May 2016 Musings and Shows

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May!

Yes we’re deep into Spring and NYC feels like it’s gearing up for winter. Yet the music never stops…

Been a moment since I’ve written a proper post. The world has changed drastically since then. Most recently losing the great musician extraordinaire crazy fantastical energy machine that was Prince. Seems like a locally grown bigot named Trump will be the GOP nominee for our next President, and I’ve made some musical discoveries as I open up my musical palette of taste and musicians and finally and WOO so happy to say – I recorded my Herbie Nichols SUNG project! Look for news on that release as it unfolds.

And teaching. Been teaching a bunch, deeply inspired by the students I’ve run across. How curious they are and open. So freaking open. Not much resistance to the unorthodox things I sometimes throw at them. I’ve been up at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, taught masterclasses in Antwerp and Amsterdam, ran a sold-out improvising workshop in the Bay area and still running the weekly workshop for the New York Jazz Workshop. Phew. Yesterday I did a clinic at NYU and for the first time I approached the podium feeling completely comfortable to just talk off of the outline. Let the flow determine where we go. We had a good time interacting and I may have found my stride as a speaker and educator. Makes me happy and only about 9 years in the making. :)

Going out to hear music:  Arts for Art Evolving Festival, April 2016
Going out to hear music: Arts for Art Evolving Festival, April 2016

Add to that, a  few wonderful shows are coming up this month that I’m happy to be a part of. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

FRIDAY, May 6 2016
One Breathe Rising Presents
FAY VICTOR’s Standard Explorations
FV – voice, compositions
Sam Newsome – soprano saxophone
Aruan Ortiz – piano
Opening first – Poet Delana R.A. Dameron
8:00PM
South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford Street
Ft Greene, Brooklyn, NY
$15 for all

SATURDAY, May 14 2016
Fay Victor/Tyshawn Sorey DUO
FV – voice, piano
Tyshawn Sorey – drums, piano, found objects
8:00PM
Constellation
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

THURSDAY, May 16 2016
55BAR Residency: FV with Marty Ehrlich & Aruan Ortiz
FV – voice
Marty Ehrlich – reeds
Aruan Ortiz – Fender Rhodes
7-9PM
55BAR
55 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014

FV with Tomas Fujiwara (drums) & Ben Gerstein (trombone)
FV with Tomas Fujiwara (drums) & Ben Gerstein (trombone)

I want to thank all the incredible musicians I’ve collaborated with in the past couple months on some amazing musical journeys: Achim Kaufmann and Tobias Delius on Herbie Nichols SUNG; Pianist Amy Bormet’s Quartet for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival; Darius Jones, Sean Conly and Kenny Wessel in In Praise of Ornette; Mazz Swift, Marika Hughes, Darren Johnston and Lisa Mezzacappa with me in the Bay area in early April; Tomas Fujiwara and Ben Gerstein with me on Sound Session for the Evolving Festival (check out the video of this performance below). That’s an amazing group of people to swirl around musical ideas with. I couldn’t be more blessed.

That’s what’s been going on and what’s coming up. See you out there or see you soon! Thanks so much for reading.

Fay

Crossing the Delaware, heading back to NYC after the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in our nation's capital.
Crossing the Delaware, heading back to NYC after the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in our nation’s capital.

FV at the 55BAR on April 28th w All Things with Strings!

Early Spring in New York City
Early Spring in New York City

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE!!
55BAR Residency:  ALL Things with Strings
THURSDAY, APRIL 28th, 2016
7-9PM

FV – voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – guitar
Marika Hughes – cello
Sean Conly – double bass
at
The 55BAR
www.55bar.com
Join my for my monthly Residency at the 55BAR, featuring tunes from many genres with this fun and fresh instrumentation.  Always a great hang my Thursdays at the 5’s and this should be no different.

Check this clip from a recent concert on the West Coast to give a good idea where the music will go.  We hope to see you there!

 

Justice is Compassion/Arts For Arts Festival – FV there on April 10th

Ben Gerstein, Fay Victor, Tomas Fujiwara
Ben Gerstein, Fay Victor, Tomas Fujiwara

Looking forward to performing this SUNDAY, APRIL 10th at 8PM with Sound Sessions featuring trombonist Ben Gerstein and drummer Tomas Fujiwara! We met in January at I-BEAM along with visiting pianist Elisabeth Harnik from Austria for an improv hang that was just fantastic.  An opportunity came up again to come together, this time as a trio.  We’ll appear on the closing night of the Evolving Music Festival: Not a Police State – Justice is Compassion. Check out the full roster below, still a few days left to go!

NYC FJ Summit-1

March 2016 News!!

Herbie Nichols SUNG at the LOFT, Cologne, Germany
Herbie Nichols SUNG at the LOFT, Cologne, Germany

Greetings!

Just back from a small tour in Europe, playing at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and the Loft in Cologne, Germany, performing and recording the glorious music of pianist/composer Herbie Nichols.  Myself alongside stellar band mates Achim Kaufmann on piano and Tobias Delius on tenor saxophone and clarinet opened up Nichols’ compositions in thrilling ways  I’m just started listening back to the roughs – I am very excited with what we have and sharing it with you all will be part of my work this year.  More on all that soon!

Besides the live concert recordings, I also ran a full masterclass in Antwerp, Belgium at the Royal Conservatory as well plus an improvisation workshop in Amsterdam!   Look out for 2017 when I’ll be back in Europe teaching once more. You all know I love teaching…the more I get to do it, the happier I am.

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That keeps going in March. I’m off to spend two days at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA (MARCH 22nd + 23rd) with the great musician and professor himself, Marty Ehrlich. I’ll hang with the students in his class focusing on Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk compositions. The following day I’ll host a talk on my music, artistic perspective and validation of artistic ideas. Before that I’m super honored and looking forward to SATURDAY, MARCH 12th, I’ve been asked to join a panel with two esteemed African American female scholars, Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffith and Dr. Courtney Bryant.  We’ll share and speak with inquiring youth in HighBridge Voices in the Bronx on Women of Color in this music through the invitation of Paul Harding.

And for the gig this month! I’ll be joining the Washington Women in Jazz Festival once again as a special guest performing at the Hill Center in Washington, DC on WEDNESDAY, March 16th. FRIDAY March 18th I’m back at the Gin Fizz Lounge with…wait for it….Marvin Sewell, Sean Conly and Reggie Nicholson bringing the soulful moves and grooves to that happening lounge. On THURSDAY March 31st, back at the 55 Bar with ‘In Praise of Ornette’ featuring Darius Jones, Kenny Wessel and Sean Conly focused on Ornette Coleman compositions and closing out March 2016 just before heading West…Thanks for reading and supporting live and recorded music!

May blessings and music abound in joy like Spring,

Fay

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an amazing day and a fun #selfie at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium!

C O M I N G  U P!
April 1st 2016: SOLO Her w Marika Hughes, Mazz Swift and FV
Red Poppy House, San Francisco, CA
April 2nd, 2016: New Blues Views (celebrating jazz appreciation month)
w/ Marika Hughes, Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa and FV
California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley, CA
April 3rd, 2016: Vocal improvisation without scatting Workshop
California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley, CA
May 14, 2016: Tyshawn Sorey and FV DUO
Constellation, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2016: FV SoundNoise Quartet w/Sam Newsome, Melvin Gibbs and Reggie Nicholson
Vision Festival XXI

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Leaving Cologne at the end of the Herbie Nichols SUNG tour

February 2016…The Happenings!

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Friends!

Greetings from Brooklyn where the sun shone bright today under mild skies. For the moment, its quiet just long enough to get some work done including sending this update and greeting to you all. The year started with a bang – a daily occurrence of public loss…loss of great souls and personalities. That gave music a whole new meaning ,entering this year feeling like a warrior. It’s important more than ever to say something when you can. All we have are our voices, let whatever art we create be reflective of who we really are. It has to be this way for me and I’m blessed to do music I love, music that matters. Thanks to all that came out to the January performances… lots of good stuff is coming up so please read on.

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First up, I am more than honored to be asked to perform with the late vocalist Jimmy Scott Jazz Expressions in a tribute to his great legacy on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13th at Sista’s Place, in the heart of Bed Stuy here in Brooklyn.

Then later in the month I head to Europe and so excited to share the news of FINALLY recording Herbie Nichols SUNG with Achim Kaufmann on piano and Tobias Delius on tenor saxophone and clarinet.  WooHoo!  We’ll record over two live concerts – at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and De Loft in Koln, Germany. I’ll also teach a couple workshops – one at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp (Belgium) and another in Amsterdam at Zaal 100. Will post flyers for the workshop and the concerts and please spread the word and share!

MASTERCLASS
Royal Conservatory Antwerp
MONDAY, February 22, 2016

HERBIE NICHOLS SUNG
BIMHUIS
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2016

DE LOFT
COLOGNE, GERMANY
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2016

WORKSHOP – to Scat and Beyond
ZAAL 100
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2016

in other news:

Here’s a video of the New York Jazz Workshop Jazz Vocal Advanced Class performing my arrangement of Work Song by cornetist Nat Adderley with lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr. Shot during the bi-annual school presentation in December 2015, this was the final tune of this groups presentation. I’m so proud of these ladies that also knocked out there individual performances.

In January 2016, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Jazz Vocal Workshop gave their end of semester presentation to a packed house. It was one of my most expansive presentations to date where the vocalists sang individual selections, duets and a group song – also Work Song – but with a completely different arrangement. I wanted to do Work Song with both vocal groups because it’s powerful political sentiment is an important statement today on mass incarceration that I wanted to make and I wanted the students to get away from singing ‘pretty’ for a moment and sing something evocative of the sentiment in the blues that Nat Adderley wrote.

Here’s a pic of the group!

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Jazz Vocal Workshop Presentation - Winter 2016!
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Jazz Vocal Workshop Presentation – Winter 2016!

This just IN: I was the vocalist last year for Lisa Mezzacappa’s Glorious Ravage on the West Coast and here is a little video excerpt of the show…via this link: http://gloriousravage.com/watch/

What’s coming up in March? A lot.

Heading to DC (March 16) as a special guest with the Amy Bormet Quartet for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Heading up to Hampshire College as a guest of the great reedist Marty Ehrlich to perform with his students plus give a masterclass (March 22-23). Will be on a Women in Music Panel with two esteemed panelists in Dr. Courtney Bryan and Farrah Jasmine Griffith in the Bronx (March 12) and back in the 55 BAR with in Praise of Ornette to close out the Month.

Finally, I want to share with you all something very important to me that I started along with blogger, professor and curator Cisco Bradley called the TalkRACE Forum that got started in December 2014. The whole point of the forum is to create a space to have uncomfortable conversations about race across gender, ethnicity and class. Since that time the almost monthly meetings have revealed so much about the work there is to be done and how important these conversations seem to shed light on how we feel. I’m finally making it public as we’re beginning to give public TalkRACE Forums. We gave one at Pratt Institute in November 2015 and on February 2016 we’ll moderate another TalkRACE Forum at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a good time to let you all know that this is happening and anyone interested in know about these events, please feel free to reach out. Here is our budding FB page: https://www.facebook.com/talkraceforum/

Thanks for reading,

Fay

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Happy New Year!

NewYear Posting Pic

Happy 2016! I wish you and all your loved ones the best wishes for this New Year!! May this year be your most enriching and fulfilling yet….

I start this year in a warrior spirit. Like I’m gearing up for battle on many fronts including my own creative quest for who I am and what I need to say. It’s been a couple years since I felt sure of my musical vision. I’m a restless creative spirit that has to pursue a variety of things but always with a main project that anchors everything else. A project I call home. For over 10 years that was the Fay Victor Ensemble, the vehicle for my writing, band-leading and improvisational playground (co-written with my husband and bass guitarist Jochem van Dijk). We’re still going strong – be on the lookout for FVE 2016 dates soon – yet I feel a pulling to perform music that isn’t written by me at all. For a couple years now I’m performing tunes from the Great American Songbook again finding new possibilities that I couldn’t even think of when I was starting out as a traditional jazz singer and my ears were more closed. An amazing rediscovery for me!

Jazz standards will show up on my 55BAR residency this month (THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016) with Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone and Ken Filiano on double bass that I call the Quiet Side. My first gig of 2016 mines the jazz universe in a different way; the compositions of Ornette Coleman. Guitarist Anders Nilsson suggested we check out some Ornette Coleman tunes for our ExPosed Blues Duo project. I love Ornette’s music, already a fan and even learned a few themes by ear yet never considered singing them until Anders suggested it. We’ve done Ornette’s music as a duo a number of times over the past few years, last Spring we bought it to the 55BAR and invited bassist Sean Conly to join us. As luck would have it alto saxophone titan Darius Jones stopped by to hang for the gig and sat in. No doubt after hearing these rough forays that there wasn’t something there. A few months later the quartet, with Darius and Sean played on Craig Harris’ Series in Harlem after Ornette had left us in June 2015. Guitarist Kenny Wessel (and ex-Ornette Coleman sideman) replaced Anders, who was out of town, and what emerged that afternoon made my heart sing. That group, In Praise of Ornette… will appear on the Evolving Music Festival on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016 at Clemente Soto Velez.

There are beautiful Free Improv forays too this month in settings I’m proud to be a part of: on FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, I’ll join saxophonist/composer Matana Roberts residency at the Stone in the Lower East Side of NYC at 10pm, performing with her and more wonderful folk, then on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, join me for another Green Avenue Music Presents at IBEAM with Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ben Gerstein on trombone and a special guest Elisabeth Harnik on piano! SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 and SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2016 I’m playing in Chi-town!! on the 23rd at Constellation with the incredible multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey as we dig deeper into our duo dialogue and the following night I join drummer Mike Reed, bass clarinetist Jason Stein and Nick Butcher on electronics and guitar at the Hungry Brain for another fresh musical meeting. What a way to start the New Year. I hope to see you out at the shows and as always you can get all the performances details on the GIG section of the site…

Other super important things happening this month…SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, I’ll emcee an important event – a benefit to support the family of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy gunned down by police in Cleveland over a year ago. We want to assist Ms. Samaria Rice in getting the help she needs to fight the lack of indictment in this case. It will be a great event with musical performances and more…if you can’t be there, do what you can to donate to the cause and/or please spread the word.

On MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016, the Jazz Vocal Workshop will put on their end of semester performance! I’m very excited for this performance as these students have worked hard and risen to the occasion throughout the semester. This will be the most diverse presentation I’ve put on yet and I’m damn proud of this group. Sadly, it will be my last presentation as I am leaving the position at the end of semester. I had such a great two years at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music but the other news for 2016 is going back to school! So I’ll be focusing on that this year as well.

Ahhhh….a good feeling to start the year with a fighting spirit in a positive way. Life is painfully short. If no other year made that painfully clear, 2015 should be strong contender. No need to dilly-dally over the small stuff that gets in the way and distorts focus. We’ve got to fight the powers that be within and without.

Blessings!!

FV

55 BAR on DECEMBER 31 CANCELLED

bath selfie

Dear friends…

due to a booking snafu mix-up misunderstanding…All Things with Strings will NOT appear at the 55BAR on December 31st for the Early Set. BUT the same fab group will be there with me on April 28, 2016. That’s Anders Nilsson (guitar), Marika Hughes (cello) and Sean Conly (double bass). Apologies and regrets for this change in plans. I’ll be back in the New Year at the 55Bar on January 28th, 2016 with Sam Newsome (soprano sax) and Ken Filiano (double bass), dipping into the Quiet Side.

Happy Holidays and I’ll be back soon with a fresh post before 2015 say goodbye.

Peace & Blessings,

Fay

Closing out the year – December 2015 News

 

#selfie taken at Weeksville Heritage Center, November 18, 2015.  Performance for Lost Jazz Shrines of Brooklyn
#selfie taken at Weeksville Heritage Center, November 18, 2015. Performance for Lost Jazz Shrines of Brooklyn

Dear Friends,

It’s the beginning of December, Thanksgiving is just behind us and now we’ll go hurtling towards more holidays then the end of the year.  It’s unbelievable how fast it goes since it feels like just a few months ago that we left 2014!  Was 2015 good for you?

2015 felt (still feels) like a transformative year for me. I’ve come to some strong decisions which I’ll share more in the early months of 2016.  What I will share now is I’ve stepped back and taken some distance to this idea of ‘career’ that’s liberating.  Incredible too that it only enhances every musical experience I’ve gone into because the music is the main reason I’m there. I’ve always said that music is a great catalyst for honest expression.  I discovered that focusing on having a career made me less honest than I want to be. I didn’t want that anymore.  Yet even with putting that idea aside, I feel more on the move than ever.  Excited for 2016. Wishing you all a healthy, fun, creative, exciting, prosperous and musical New Year…and let this be the year where all your dreams come true.

On SUNDAY, December 6th, there a presentation of the Advanced Jazz Vocal Workshop of the New York Jazz Workshop at Club Bonafide! I’m excited for all the work the vocalists have done this Fall – looking forward to hearing them strut their stuff.

And I have one final gig for the year on the last day of the month (NEW YEARS EVE!) at the 55BAR, closing out the year with a trio of classy strings…doing a bunch of things.  This should be fun and I’d love to have you join us to ring out 2015, blessings, warts and all!

All Things with STRINGS
FV – voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – guitar
Marika Hughes – cello
Sean Conly – double bass
at the 55BAR
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31st
7-9PM
NO Cover 2 drink minimum

Seasons Greetings and Much Love to you ALL! We need it more than ever….Fay

 

Holiday Lights at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Holiday Lights at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

November 2015 News

Thompkins Square Park, October 2015
Tompkins Square Park, October 2015

Friends!!

Happy November to you all! I’m hoping lots of good stuff is coming up for you as colder temps start approaching and looking forward to seeing some of you out and about. Some nice things coming up this month and I can’t wait to share…

If you’ve got folks in Baltimore, invite them to come out to the Caton Castle this coming Saturday Night (NOVEMBER 7, 2015) where I’ll be playing with some of the finest musicians on the East Coast as part of the Composers Collective featuring TK Blue of reeds, Lafayette Gilchrist on piano, Herman Burney on double bass and Eric Kennedy on drums. We’ll perform a mostly all original set of music! Check out the website here for details.

Then on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, I’m honored and proud to be part of honoring the great trombonist Roswell Rudd turn 80 years old at Le Poisson Rouge featuring a great cast of musicians including Steven Bernstein, Lafayette Harris, Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet and more. This will be a glorious celebration of an extraordinary musician. You’ve got to come on out!

Francisco Mora Catlett's band Afro-Horn at Zinc Bar.  Sam Newsome out front!
Francisco Mora Catlett’s band Afro-Horn at Zinc Bar. Sam Newsome out front!

On WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, I’m at Weeksville Heritage Center with Sean Conly and Sam Newsome, performing for the opening of the Lost Jazz Shrines exhibit. As someone that started my career as a vocalist in Brooklyn, how awesome is that!

**No 55BAR month because of Thanksgiving but back on Christmas Eve and that lineup will be announced soon!

In other news…wonderful new Video is up of a happening a concert in October with Sam Newsome and Reggie Nicholson…check it out:

Great press links to bassist/composer Lisa Mezzacappa’s Song Cycle Glorious Ravage that I performed on the West Coast at end of September and the beginning of October…here.herehere….!!

“Vocalist Fay Victor (from New York) rivaled the globe-girding tessitura of Yma Sumac…” – San Francisco Classical Voice

“The music rolled, roiled, staggered, even swung, with the phenomenal voice of Fay Victor delivering lyrics and sounds with an unusual combination of soul and abstraction”…metaljazz.com

“Fay Victor is a powerhouse with a clear, precise and cutting voice, and the dynamic and textural range of any master instrumentalist. Mezzacappa describes an instant chemistry with Victor, who can easily match Mezzacappa’s wide-ranging, groovy, and sometimes frenetic, turn-on-a-dime aesthetic.” – Roger Kim Music

Learn more about Glorious Ravage…. project here

**The Gin Fizz Lounge gig for FRIDAY, November 13th has been CANCELLED. We’re working on rescheduling that and I’ll post soon about a new date.

See you out there and Happy Thanksgiving if I don’t.  Sending lots of music and good wishes your way….

Fay

Last gig in October in Brownstone Jazz - right in my neighborhood
Last gig in October in Brownstone Jazz – right in my neighborhood

October is a little late this year

GRAND CANYON SELFIE

Dear friends,

I hope this post finds you well! I’m posting for the month on the late side after being home for a few days from an amazing time out West as in the West Coast of the USA.  An incredible experience on many levels and I will write more about all of it soon…for now thought here’s what’s coming up this month!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, I’m playing a free improvised set of music with Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone and Reggie Nicholson on drums.  It’s part of the Arts for Art yearly InGardens Series that helps bring in musicians into the community.  These events are free and open to the public.  Bring the kiddies if it’s a nice day.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
First Green Art Park
33 E. 1st Street
New York, NY 10003
 2PM
Fay Victor Trio
FV – voice
Sam Newsome – soprano saxophone
Reggie Nicholson – drums
+
Harlem Reunion
Resurrection Revolution
Zak Sherzad

Later in the month – on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29th – I’m back at the 55BAR for the monthly residency hang, this time with Herbie Nichols SUNG featuring Michael Attias on reeds and Ratzo Harris on double bass. We’re there for the Early Set at 7PM. The following day, on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30th – I’ll play for a second time at BrownStone Jazz in the heart of Bed-Stuy.  I love this cozy spot in the heart of my neighborhood.  A classy hang and the band will be swinging.  The music jumps off around 9PM and includes a fishfry in the break!

Thanks for reading and see you out there.

Fay