Johnny Wiggs (July 25, 1899 – October 10, 1977) was a jazz musician and band leader. Born John Wigginton Hyman on in New Orleans, Louisiana, he started his music career on the violin. He soon adopted the cornet and moved to New York for some time before returning to New Orleans. His main stylistic influences were Joe “King” Oliver (who Wiggs insisted did his best work in New Orleans in the years before he moved up North and was recorded) and Bix Beiderbecke. In the late 1920s he took a job as a teacher in Louisiana and moonlighted in New Orleans jazz clubs at night. He made his first recordings as “John Hyman’s Bayou Stompers” in the late 1920s. In the 1940s he again became a full time musician, leading seveal bands and laying down a good number of tracks. He took on the nickname “Johnny Wiggs” for his musical work as jazz was still looked down on in some circles. He became an important figure in the local traditional jazz revival. In the 1960s he returned to performing part time only, though he remained active until the 1970s. He was a mentor to such younger musicians as George Finola. Along the way he helped found the New Orleans Jazz Club and was a force behind the jazz revival in the 1940s. Pete Fountain is one of his more famous pupils. Johnny Wiggs died in New Orleans.


Go to Top