TWO Year Residency Celebration at the 55BAR on July 31st!

Rondout Reservoir, The Catskills, NY
Rondout Reservoir, The Catskills, NY

Coming up this week at the 55BAR, I celebrate TWO years of having the last Thursday of the month as a regular space to play.  Its been a joy playing at the 55BAR since 2005 then getting a monthly spot was all the better!! So if you’re in NYC and free, come on down and check out the music.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Summer Happenings – July 2014

Woooooo weeeeeeee!

Brooklyn SunsetI’m still calming down from an amazing and thrilling June! Some traveling, lots of teaching and playing, more performances than I’ve had in one month for a long time.  The trip to Istanbul, Turkey with the New York Jazz Workshop was a transcendent life experience.  Not only were the vocal students I had for a week wonderful and incredibly smart, they all developed in leaps and bounds within that week.  At the beginning I encountered singers so used to singing together that they blended beautifully, almost becoming one sound.  Yet I wanted each vocalist to begin to feel confident within their own individual voices.  I was so happy to hear that by the final presentation they did just that! Sounding like their beautiful individual selves and all the happier for it.  Here is a happy selfie of the students in Istanbul!

Istanbul Vocal Group Selfie
Soon after returning to NYC, I played the final day of Vision Festival 19 in duo with multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey – I’m still thinking about that set and looking forward to playing with him once more in August, closing out Tyshawn’s residency at the Stone on SUNDAY, AUGUST 3RD for the 10PM set and part of a full night of vocals with Jen Shyu playing with Tyshawn at 8PM!  Another wonderful happening in June was getting back together with former Music OMI fellows Elisabeth Harnik and Dominic Lash who came in into town to perform as part of our collective trio ReDDeer! We hadn’t played together in over 2 years, coming together playing first at the Austrian Cultural Forum and then on Andrew Drury’s Soup and Sound Series! Just before this wonderful OMI reunion (the day before in fact), I presented my first Jazz Vocal Workshop class at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.  All of the students and the serious rhythm section behind them kicked it out of the park!  I look forward to continuing to run the Jazz Vocal Workshop at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music this Fall.  I finished June with a wonderful hit on the Evolving Series with Will Connell, Vincent Chancey and Ken Filiano in a free improv foray I’ll remember for a long time to come.

by musicWitness - Jeff Schlanger at Vision Festival 19 DUO with Tyshawn Sorey
by musicWitness – Jeff Schlanger at Vision Festival 19 DUO with Tyshawn Sorey

Now July is here as is the call of summer and I’m scaling it back a bit but not too much! This coming SUNDAY, JULY 6th, I play on the North Square Lounge Brunch for the first time at the Washington Square Hotel in West Village of NYC.  This is a fabulous brunch in a cool art deco setting.  The prices are reasonable, the music is free of charge and I almost never do a jazz brunch (my first time here) so I’m looking forward to playing in this setting and having you there. Having Kenny Wessel on guitar and Ratzo Harris will surely charge up any Sunday afternoon swing! Speaking of swinging, I’m at the Lexington Hotel twice this month – playing with Ratzo Harris on TUESDAY, JULY 8 and with Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, JULY 22nd.  I’m also excited to play for the first time at the WhyNot Jazz Cafe on the WhyNOT Experiment Series with the Fay Victor Ensemble on SUNDAY, JULY 13th curated by vocalist Andrea Wolper. Closing out the month on THURSDAY, JULY 31st celebrating my 2nd year residency at the 55BAR.  The last couple years this event coincided with my birthday but this year its almost week away – so I’ll present FV’s Blues and Standards with special guests through out the evening.  Check the GIG section of the site for all the deets…

Photo by Richard Koek
Photo by Richard Koek

For the rest I’m looking to filling in the empty spaces with relaxation and reflection, seeing friends, going to the beach and just smelling the roses.  I love being busy and active but if I’m not careful it can pull me away from myself.  Furthermore, I really need to work out a workout regimen that works for me, so I’ll be working on that! Need to get more healthy and most importantly have more energy. I wish everyone a fruitful, restful and rejuvenating summer.

Till soon and stay cool,
Fay

Blue Mosque FountainFountain at sunset between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, Istanbul Turkey (June 2014)

*ALL photos taken by FV unless otherwise noted*

55BAR & Mise-en Festival this SATURDAY, JUNE 21st!

Friends,

This month the 55BAR residency will be on SATURDAY, JUNE 21ST from 6-9PM instead of THURSDAY, JUNE 26 as previously scheduled.  Still with Herbie Nichols SUNG featuring Michael Attias on reeds and Ratzo Harris on double bass.  NO COVER, 2 drink minimum.

Earlier in the day, I’ll run an IMPROVISATION Workshop for the wonderful and new Mise-en Music Festival at the Cell in New York City. Click the link to learn more about this festival and how you can participate.

Herbie Nichols Workshops MISE

June June June June June 2014!

Between Cold Spring and Peekskill, NY
think of all the possibilities…photo taken by FV

What this month this June will be will be will be! A fun and action packed month so let me get right to it.

Starting the month off with performing at private party/fundraiser for ARTOMI featuring former formidable fellows of Music OMI with flautist Jamie Baum, pianist Ursel Schlicht and guitarist Anders Nilsson on WEDNESDAY JUNE 4 then THURSDAY, JUNE 5 the Fay Victor Ensemble (FVE) performs at The Jazz Gallery in New York City for the first time!  I, WE are so excited to play here and introduce our music to the Jazz Gallery audience.  If you’re in town, please join us for a special evening where we’ll venture through the full book nine years running. The FVE just returned from an amazing appearance on the Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares Series in Western Massachusetts, playing a 2-hour long set and receiving a standing ovation after! We can’t wait to bring some of that energy this coming Thursday to the esteemed Jazz Gallery stage.

Photo by Richard Koek
The Fay Victor Ensemble. Photo by Richard Koek

A few days later I head to Istanbul, Turkey as part of the New York Jazz Workshop faculty where we’ll head up a week of workshops and masterclasses at Bognazi University in celebration of the institution turning 150 years old. Honored to say the least plus excited to go to this seriously important world city for the first time. Just as I get back, I’ll appear on Vision Festival 19 in duo with multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey for the 6:00 Set on SUNDAY JUNE 15, Our first two outings as a duo was an transformational experience. I expect nothing less on this occasion.  Vision Festival 19 begins at Roulette, starting on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11 specially honoring artist Jeff Schlanger and the great, great Charles Gayle.  Check out full schedule for the Vision Festival here.

On TUESDAY JUNE 17 back at the Lexington Hotel with Anders Nilsson with jazz hats firmly in place. SATURDAY, JUNE 21st happy as pie to run an improvisation workshop on the Mise-en Music Festival (Check festival details and events here…this is a very special festival dedicated to new and contemporary music composers) and WEDNESDAY JUNE 25th I’m at the Austrian Cultural Forum with Reddeer, my collective trio with Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and British bassist Dominic Lash.  THURSDAY JUNE 26th back at the 55BAR with Herbie Nichols SUNG in TRIO – still coming down after a wonderful experience on the Brooklyn launch of the Sound it Out Series at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music on May 15th.

Herbie Nichols SUNG on the Sound it Out Series launch in Brooklyn on May 15th. Photo by Jeff Evans
Herbie Nichols SUNG on the Sound it Out Series launch in Brooklyn on May 15th with Michael Attias, FV, Ratzo Harris and Michael Sarin (shown). Photo by Jeff Evans

As the month winds down, I’m playing in a number of configurations on Andrew Drury’s SOUP and SOUND Series including a set with Elisabeth Harnik on SATURDAY JUNE 28th. I’m closing out the month finally back on the Evolving Music Series on MONDAY JUNE 30 with a special group I put together that may never come together again called VoiceBassHorns with the great Will Connell on reeds, Vincent Chancey on french horn, Ken Filiano on bass. Should be a blast and will be the first time I’ll play with Will Connell.

In other news, I’m finishing up my first semester at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music running the Jazz Vocal Workshop and we’ll have our final performance on TUESDAY JUNE 24th on the main stage of the school. A great group of vocalists and I’m excited for them and this performance. Wow. How lucky and blessed I feel to have the opportunity to share so many sides of myself with so many of you. This year has been a wild and crazy ride; the possibilities seem endless.  May all the dreams, visions and opportunities you seek find you and take you where you need to go.  Walk in the dream of your own making.

Can’t wait to see you out there!
Fay

great crowd to great us in Greenfield, MA on May 25th as part of the Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares.
great crowd to greet the FVE in Greenfield, MA on May 25th as part of the Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares.

A month of transitions into May 2014

A month of transitions…

April 2014 has got to be one of the most tumultuous months in my life.  This isn’t hyperbole – just the truth. I always look forward to April.  Spring is normally in full bloom. My husband’s birthday is right at the beginning of the month so we celebrate that and peoples faces begin to lighten since everyone knows that Winter is gone for sure.

booboobyebyeThis year’s difficult winter felt like it wouldn’t quit but even worse, just a few days into April we lost our beloved dog Martin on the 4th in a horrible car accident. This happened just a week before Jochem and I were presenting our first commissioned piece for the Fay Victor Ensemble with special guests as part of the TriCentric Music Festival put on by the TriCentric Foundation with generous support from the Puffin Foundation.  Happily and despite it all -  the piece came off very well.  The incredible Ensemble which consisted of Vincent Chancey (french horn), Nicole Mitchell (flute), Anders Nilsson (guitar) and Ken Filiano (double bass) presented Neighborhood Dynamics with aplomb, receiving wonderful feedback on the music and how we communicated our idea of gentrification, the subject the piece is based on. An absolutely incredible experience working, writing, rehearsing and developing this piece.  A huge step up for Jochem and myself as composers and the band dived into the music, giving it their all.  It was a blessing and a gift to have this opportunity and  I’m happy to say we did our damnedest to rise to the occasion.  Most touching of all was how the great Anthony Braxton took the time and space to listen to Neighborhood Dynamics and told me after that he was “simply blown away”.  A few days after the premiere, Jochem and I headed to Grenada to celebrate my uncles’ 89th birthday. Having no idea that Martin would be gone from our lives, the ability to get away was more of a godsend then ever.  A rejuvenating and transitional trip for many reasons, mainly for finding and connecting with family and learning so much more about myself in the process.  Truly a month of the loss and found.

Vincent Chancey, Nicole Mitchell, Fay Victor, Anders Nilsson, Ken Filiano courtesy of Jason Gutharz
Vincent Chancey, Nicole Mitchell, Fay Victor, Anders Nilsson, Ken Filiano courtesy of Jason Gutharz

I finished out the month of April gigging with the FVE at the 55BAR, now back to the book after working so much on the premiered piece for the Tricentric Festival. We also had cause for celebration – NINE years of being together as a group! Its the longest I’ve kept a group together and so grateful to have the best musicians and cohorts to work with.  Guitarist Anders Nilsson and bassist Ken Filiano are the absolute best.  What an honor.  We’re gearing up to play later this month (SUNDAY, MAY 25 2014) in Greenfield, MA as part of the Pioneer Jazz Shares Series and then the FVE will play at the Jazz Gallery on THURSDAY, JUNE 5 2014 in New York City! Our debut at this venerable NYC jazz institution and we’re thrilled. So please save the date NYC!

St. Georges, Grenada
Before all that I’m SUPER excited to present Herbie Nichols SUNG as part of the part of the Sound it OUT Series move to Brooklyn on THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014 with Anthony Coleman (piano), Michael Attias (alto and baritone saxophone), Ratzo Harris – double bass and Michael Sarin – drums at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, my first time performing there as well.  Pretty cool since I started running the Jazz Vocal Workshop at the Brooklyn Conservatory this past February, long after the date was booked. The last show we had in December 2013 that closed out the Sound it Out Series at the Greenwich House was one of my musical highlights ever. We fired on all cylinders and the audiences responded with a rousing standing ovation! Its been magical delving into Herbie Nichols glorious compositions. Head on over to my soundcloud pages to hears some clips here: https://soundcloud.com/greeneavemusic

Herbie Nichols
Closing out the month back to at the 55BAR on May 29th at the 55BAR pianist sensation Aruan Ortiz and bassist Sean Conly for the Early Set and as always get all the deets on the GIG Section of the site and please sign up to receive my monthly newsletter if you haven’t already.

Thank you for reading.  I’m looking forward to Spring and music!
Fay

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