Arguably one America’s foremost living blues men, Phil’s mastery of the harmonica transcends stylistic boundaries but is rooted in the Piedmont Blues sound he helped pioneer. A Washington, DC native, the harmonica virtuoso achieved worldwide acclaim over three decades as one half of the duo of Cephas & Wiggins.
Wiggins’ mastery of the harmonica transcends stylistic boundaries, but is rooted in the Piedmont Blues sound he helped pioneer. He is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship (2017), the highest honor bestowed on the traditional arts in the US. Wiggins is a two-time winner of the prestigious W. C. Handy Blues Foundation Award (1984) for Best Traditional Album of the Year and as Entertainer of the Year (1987).
Wiggins is a co-author of “Sweet Bitter Blues: Washington, DC’s Homemade Blues,” which depicts his life story and the unique, vibrant music scene around him, as described by music journalist Frank Matheis. Featuring Wiggins’s story, but including information on many musicians, the volume presents an incomparable documentary of the African American blues scene in Washington, DC, from 1975 to the present.