Denmark, England, Greece, San Francisco, Chicago, Sacramento, New York, Detroit, and all over France and Germany.

His latest project was „The soul of Blues and Jazz“ with Katarina Holmberg and Gina Dunn… more projects coming soon at the world famous and Echo-awarded A-Trane Jazz Club, Berlin

Other longtime great Band Members in Berlin: Reggie Moore (piano), Daryl Taylor (bass), Lenjes Robinson (drums), Eddie Dejean (drums), Max Bahr (g), Chris Keys (keys, organ), Mike Russell (guitar) and many more…

In Paris: Serge Rahoerson (piano), Brahim Haiouani (bass), Didier Dorise (drums).

Recordings: (Click here to open Discography-Gallery)

With Christian Rannenberg: Introducing The International Blues Duo To The World (1984);

The International Blues Duo Meets Blues Wire: Truly International (1987)

With Christian Rannenberg: Vol. I

The International Blues Duo-Featuring Katie Webster (1989)

Time For Saxin‘ (1993)

Acoustic Soul (1992)

I Got Up (1996)

„zeitlos“ (2005)

„Saxin‘ the Blues“, (2011)

„Ballads in a Diplomatic Lounge“ (2004)

Gary Wiggins and the Bam Jam Band „Dance Masters“

Bobby Mc Ferrin feat. Detroit Gary Wiggins: „Bobby’s Thing“ & „Lady Fair“ (1988)

Fabrice Eulry & Detroit Gary Wiggins „Paris Jook“ (1996)

Detroit Gary Wiggins & C.C. the Boogieman: „Accoustic Soul“ (1996)

Also on many Compilatons about Jazz and Blues. Like „True Blues“, „The Blues you can’t refuse“, „The Ultimate Bues Collection“, „Hot Blues“, „The Best of Groove Note Blues“, „A Celebration of Blues“, „Clubdance Jazz Berlin“ or „Ok in Rock“ …. from Germany, France, Greece, USA , Italy or even Litauen… with Artists like John Lee Hooker, Katie Webster, Lousiana Red, Elvis Presley, Creedence Clearwater Revival or Ben. E. King

Unissued recordings: Several unofficial recordings live from the A-Trane and Soultrane. Almost every Monday in 2002 and 2003, Compilation „The Jazz Award“


As sideperson: 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 (2013), Jimmie Smith „Timemensions“, The Cat – sveveral 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),

Films and television broadcasts

Appearence in „Solo for Clarinette“; Appearence in „Deutschlandlied“; Appearance in „Die Drei“; 2012; „Mann mit dem Faggot“(Movie about Udo Jürgens) 2012; Lunatico


Winner of the Gong Show – 1977 ( with David Winans and Rick Murphy as the „Show Bizz Kids“, Winner of Berlin Jazz and Blues Award (2nd place) 2001,Christian Christl, 1994 für die CD „Acoustic Soul“ mit Detroit Gary Wiggins: Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Gary Wiggins und Big Jay McNeely, 1991

In books:

„Ich hab den Blues schon etwas länger“, „Blues heute – Musik zwischen Licht und Schatten“, „Jazz in Deutschland“, „60 ans du Jazz au Caveau de la Huchette“ and several others

Gary is mentioned in several Books/Magazines/ Press Articles about Blues & Jazz as one of the most legendary living Tenor-Sax-Players, as well as being a Reference for Selmer Saxophones (Paris) on the Official Website in one row with John Coltrane or Stan Getz…

Plus many articles in international press and magazines

1983 his telephone number was published within an article about him in the German issue of Playboy Magazine… 😉

Some places/festivals Gary performed over the years:

A-Trane International Jazz Club, Berlin (over 20 years)

Festival de Lannemezan et Montrejeau, France

Festival de Jazz de Lunel, France

Festival de St. Raphael, France

Festival Escatalens avec Dany Doriz (Caveau de la Huchette Tour)

Festival Corbeil-Essonnes, France

Jazz á Vienne Festival, France

Festival Sanguinet, France

Festival Jazz & Piano, L’Internaute, France

Jazz á L’Abbaye de Fontdouce, France

Festival de Jazz de Montauban, France

Jazz in Langouria, France

Harry’s New York Bar, Berlin

New York Bar of the Park Hyatt, Tokyo

Ravenna Jazz Festibval with Big Jay Mc Neely

Caveaux de la Huchette, Paris

Quai du Blus, Paris

Amsterdam Blues Festival

New York, Apollo Theatre

T.P. Warner Theatre, Washington

The Soul Bar, Augusta Georgia (James Browns Club)

Cognac Jazz Festival, France

Köpenick Jazz Festival

Hohentwielfestival Singen, Germany

Burghausen Jazz Festival, Germany

Burgbergfestival, Germany

Open Ohr Festival with Big Jay Mc Neely

Kingston Mines Blues Center, Chicago

Playboy Headquaters Club

CPM, Geneva

„The Big Jive All-Dayer“ Festival Brighton, England

Slow Club, Paris

Lionel Hampton Jazz Club Meridian Hotel, Paris

Half Note Jazz Club Athens, Greece

Belinzona Blues Festival, Switzerland

Alte Oper Frankfurt, Germany

North Sea Jazz Festival with Screamin Jay Hawkins

Lahnstein Blues Festival, Germany (5x)

Unna Blues Festival (3x)

Pearis Jazz Club, San Francisco USA

Lou’s Blues Club, San Francisco

Kinston Mines, Chicago Illinois

First Club, Berlin

and several other places in Panama, Hawaii, California, Norway, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, England, France, Switzerland, Denmark…

Private Events for

Daimler Crysler






and many more…


Italien short Version:

La carriera di “Detroit” Gary Wiggins è iniziata all’età di 17 anni, quando si esibiva con la sua prima band “The Impacts”, supportando diversi cantanti di Detroit.

Ha suonato al New York Apollo Theatre e al T.P. Warner Theatre di Washington, e ha fatto vari tour in tutta la East Coast degli Stati Uniti e Panama. Dopo una pausa alle Hawaii e il ritorno a Detroit, Wiggins arriva a Chicago nel 1982, dove ha collaborato con diverse band: Lefty Dizz, Sugar Blue, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Littlejohn e Pocketwatch Paul. A Chicago ha incontrato il pianista tedesco Christian Rannenberg, con il quale ha fondato The International Blues Duo (IBD), registrato tre album e girato tutta l’Europa in tour, con artisti del calibro di Angela Brown, Valerie Wellington, Big Jay McNeely, Charlie Musslewhite, Johnny Copeland, Jeanne Carroll. The International Blues Duo è diventato parte integrante della scena Blues e RandB, e ha suonato in diversi festival e radio show. In seguito, nei primi anni ’90, Gary Wiggins ha fondato il Detroit Gary Wiggins Group, con il quale ha registrato il CD “Time for Saxin’”.

Wiggins è stato ispirato anche dall’epoca swing revival e ha fondato un’orchestra che suona la musica di Arnett Cobb, Red Prysock e altri grandi saxofonisti. Nel 1995 si è esibito allo show “Saxman And The Ladies” al Quai du Blues a Parigi, ed è diventato un artista molto richiesto al Caveau De La Huchette lì a Parigi. Dopo i tour con The Dramatics ed esibizioni in posti come l’Apollo ad Harlem, il T.P. Warner Theater a Washington D.C. e i tour a Panama e nella costa orientale del Nord America, Wiggins si è diretto ad ovest e ha stabilito la sua base in California per cinque anni. Durante questo periodo, si è esibito con musicisti come Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Johnny Heartsman, Roy Brown, Big Mama Thorton, e molti altri musicisti della scena musicale della West Coast. Gary Wiggins ha intrattenuto gli europei amanti della musica, con il suo sax, per quasi due decenni: Blues, Jazz, Soul, Dance, Slow Dance, Swing Dance. Essendo uno dei personaggi più vivaci suella scena musicale, Saxman, alto quasi 2 metri, prosegue la tradizione e rappresenta l’immagine straordinaria che la gente vuole vedere, ascoltare e godersi.

“Dressing good, looking good, sounding good, feeling good”: non vi meritate niente di meno!


Cet américain né à Detroit, perpétue la tradition de la musique afro-américaine et peut être défini comme l’un des héritiers des grands sax ténors de jazz.

Avec un style à la fois impulsif, tendre, explosif ou amoureux et un look d’enfer, Gary réunit toutes les qualités pour vous faire passer une soirée inoubliable. Pendant un quart de siècle résidant en Europe, il a enchanté d’innombrables festivals de musique, jazz et blues clubs, de nombreux événements privés, télévision, cinéma cinématographique, le théâtre et l’art oratoire.

Depuis son arrivée en Europe en 1983 en plus de produire des concerts de musique, il a aussi tourné avec les géants du jazz tels que Cobb Arnett, le regretté Screaming Jay Hawkins, le regretté Johnny Copeland, Big Jay McNeely, Angela Brown, Jeanne Carroll, Johnny Heartsman. En 2001, il a reçu la prestigieuse récompense « Jazz à Berlin et Blues Award music »

Gary est aussi un conseiller au conseil consultatif de l’Institut de diplomatie culturelle ainsi que directeur du programme de la musique comme diplomatie culturelle, chef d’orchestre et membre du spectacle Soulful Tenors . Son look d’enfer, sa présence scènique, un son puissant et son swing dévastateur en font un des artistes préférés du Caveau de la Huchette à Paris.