Excited to take Herbie Nichols SUNG on the road next month with the great Achim Kaufmann on piano and Tobias Delius on reeds. I’ve been performing and developing Herbie Nichols material now for over 10 years and put together a number of configurations to communicate the ideas I had for Nichols’ knotty compositions. The latest approach and bringing back piano into the fold started with meeting Achim Kaufmann in Berlin in 2012, spending a week hashing out ideas and approaches to Nichols tunes. I came back to New York and formed a group here to further develop the ideas in performance hoping to record the project and bring it out! That hasn’t happened yet and perhaps this tour will open up a few doors. Whatever happens, I’m always thrilled and honored to play Herbie Nichols’ glorious compositions and with great company. Spread the word!
Happy March Friends! The promise of Spring looms in an air of abstraction here in the NorthEastern US yet being able to say we’re in the month of March assures warm weather fairly soon. YES!
With all that said I’m wearing my warm jazz hat quite a lot this month in wonderful musical settings starting tomorrow as part of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival where I’m invited as a special guest with DC based group Ephemera and we’ll perform a double bill with RAW of Sweden on SUNDAY, MARCH 8th at the House of Sweden in DC. on SATURDAY, MARCH 7 – I’m giving a Masterclass at the Levine School of Music in DC as well. Very excited to perform in DC for the first time with this great group of musicians. Later in March, I’ll run a Masterclass much closer to home at Long Island University through the wonderful invitation of master musician himself, Sam Newsome. On the local gig front, I’m putting on another Greene Avenue Music Presents (the event in February with Tyshawn Sorey and Brandon Seabrook was a musical sensation !!!) presenting Herbie Nichols with a European aficionado of his music, Akhim Coughman and Ratzo Harris at I-BEAM in preparation for an upcoming Herbie Nichols SUNG Europe tour in April (more on that shortly), plus the 55Bar Residency this month features FV’s Blues and Standards (THURSDAY, MARCH 26th) for the Early Set with Anders Nilsson (guitar), Ratzo Harris (double bass) and Jason Nazary (drums).
If the weather itself doesn’t warm up come and wrap yourself up in some good music wherever you can find it. The last gig with the Fay Victor Ensemble at the 55 BAR found me entering an empty bar on a cold cold night to set up for the gig to having it filling up with smiling and welcoming faces bringing a warmth that went straight to the heart. Music warms from the inside out.
Yep…winter is rolling right along here in the Northeast. Where I am the cold, especially how erratic the temperatures rise and fall, have me loooonging for softer climes. It’s an endurance test for me. How long can I take this perceived injustice. It’s a luxury problem in my case (I’m warm with shelter and proper clothing) yet still looking at the question – how much can I endure or how much can we – is a good one.
Last month, Patricia Nicholson Parker invited me to put a set together for the BlackLivesMatter Festival Arts for Arts put on in the last week of January. My set turned out to be the closing set of the 8 day festival so I not only wanted a strong set, I needed to say something too. I put together a little piece buoyed by words that reflect how I feel about Black lives matter and the question of endurance factors in. Check that out here…
That concert closed out January and before that I had a great time performing Herbie Nichols’ Music at the 55BAR with Ratzo Harris and Anthony Coleman, I played at the beginning of the month with Ratzo and guitarist Kenny Wessel at the North Square Lounge in the West Village, a gig that was fun, fun, fun! Taking part in William Parker’s piece at Roulette in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a major highlight highlight last month. William Parker put together an interesting melange of musicians, actors and dancers which created a colorful tapestry of sound and substance. Finally, it was wonderful once again to be nominated the best Female Vocalist as part of the annual El Intruso annual poll. Learn more about that poll here…
Here’s WHAT’S UP in February 2015
>>>>>THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12th I’m part of Aruan Ortiz’s ensemble presenting a great work-in-progress called Inside a Rhythmic Falls up at Harlem Stage. We’re on at 7:30PM with a Q+A after the performance. I’m excited about this music + I’ll get to play with two Cuban percussionists for the first time! 7:30PM. FREE >>>>>SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14th, The ExPosed Blues DUO, going on 8 years strong presents a set as part of guitarist Anders Nilsson‘s monthlong residency at Barbes. The avenues we go down in the name of th blues are many some come and see which way we go on that day of love…Valentines Day. 6PM, ONE SET. $10 suggested donation >>>>>SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21st, I’m appearing for the first time at the hippest. swankiest jazz spot in Brooklyn, Brownstone Jazz. Nestled in the parlor floor of a Bed-Stuy brownstone this weekly jazz spot is a place to come and sit back in an intimate and soulful atmosphere. I’ll perform stands and the blues with Lafayette Harris – piano, Eric Lemon-bass and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax-drums. This will be a funky good time. 8:00PM Start, 7PM Doors ope. Entry includes Fish Fry. >>>>>SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd, Greene Avenue Music Presents Fay Victor -Tyshawn Sorey DUO/ Fay Victor Tyshawn Sorey DUO + special guest Brandon Seabrook. Multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey and I carry on our DUO explorations and invite Brandon Seabrook into the mix for the 2nd set. IBEAM, Sets 7:00 and 8:30. $15 Suggested Donation >>>>>THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26th, The Fay Victor Ensemble Returns! Playing the 55BAR and entering our 10th year as a group. Come hear our bandlike cohesion mixing old and new. I love this band. Some of my favorite music with some of my favorite people. With Anders Nilsson – guitar and Ken Filiano – double bass. Ear;y Set, 7-9PM. o Cover, 2 drink minimum.
Thanks so much for reading…hope to see you out at the shows!
Sending Love and wishes to you all for a wonderful New Year! Lots of things coming up for FV in 2015 that will unfold as the year…well..unfolds! For now, want to tell you what’s going on in the short term and again I wish you all the best!! Thanks for reading.
Here’s WHAT’S UP in January 2015
>>>>>SUNDAY, JANUARY 4th join me, Ratzo Harris and Kenny Wessel for a sumptuous Jazz Brunch at the North Square Hotel. This trio played there for the first time last July and it was a blast! Looking forward to swing the afternoon away. Sets at 12:30 and 2PM, Reservations highly recommended. >>>>>SATURDAY, JANUARY 17th, I’m part of an ensemble of William Parker’s Tone Motion Theatre piece featuring some heavy hitters such as Cooper Moore, Hamid Drake and Joe McPhee in the mix. At Roulette, 8PM. $25. >>>>>THURSDAY, JANUARY 29th, I’m back at the 55BAR with Herbie Nichols SUNG featuring Herbie Nichols wonderful compositions stretched wide open alongside Anthony Coleman (piano) and Ratzo Harris (bass). 7-9PM, NO Cover, 2 drink minimum. >>>>>FRIDAY, JANUARY 30th, Evolving Series Special Event through Arts for Arts for #BlackLivesMatter. FV Free Improv ensemble featuring Daniel Carter (reeds) and Reggie Nicholson (drums, percussion). Set time, TBA.
May 2015 be the year you’ve been waiting for in your wildest dreams and may all those dreams come true! Thanks for reading.
Yes it’s been a moment since I’ve made a post to this here website yet as the end of the year nears I wanted to take a moment to mention just one more concert for 2014.
Before that though – I want to take a moment to say thank you, thank you for all your support for this year and every other. I find it difficult to make creative music without knowing how it comes across. Putting my heart and soul into the music I make and knowing it communicates in a strong way makes me happier than hardly anything else. I need to be present in my music and I thank all of the people that help show me the way. These are times that demand strong voices. On New Years Day of this almost gone year, my husband and I went to see 12 Years a Slave, a movie we spoke about for hours afterwards, seemingly setting the tone for how this year would unfold in this country. How racism, every present in American Society would rise back up through the blatant racist policing all across this country and highlighted in incidents in Missouri, Ohio and my own city, New York. I want my voice to be stronger than ever.
Stronger than ever as a teacher. I’ve been teaching since the late 90′s yet the last few years something has changed. I just love it and get so much out of it. I see the immediate benefit of my work with students. It’s a clear and wonderful relationship and I’m running two vocal workshops on a weekly basis, which teaches me so much about my students and myself. I’m amazed to see my students grow and this year they grew tremendously. This time of years, many of my students are performing, old hat for some. For others, they are dipping their toe in the water for the first time. I’m tremendously proud of those vocalists that brave their souls to discover all this wonderment within them.
Stronger than ever to face sadness. 2014 had a number for tough losses of friends such as trumpeter and downtown scene stalwart and musician Roy Campbell, the legendary Amiri Baraka, and most recently, another downtown legend Will Connell passed away. That news, so sudden and unexpected especially since Will was full of energy and excitement, prepping for his residency at The Stone (coming up this week and now held in his honor). He was a fierce and powerful musician carrying that fire with quiet dignity and his SOUND was something to be experienced. Thankfully, I played with him a few times this past year for the first time after all these years. I put together a quartet that got to play out twice and thankfully documented by Don Mount – VoiceHornsBass included Vincent Chancey on french horn and Ken Filiano on double bass along with Will playing flute, alto and bass clarinet.
This coming week, I along with a host of great musicians and poets will descend on the Stone to pay tribute Will Connell, Jr., our great friend of the community and of the music that will be terribly missed. We miss him already. Please check the Stone website for all the details of this week’s residency. I’m part of the ensemble playing this Tuesday night, DECEMBER 23rd entitled World Peace, With or Without People: Music from the legacy of Horace Tapscott, set at 8 and 10pm. I hope many of you will join us to raise our voices in tribute and celebration.
With all that’s going crazy in the world at this moment, I’m grateful for those closest to me - friends, family and the gift of music. I wish you and yours all the best for a healthy and happy holiday season full of reflection and appreciation for what we have to be thankful for. Best wishes too for a prosperous and wondrous 2015.
Fall now is in full swing and this weekend in New York City we’re feeling it. Brisk and fresh, its definitely time to think of the indoors and get ready for the cold. Warming up with great music always helps to get through the dark and short winter days to come and we’ve only just put the clocks back.
Stepping back for second to October turned out to be a wonderful month of musical eclecticism for me. Started the month playing at I-BEAM with Jason Hwang on violin and Miya Masaoka on koto! Whoa. A joy and new discovery to make music with these instruments. We also a special guest from Indonesia Djudak Ferianto a great musician and vocalist that joined and added abundantly to the proceedings. The next great thing was VoiceHornsBass on the InGarden Series for Arts for Art with Ken Filiano (double bass), Will Connell (reeds) and Vincent Chancey (french horn). This was our 2nd meeting of improvising textures, tones and text…it was wonderful. Then what was for e a milestone – I had the opportunity to perform Sequenza III by the great Italian composer Luciano Berio, as part of an all Berio program at Columbia University through the new and exciting chamber organization, ensemble mise-en. It’s the first time I performed a solo vocal piece ever. What a thrilling experience it was. I closed out the month at the 55BAR with Marika Hughes (cello) and Sean Conly (double bass) playing older songs of mine and Jochem van Dijk – pre-FVE tunes re-cast in a different instrumentation. It was a lot of fun and great exploration with fresh approaches. I think we’ll do that again very soon….
Coming up this month, its a month chock full of DUOs and a big film Collab. I’m back at the Lexington Hotel twice in November with bassist Ratzo Harris on WEDNESDAY, November 5 and Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, November 18th. On November 15th, I’m playing with guitarist Brandon Seabrook at new venue run in Brooklyn by Cisco Bradley called New Revolution Arts. Then on TUESDAY, November 25th, I’m past of a big group at JACK in Brooklyn performing and improvising in front of and alongside films! Finally, the day after Thanksgiving I head to Chicago to help celebrate 40 years of the great Amsterdam club the Bimhuis in a duo with famed cellist Tristan Honsinger, where we’ll play an improvised voice/cello set at Constellation. I haven’t been to Chicago since 2010, looking forward to being there for a little while.
Thanks much for reading and hope to see you out and about!
Here’s what’s coming up for October in the New York City. I recently returned from the Netherlands visiting friends and family… a wonderful trip and great to revisit faces and places with Jochem as we’re rarely there together. Came back to New York and dove right into the Very Very Threadgill Festival from the great composer and musician Henry Threadgill, honored to be a part of this wonderful event put on at Harlem Stage and curated by Jason Moran! A fantastic and beautiful weekend to have been a part of. I then closed on September being part of the VoiceArts Forum at Cal Arts on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, giving a presentation on my work and via Skype! It was wonderful and thanks to vocalist/educator Carmina Escobar for inviting me to take part.
And now we’re into October with lots in store as well! Starting on coming TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, a first time improv meeting with myself, the fantastic Miya Masaoka on koto and the fantabulous Jason Hwang on violin at I-BEAM. I’ve been wanting to play with Miya for some time now and Jason has also been on my short list of faves to meet in an improv setting. I’m really glad it’s happening, and before us the great bassist Ken Filiano will perform solo.
Then MONDAY, OCTOBER 13 I’m playing on the Arts for Arts InGarden Series, closing out the month long series with VoiceBassHorns with Ken Filiano on double bass, Vincent Chancey on french horn and Will Connell on reeds. I put this group together in my head some months ago and we played together for real on June 30. WOW. Very, very happy that this opportunity has come up to play again and so soon. Our set is up at 4PM but before that there’s drummer Michael TA Thompson’s and reedist Patrick Brennan’s groups at 2PM and 3PM respectively. Learn more details here.
Later on in the month I’m undertaking quite the undertaking on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 222014. Performing a piece of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza III for female voice as part of the Mise-En presentation at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University, part of an evening called Berio in NYC: Sequenzas and Chemins IV. I’m excited and petrified at the same time. This piece deeply inspired me when I began to delve into extended vocal techniques. I cant believe I’ll have the opportunity to perform it myself and I hope you can make it. It free!
Closing out the month at the 55BAR on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30 with ‘Old Songs, New Skin‘ with a slightly different line-up of Marika Hughes on cello and Sean Conly on bass, mostly playing pre FVE compositions with a different sonic spin and musical approach. Looking forward to this journey!
Thanks for reading friends…musical blessings to you.
photo of CalArts students courtesy of Carmina Escobar; all other photos by Fay Victor
Yep…summer 2014 is finished for all intensive purposes and I’m looking forward to a robust autumn filled with teaching and wonderful ventures.
Before I go into that – - how was your summer? Did you take it easy, reflect, tackle that thing laid low for so long? I hardy tackled anything old nor did I take it as easy as planned. The summer turned out to be much busier than I expected with a few good periods for reflection and introspection…new changes are a foot. All good, all good.
Now back to this month’s happenings…on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4th I’m part of an benefit event put on by Matana Roberts and Musician For Peace, a benefit to raise funds for Michael Brown’s Family. This will be a beautiful event and a sharing. The line up features some amazing people donating their time and energy to this event will be held at Union Pool…check out the funky flyer below:
Then I take a dip out of town but back in time to hit the 55BAR on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th with the Fay Victor Ensemble with Ken Filiano on bass and Anders Nilsson on guitar for the early set! Rounding out the month in an event I’m honored to be a part of and if you want to get in on this amazing festival, I’d buy tickets sooner rather than later. Pianist Jason Moran is curating a phenomenal event of the weekend of SEPTEMBER 27-28th dedicated to the music of Henry Threadgill called VERY VERY THREADGILL at Harlem Stage. The line-up is insane, including folks such as Imani Winds, Black Sun featuring Cassandra WIlson and much more…
In other news, the Jazz Vocal Workshop at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music starts up this month (The New York Jazz Workshop Adv. Jazz Vocal Workshop starts up in the beginning of October). My private practice is growing still I do have some space open and availabel for new students. If you or someone you know is looking for vocal instruction, learn more on the FV Teaching page. Finally, I’m honored to be included in an exhibition of the amazing Slovenian photographer Petra Cvelbar called “In Women’s Hands” featuring female artists that have performed in Ljubljana. I was fortunate to be there in 2011 on tour with Dutch reedist Ab Baars. You can learn more about her work here.
Have a festive end of summer and ease on into Fall. It’s not so bad!