College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University Announces "Sir Ivan"Wilzig has Joined the College's Board of Directors
MIAMI) February 27, 2018-- The College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU) has announced that "Sir Ivan" Wilzig has joined the College's Board of Directors. Wilzig is a graduate of both the University of Pennsylvania and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is also a successful banker-turned-singer, TV celebrity, and social activist. After twenty years of working in his family's multi-billion dollar commercial banking business and serving on the bank's Board of Directors, Ivan left the banking world and reinvented himself as recording artist Sir Ivan. Against all odds, he became a Top Ten Billboard Recording Artist.
The music journey began when Sir Ivan played a demo tape for Dave Jurman, Senior Director of Dance Music at Colombia Records. Dave was so impressed with Ivan's talent that he introduced him to Ernie Lake, half of the two-time Grammy nominated producing team known as SoulSolution. As his first single, Sir Ivan chose the iconic John Lennon song, "Imagine", as the lyrics and message closely mirrored his desire for world peace. The reason these lyrics resonated so strongly with Ivan is because his father was an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor during the Holocaust. Tom Silverman, owner of Tommy Boy Records, signed the single. It was released on September 4, 2001 and it broke the Top 40 on the Billboard Club Play Chart.
It marked the first time in music that a recording artist had converted any Beatles or John Lennonballad into a techno dance record. Thirty years after Lennon's original release, Sir Ivan had made the song popular again for a new generation. Inspired by the success of "Imagine", he decided that all of his music would be about universal love, human rights and peace. The fight for civil rights, women's rights and gay rights are still being waged today and Sir Ivan is leading the battle through his music and his non-profit organization, The Peaceman Foundation, which was created in 2005 to fight hatred and violence. Since then, Sir Ivan and The Peaceman Foundation have donated over $500,000 to various charities, including many LGBT charities, anti-bullying charities, and organizations that help those directly affected by violence, such as those who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Sir Ivan got the recognition from the music industry when he made Top Ten on Billboard's Dance Club Songs Chart with his hit single "Hare Krishna" in 2011. With his hit single "Live For Today," Sir Ivan made two different Top Ten Music Week Charts in the UK. Then he co-wrote lyrics to his anti-bullying anthem, "Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye", created specifically to address the teen bullying epidemic and the high suicide rate occurring within the LGBT teenage community; produced by Paul Oakenfold and featuring Taylor Dayne, the song landed in the Top Ten in UK's Music Week Chart in 2015.
In 2016, 15 years after Sir Ivan's original 2001 release of "Imagine," he remade the song yet again. In light of multiple terrorist attacks around the world, it was an appropriate time for yet another generation to listen to Lennon's lyrics, which offer worldwide hope, along with a formula for world peace. It was co-produced by 2012 Grammy Award winner Omar Akram and the world-renowned Peter Rafelson. "Imagine" went #1 on Serato's White Label Chart, and Top Ten on UK's Music Week and DJ Times Charts.
"Imagine" is also the first single off Sir Ivan's released full-length Electronic Dance Music album, "Peaceman Shines". Sir Ivan's most recent single, an anthem against gun violence, "I Am Peaceman", produced by Ali Dee and featuring Debbie Gibson, was released June 7, 2017.
Because of his music success, charitable work and medieval-style Castle in the Hamptons, he has been featured on TV shows all over the world. Sir Ivan's movie experience consists of a major role in the documentary, King of the Hamptons and a one-hour movie about his life, SIR IVAN: "I Am Peaceman". He entered into the Hollywood film finance business as one of the Executive Producers of Freak Show, a full-length movie adaptation of James St. James' best-seller of the same name, directed by Trudie Styler, with cast members Alex Lawther, Bette Midler and Laverne Cox.
Sir Ivan is currently working with writer Joshua M. Greene on a bio epic of his father Siggi B. Wilzig, Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, whose 59 family members had been murdered during the Holocaust. After surviving the horrors of Hitler, Siggi Wilzig came to America with nothing; he built a financial empire and raised a family with his wife Naomi Wilzig, a scholar, international arts collector and beloved philanthropist, who previously served on the CARTA Board, prior to her passing away. Currently Sir Ivan is in talks with several major production companies discussing the potential for a reality show based on his empowering life story and his passionate quest to make the world a better place.
ABOUT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Florida International University (FIU) is classified by Carnegie as an R1: Doctoral Universities-Highest Research Activity and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university, with colleges and schools that offer 196 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law, and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy. FIU is "Worlds Ahead" in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 55,000 students in two campuses and three centers, including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU's Medina Aquarius Program houses the Aquarius Reef Base, a unique underwater research facility in the Florida Keys. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports.
For further information visit: https://www.fiu.edu