World Premiere of Neighborhood Dynamics – Saturday, April 12th 2014

ND-2-V3Super excited to be part of the Tricentric Music Festival starting April 10th through April 19th 2014 at Roulette. Click the link here to all the events…this will be a special musical happening!http://roulette.org/events/the-tri-centric-presenting-series-anthony-braxtons-falling-river-music-nonet-plus-the-fay-victor-ensemble/

April JOY Spring

April Post Pic

Spring is here.

April is here and I’m just warm and fuzzy all over.

Well…at least I’m warm! Higher temps makes a very happy Fay and just in time for a robust month of firsts and bigs and more.  What’s happening?  Well the big news this month is my hubby and musical collaborator Jochem van Dijk and I received our very first commission for the Tricentric Music Festival starting from APRIL 10th through APRIL 19th all going down at Roulette. We’ve written a one hour long piece about gentrification called Neighborhood Dynamics, a look inside gentrification in Brooklyn, NY and as part as an ever growing trend in cities around the US. The piece is written for the Fay Victor Ensemble with two esteemed special guests – flutist Nicole Mitchell and French horn player Vincent Chancey. Not only will we present this piece as part of the TriCentric Presenting Series but we’ll share the night with the great Anthony Braxton himself performing with his Falling River Nonet!! Join us on SATURDAY APRIL 12th, 2014 and note the full program for the Music festival here.  Jochem and I will appear on WKCR (89.9 FM) on WEDNESDAY APRIL 9th to talk about Neighborhood Dynamics, Anthony Braxton, influential music to us and more surprises from 3-6PM.

Right before that join myself and bassist Ratzo Harris at the Lexington Hotel for a early evening Bass Duo featuring standards, put on by the New York Jazz Workshop on TUESDAY, APRIL 8th, 2014. This coming SUNDAY, APRIL 6th join the entire New York Jazz Workshop at Smalls  for the semi annual student presentation! My  Advanced Vocal Class is closing out the event and I’m so looking forward to hearing everyone give their best at Small’s…showtime starts from 12-6PM

Later in April, join the Fay Victor Ensemble as we open it up at the 55BAR residency on THURSDAY, APRIL 24th for the Early Set and closing out the month and my small run at The Lexington with guitarist Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, APRIL 29th from 6-8PM.  Find specific deets about tall the performances on the FV site.

May will be hopping with a new Herbie Nichols SUNG show at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music on THURSDAY, MAY 15th and The Fay Victor Ensemble heads up to Western Massachusetts to play as part of the great great series run by the Jazz Pioneer Shares.  They are taking good care of left of center musicians. We are so honored to have been asked to take part, one of those wonderful rare occasion where an email lands in my box with an offer to come play our way. We’re pretty damn excited.

Thanks for reading and I hope and trust that you all are enjoying the sun as much as you can….

Music and light,
Fay

Early Spring Happenings

Hey Friends,

This post is later than usual and I see that it gets harder and harder to keep up with regular postings but I will do the best I can and keep you posted with all the happenings as soon as I can get to it.

For starters, I’m thrilled to have just come back from Baltimore after playing this past weekend with an amazing group of musician as part of the Creative Differences Second Sunday Series, where they invite a special guest to perform their own compositions.  I was thrilled to perform early Fay Victor Ensemble pieces featured on Cartwheels Through the Cosmos and The FreeSong Suite with the likes of pianist Lafayette Gilchrist, bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Eric Kennedy, reedist John Dierker and trumpeter Dave Ballou. They really dug into the music and Baltimore came out too, a very nice showing of folks and of love for the music

Yep, life is getting busier which is wonderful but not without it’s stresses.  Thankfully the release of Absinthe & Vermouth (Greene Ave Music 2013) has exposed the music of the Fay Victor Ensemble to new ears!  So we’re working on our first European tour for April 2015 and before that We’ll play in Jazz Pioneer’s Series in Western Massachusetts (MAY 25, 2014), The Jazz Gallery in New York City ! (JUNE 5, 2014), we’ve been invited to take part in a special initiative for the New York Restoration Project in Summer 2014 and we’re working on a small tour of  the East Coast for the Fall with set dates in Washington DC at the Bohemian Caverns (OCTOBER 5, 2014) and more to come. The biggest honor of all comes just next month on SATURDAY, APRIL 12 when we’re honored to appear as part of the TriCentric Foundation Presenting Series sharing the night with Anthony Braxton’s Falling River Nonet.  The Fay Victor Ensemble will premiere the commissioned piece Neighborhood Dynamics with very special guests flutist Nicole Mitchell and Vincent Chancey on french horn.  Jochem van Dijk and I cannot express the delight and honor we feel to contribute to this amazing festival, looking forward to present this piece to the world. I hope you check out as many nights as possible of the Presenting Series and the Trillium J the following week as well.

Before all that and much closer to now some wonderful things coming up as well:

*This FRIDAY, MARCH 14 I’m performing a duo concert with Ratzo Harris on the Main Stage at MICHIKO Studios performing standards, originals with solid doses of improvising inside and outside of the forms. – starting at 8PM.

*SATURDAY, MARCH 22 I’m back at the Classon Social Club with FV’s Blues and Standards.w/ Anders Nilsson (g), Ratzo Harris (b) and Jason Nazary (dr).  2 sets at 8 and 10PM – NO Cover, 2 drink minimum.

*THURSDAY, MARCH 27 back at the 55BAR for the monthly residency with a new project “Old Songs, New Skin” with Darius Jones (as) and Marika Hughes (cello) performing older compositions featured on recordings such as Darker Than Blue and Lazy Old Sun.  Early Set – 7-9PM.  NO Cover, 2 drink minimum.

Finally, I’m very happy to announce that I began running the weekly Jazz Vocal Workshop at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music on Monday nights! I have a wonderful group of singers and looking forward to being part of this venerable institution.  I’m still running the Advanced Vocal Workshop for the New York Jazz Workshop for the past two years as well.  As a teacher, I can say that I’ve never enjoyed teaching as much as I do now.  I feel so fortunate to have engaging, intelligent and creative vocal students that I learn so much and have lots of fun while doing it.  I do love my job.

2014-03-06 12.34.02

February 2014 – A Different World

Look to the sky...

Look to the sky…

Dear Friends,

So much has happened since my last ‘news’ post that the world even seems to be a different place.  A BIG part of the reason is the sudden loss of trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr and all the pain and beauty that wrought as well as the loss of the eminent poet, scholar, activist and force behind the Black Arts Movement Amiri Baraka.  They both left us on the same day.  At the beginning of this year I posted on FB about the losses that left us reeling at the end of 2013, having no way of knowing what was to come so early in this year. Especially in the case of Roy whom I performed with a number times and knew and whom I actually saw just a few days before his passing, my words feel strangely hollow.  Like someone at distance trying to soothe the affected.  Now I FEEL that pain deeply and saw how these transitions caused an entire community to stop, ball and shake fists at the sky because nobody understands why.

Daniel Carter - saxophone and Hamid Drake - drums play and mourn for Roy Campbell Jr.

Daniel Carter – saxophone and Hamid Drake – drums play and mourn for Roy Campbell Jr.

Through it all there is music, which is an amazing salve and catalyst to feel the pain and let it out.  I got to scream only once publicly in January at the FVE concert at Roulette (THANK you all for coming) and have been letting it out in private, creating new sounds of necessary expression to say the unsayable, the unthinkable. Yet despite the sadness and heavy feelings, I personally am glad that I can feel them and there is music to help commune with others sorrow.  We’re going to feel THIS pain for some time to come…

I’m also writing tons at the moment, especially for the piece the Fay Victor Ensemble is presenting in April 2014 as part of the Tri-centric Foundation Presenting Series.  That helps incredibly to focus and channel difficult feelings.  Isn’t music so wonderful to accommodate all the emotions that come up in our lives?

This month I’m looking forward to letting it out in public more.  Take a look at the PERFORMANCE tab on the website to check all the details for what’s going down around town this month including TWO new venues for me, the Classon Social Club, right near the Brooklyn Museum and the Lexington Hotel where my jazz hat will reign supreme as well as the ExPosed Blues DUO back at the 55BAR and a performance I’m particularly excited about and right on Valentines Day to boot – Aruan Ortiz’s Firm Roots at I-BEAM.

Be well.  Stay warm.  Make as much love and music as you can. Tomorrow may be as hard to grasp as a hummingbird in flight.

FV

ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH**** – Downbeat Magazine

FVE_Absinthe&Vermouth

“Fay Victor sings from deep in here to way out there. On her ensemble’s third album, cryptic messages come in strange and intricate forms–chiaroscuro theatrical pieces that tell tales of an individualist’s exuberant survival in dystopia…this dramatic free-song queen’s candid scenarios and textured observations take time to grow on you, but patience and open ears will bear fruit”. 4 STARS
Fred Bouchard, Downbeat (March 2014)

Beautiful words on Roswell Rudd’s Trombone for Lovers!

Happy Winter Greetings!

rudd_roswel_trombonef_101bStopping in to report some news on legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd’s beautiful record that I had to the honor to be a part of that included such amazoid luminaries as Bob Dorough, John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Gary Lucas and more.  I performed the great blues tune “Trouble in Mind”  and had a ball the day we recorded it Upstate State New York on a gorgeous mid-Fall day in 2012.  First UP – Trombone For Lovers cracked the top 50 Jazz Albums by the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, coming in at #41! Well beautiful words have been pouring in and I’d like to share a few of those quotes here:

“Legendary jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd may be 78 years young, but he hasn’t lost a beat as a vibrant musician. On the consistent and enjoyable Trombone for Lovers, Rudd – “with a little help from … friends” – covers songs that are meaningful to him encompassing various genres. On “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, Rudd and partner in crime Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet) interpret the Loesser vocal classic in dramatic fashion, accompanied by a churchy B3, compliments of John Medeski.


Guest vocalist Fay Victor steals the show on the bluesy “Trouble in Mind
”, with the rhythm section soundly backing her. On “Green Onions”, Rudd and company let loose, with the acclaimed soul tune easily lending itself to jazz. Later, Rudd liberally approaches Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday”, adventurously changing styles, and breathing new life into the timeless classic. Track after track, Rudd’s musicianship and sharpness impresses, making Trombone for Lovers shine radiantly.”
-Brett Faukner, Popmatters.com

Trombone for Lovers
Sunnyside ***1/2
“An audaciously titled record (!), the band of avant garde trombonist Roswell Rudd, now 78, whose playing over the years has decorated such landmark recordings as Archie Shepp’s Mama Too Tight and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra sets up a ‘Comin’ Home Baby’-like groove on opener ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’. And uncannily on the very next track the co-writer of ‘Baby’, Bob Dorough, pops up, growlingly, as if by magic on Lennon and McCartney’s ‘Here, There and Everywhere’. With songs drawn from Rudd’s recollections of childhood (“at this time in my life I worship at the altar of melody”, he wrote during the album’s Kickstarter campaign) when he would sing the songs in school or in church here seen as “standards in American song” Rudd is in a core quartet with John Medeski on B3, bassist Richard Hammond and drummer Aaron Comess, with lots of guests including Gary Lucas, Fay Victor, and Sexmob’s Steven Bernstein on a fun set of tunes. As you’d expect with Medeski on the organ it’s a highly infectious groove (carefully weighted on ‘Green Onions’) and while there is something of a raggedy jamming feel throughout, that doesn’t detract; in fact it’s a bonus. The album is not without its great moments, Fay Victor capable of stopping the traffic dead in its tracks on ‘Trouble in Mind’ a performance that simply soars away; Rudd raw and emotional on ‘Unchained Melody’; and showing his soloing imagination on ‘The Relentless Walk’ section of ‘Joe Hill’ segueing into Reggie Bennett’s conscious rap.
-DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE

Roswell Rudd: Trombone for Lovers
(Sunnyside)
“The “Joe Hill” suite at the end takes some getting used to, but since when has organizing been easy? Everything else is just superb: the opening “Ghost Riders in the Sky” with Steven Bernstein’s slide trumpet, Bob Dorough on “Here, There & Everywhere,” Fay Victor on “Trouble in Mind,” Michael Doucet’s violin on “Autumn Leaves” and “Tennessee Waltz,” familiar songs that seem perfect when they pop up: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” “Green Onions,” “Unchained Melody,” “September Song.”
-Tom Hull, The Village Voice
The Best Jazz Albums of 2013

Learn more and purchase at www.sunnysiderecords.com

 

The New Year’s NEWS – January 2014

cloudsDear Friends,

Best wishes for an enriching and fulfilling New Year.  I know it’s just getting off the ground and running so to speak and so am I, after a well needed break around the holidays, I’m gearing up for a busy 2014, looking forward to seeing, listening to and playing with many friends abroad and here in New York City.

First…some wonderful news for the Fay Victor Ensemble (FVE).  My group of now almost 9 years released Absinthe & Vermouth in November (Greene Ave Music) and the reviews so far have been just wonderful and reverent about the album.  Its wonderful to receive great reviews yet I’m most thankful for the reviewers really getting what my vision is for the  music,  which is just gold to me. Absinthe & Vermouth tied for 6th place in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll under Vocals, tying with Gretchen Parlato’s Live CD/DVD and Vijay Iyer’s/Mike Ladd Holding it Down Project.  I’m grateful to all the journalists that took the time to go through so much amazing music for 2013, what a daunting challenge that must be! A special thank you to those that chose Absinthe & Vermouth as their favorite Vocal Album of 2013 as well.

The FVE will celebrate the love shown when we perform on JANUARY 22, 2014 at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY performing selections from Absinthe & Vermouth and more.  More on this in a moment.  There’s more FVE news! We’ve received our first commission to write and present a piece for the Tri-centric Foundation Festival in April 2014!  We’ll present a piece called Neighborhood Dynamics, about the inner workings and feelings of a gentrifying Brooklyn. Joining the  FVE for this auspicious occasion in April as special guests will be Nicole Mitchell/flutes and Vincent Chancey/french horn.  The premiere will be alongside a set of Anthony Braxton Falling River Nonet!! To say I’m excited is the understatement of this new year and so I’m laying low, completely and working this expansion of written music for the FVE so far. Here are the details below for the performance later this month.

WEDNESDAYJanuary 22, 2014
The Fay Victor Ensemble presents selections from
Absinthe & Vermouth
Fay Victor – voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – electric guitar, effects
Ken Filiano – double bass, effects
at
ROULETTE
509 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
8PM
General Admission: $20
Members/Students/Seniors: $15
Free for All Access Members

December 2013 was a very special music month with a number of wonderful performances…Two of these performances are lingering with me still.  Herbie Nichols SUNG, my project of lyrics and arrangements to Herbie Nichols compositions at the Greenwich House was one of the best performances I’ve ever done in all my years as a musician.  One of my top ten gigs in LIFE so far.  What made it so?  It seemed everything was firing full throttle the entire night.  We were all in the music deeply and that made for incredible journeys and forays.  Thank you for being there if you were, I can’t tell you what it means.  If you weren’t, you missed something! LOL.  At the end of the night when the crowd rose in thunderous applause to give use a rousing standing ovation, I could feel my mouth fly open in disbelief and happiness.  The other concert that was amazing to be a part of was flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell’s When Life’s Door Opens Project that went on the road to Milan to perform right before Christmas.  I’m honored to be a part of this ensemble and to perform with the array of musicians she’s bought together.  This was my second reading of the piece and at the end of January, I head to Chicago to do it again and this time with the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project (CMOP)!

SATURDAYFebruary 1, 2014
Nicole Mitchell’s – When Life’s Door Opens
Chicago Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Renee Baker plus…
Featured Vocalists:
Fay Victor
Damon Locks
Kiran Ahluwalia
Featured Improvisers:
Nicole Mitchell – flutes, electronics
Jeff Parker – guitar
Marquis Hill – trumpet
Tomeka Reid – cello
Joshua Abrams – bass
Marcus Evans – drums
at
CONSTELLATION
3111 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
8:30PM
$15

Thanks for reading, for your continued support and please continue to support live music.  There’s simply nothing like it.

 

Herbie Nichols SUNG + the LAST Gig of 2013!

IMG_20131217_141613Ahhhhh just back in NYC from  an inspiring and beautiful weekend of music making with flautist/composer Nicole Mitchell’s spellbinding project “When Life’s Door Opens” in nonet in Milan, Italy for  about 1000 riveted folk. The piece is beautiful, employing many musics plus lots of space for improvising. Moreover, the band has five women, such a treat and I’m loving working with powerful, FIERCE women like Nicole as well as vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia, spoken word artist Jamika Ajalon and afro-electronica specialist Val Jeanty…along side bassist Ken Filiano, guitarist Marvin Sewell, drummer Tomas Fujiwara and Vincent Chancey on French horn. A great project written and lead by a beautiful and musical soul, composer and musician.

Now this week, I turn my focus back to an older musical hero..Herbie Nichols. If you follow me at all, you probably have an idea of what he means to me.  I discovered his music in the ’90′s when I first moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands by stumbling across a cheesy compilation disc my then boyfriend had at his home.   The badly recorded CD didn’t hide the beauty in the composition “House Party Starting”.  I was caught by the jugular hearing it the very first time. I knew instantaneously that I wanted to sing it yet I also knew that I didn’t have the chops to do so at that time.  A couple years went by before I revisited the tune (better able to at least navigate the melody) again as a possibility for my sophomore recorded effort, ‘Darker Than Blue‘ (Timeless Records, 2001).  One Saturday afternoon the lyrics came pouring forth and thus my journey with Herbie Nichol’s Music began.  I did record “House Party Starting’ on the album called which lead me to the great European Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk stylist, Misha Mengelberg and with him I began performing Herbie Nichols’ music in 2005.  I started a NYC based group in 2007 and in 2012 settled on an instrumentation and approach to his unbelievably beautiful melodies. They are just that. Sinewy, twisting, angular and soulful melodies that I’ve always found singable and it’s a thrill to get to play his music this week once again with a band that’s incredible and strong.

Its the holiday season and I know folks have a lot to do but if you’re free it would mean a lot to me if you came to check out the music from this seldom performed composer We’re playing this FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 at the Greenwich House in the West Village. Such a beautiful venue and sound and I’m honored to not only play there, we’ll also close out the Fall 2013 season.

We look forward to seeing you and the deets are below…

FRIDAYDecember 20, 2013
Herbie Nichols SUNG
at the GREENWICH HOUSE
part of the SOUND IT OUT Series
46 Barrow Street, just west of 7th Avenue South
www.greenwichhouse.org
8PM (2 sets)
$20
212-242-4770
FV – voice, lyrics, arrangements
Michael Attias – alto & baritone saxophone
Anthony Coleman – piano
Ratzo Harris – double bass
Rudy Roylston – drums

I close out the month at the 55BAR the day after Christmas and I’m bringing back Blues & Standards to close out my performing year for 2013.  What a year it has been!

THURSDAYDecember 26th 2013
FV Blues & Standards at the 55BAR
FV-voice
Anders Nillson – guitar
Ratzo Harris – double bass
Reggie Nicholson – drums
Early Set, 7-9PM
No Cover, 2 drink minimum
www.55BAR.com

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a wonderful, fruitful, joyous, restful, reflective and loving holiday season!

In music,
Fay

Early December Happenings with the ExPosed Blues DUO

ExPosed_Blues_DUO_-_BARE_Photo[1]

Dear friends!

I hope your Thanksgiving Holidays were wonderful and uneventful…I had a mellow Thanksgiving, taking it easy after a hopping November full of wonderful performances and experiences.  The CD Releases for Absinthe & Vermouth + Roswell Rudd’s Trombone For Lovers were real musical highs not just in November but this past year…not to mention performing with amazing musicians for the first time such as Jaap Blonk (Check out a fun video of us here), Stephan Haynes and Joe Morris, Steven Bernstein and the great Bob Dorough! And December is gearing up to be a great month as well and the FV calender is up to date with upcoming events and starting tonight the ExPosed Blues DUO (Anders Nilsson and myself) make a 2 concert run in Upstate New York.  Tonight we’re in Beacon, NY at Quinn’s under the auspices of James Keepnews new and happening Series in the area…a nd next weekend, we’re up in Ghent NY to perform for a fundraiser for ARTOmi…performing during their Candlelight Supper event. Learn more here and thanks for reading!

candlelight concert