Here’s to hoping you are all on a beach somewhere soaking up the sunshine as you read this post…summer is still roaring on. I am not on a beach as I write this but no complaining for me. Summer has been a blast so far…
This past July I spent 10 days in the great city of New Orleans absorbing the heat and the music. The heat was OK to deal with there, felt good even. Back in NYC with a heatwave that didn’t keep the good vibes down for my Annual Birthday Hang at the 55BAR on Thursday, July 28th. Wow! The music, the musicians, the cake, the audience – everything – was incredible and soul nourishing. Thanks to those that were there for making it so much more special! check out a sound clip below of some of the celebration.
This month I start things off with the Annual Advanced Vocal Summit for the New York Jazz Workshop. This will be my 7th time running the SOLD OUT 4-day workshop +++ we’ll have a concert featuring all the vocalists on SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 from 5-8PM at the Lexington Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. A great opportunity to catch an international group of vocalists on their way up and with a kickass team of Janice Friedman on piano and Kevin Hailey on double bass to accompany us all.
The rest of the month shapes up nicely as well!
>>Wednesday, AUGUST 17 2016with Joe Morris, William Parker, Hamid Drake and Gerald Cleaver at the Stone. 10PM. !!!! Part of Joe Morris’ week long residency
>>Thursday, AUGUST 18 2016 with Tomas Fujiwara and Ben Gerstein at Manhattan Inn. SPYing Series curated by Jamie Breezy Branch and Brandon Lopez. 11 PM
>>Thursday, AUGUST 25 2016 with Marvin Sewell and Sean Conly at the 55BAR. FV Monthly Residency. 7-9PM. No Cover
>>Wednesday AUGUST 31 and Friday, SEPTEMBER 2 – recording with Roswell Rudd, Lafayette Harris and Ken Filiano. Kerhonksen, NY. Rescheduled from August 3 and 6, 2016.
Thanks for reading…more goodness coming for Fall 2016. Will make a fresh post at the end of the month. Enjoy the rest of summer!
Please join me on THURSDAY, JULY 28th 2016 for a Birthday Hang with some of the best musicians and more in this city. The proceedings are always fun and exploratory. You wont’s wanna miss this and come early. The place fills up! Much love and looking forward to another revolution around the sun!
Hope your summer is off to a healthy and fun start!
Keeping it brief and here’s what’s coming up if you’re around town this July and want to check out some music. I’m doing a few wonderful things including my annual birthday hang at the 55 BAR on July 28th 2016!
Matana Roberts & Guests: “I Call America” Art Exhibit & Concert Series
Concert series, part 2, July 2016, doors at 7:30 p.m., music from 8 p.m.
Tickets www.fridmangallery.com/#!bookstore/c1xm4, or $10 at the door.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016>>>>>>8PM Fay Victor – voice, texts Joe Morris – guitar
Fridman Gallery is pleased to present the first solo gallery exhibition by the renowned cross-disciplinary artist and experimental composer Matana Roberts, who spent most of 2015 in residency at the Whitney Museum of American Art, creating both visual work and musical compositions, responding to the Whitney’s new building and its inaugural exhibition, “America is Hard to See.” The residency culminated in a one-night installation and orchestral performance on December 31st, aptly titled “red, white and blues,” which questioned, in Roberts’s words, “the perplexities of what it means to be American in the twenty-first century.” It’s an honor to be included in the musical line-up which also included, Mary Halvorsen, Henry Grimes and Liberty Ellman. It’s is an incredible honor to perform duo for the first time with the formidable and incredible Joe Morris.
BARBES Residency with Jeremiah Lockwood
Jeremiah Lockwood is a wonderful guitarist and singer and bandleader that has relocated to the West Coast. I was part of a soundtrack project he put together a few years ago and that was intense and fun. We’ve also worked together on an Anthony Braxton Opera, Trillium J. Last year, he reached out for us to play as a duo on his yearly Barbes Residency last July and that was a hoot. truly. So glad he asked again and that’s happening next Saturday, July 9th at Barbes. Featuring Americana, the Blues and Gospel.
SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2016>>>>>>6PM Fay Victor – voice Jeremiah Lockwood – guitar
376 Ninth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2016>>>>>>7PM 55BAR
55 Christoper StreetResidency & Birthday Celebration!!
Line up to be confirmed soon….
Here’s a small sample of last years proceedings…see you out there and thanks for reading!!
How is life treating you music lovers and others out there? Life here is A-OK. Oh I could complain about many a mundane thing but I actually don’t have anything to share but good news. Many artists and friends are struggling to survive in New York City. Struggling to stay and be viable in a dwindling area where working people can afford to be. Many are going through tough times, such as Arts for Art, the organization that puts on the Vision Festival, is going through a rough patch over loss of funding.
We (my husband and I) are OK for the moment but we rent. In Brooklyn. So…
We like where we live, it all feels stable since we’ve been in same place for close to 13 years. Stable…until it isn’t. Of course. Which is the angst. Too many before us have been there. If it comes to that, it will all work out somehow. Sharing the stress of what many of us have faced, are facing, and will face in this city is important. There is no shame in feeling afraid of how the money we make simply won’t go as far. Still the music goes on…now on to some good news!
As I step out of May 2016, I’m full of gratitude for the three performances I had last month that were extremely different and so rewarding in their own way. Wonderful to meet up musically this month, twice, with pianist Aruan Ortiz. We’ve done a number of things together over the past few years and he’s making wonderful music himself. We played with Sam Newsome on a new series called One Breathe Rising combining poetry and music, (May 6th) then Aruan joined me at the 55BAR with the great reedist Marty Ehrlich last week Thursday (May 26). Smack dab in the middle of the month I went to Chicago with the fantastic musician/composer/educator Tyshawn Sorey to perform our DUO concept (about 4 years running) at Constellation which was just incredible. Standing ovation to boot. Check out this review of the concert here: http://www.cacophonymag.com/fayvictoryandtyshawnsoreyduo
Now June is upon us and I’m thrilled to be back on the Vision Festival!! One of my favorite Festivals and an honor to be asked to perform as a leader for the 4th time! I’m bringing a new group called the SoundNoise Quartet. Last Fall on the InGarden Series put on by Arts for Art, I asked the incredible saxophonist Sam Newsome and Reggie Nicholson to join me for a free improv set. The results were just…wow. Check the video below. When Patricia Nicholson Parker reached out to offer me a set, she suggested the trio which I loved. But I wanted to add another element and thought of the electric bassist Melvin Gibbs to join us. He said yes! So there it is. we hope to see you there and throughout the festival.
In addition I’m part of two panel discussion on the Vision Festival – the first time I’ve been asked. Vision Festival Details Below…
JUNE 7 – 12, 2016 Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South, NYC
VISION FESTIVAL XXI >>>>June 10th – 5PM
Panel The Creative Option : FreeJazz vs Fascism
Hamid Drake, Matt Shipp, Connie Crothers, Fay Victor, P Nicholson
Adam Zanolini, Moderator Scott Currie >>>8PM
Fay Victor SoundNoise Quartet
Fay Victor – voice, text
Sam Newsome – soprano sax
Melvin Gibbs – bass guitar
Reggie Nicholson – drums, perc. >>>>June 12th – 5PM
Panel The Creative Option : FreeJazz vs Fascism
William Hooker, Mike Reed, Fay Victor, Charlotte Ka
Moderator Scott Currie www.artforart.org
On SUNDAY, JUNE 19th My Advanced Vocal Workshop at the New York City Jazz Workshop will put on their Spring presentation at Smalls! The group is just incredible this session and I look forward to smiling and swinging proudly through their performances. So proud of all the vocalists that will present their artistry and learnin’ on June 19th. On Wednesday, JUNE 22nd back at the Gin Fizz Lounge with the trio that blew the roof off the place when we played there in March – Marvin Sewell (guitar), Sean Conly (bass) and Reggie Nicholson (drums)! I close the month out on June 30th at the 55BAR with the Quiet Side w Ken Filiano and Sam Newsome!
Stay tuned too for the annually Birthday Hang bash at the 5’s! Will reveal the real deal on that very soon. These are becoming the stuff of legend. 😉
Much love, peace and music – we need, we need, we need!
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.
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
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
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
55 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
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.
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!
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.
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. FRIDAYMarch 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. OnTHURSDAY 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,
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
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.
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!
Royal Conservatory Antwerp
MONDAY, February 22, 2016
HERBIE NICHOLS SUNG BIMHUIS
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2016
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2016
WORKSHOP – to Scat and Beyond
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!
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/
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.