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

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

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

 

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

Roswell Rudd’s Trombone for Lovers CD Release + Lou Reed Tribute

Thrilled to take part in the CD release event for Roswell Rudd's latest effort, released today!

Thrilled to take part in the CD release event for Roswell Rudd’s latest effort, released today! Looking forward to seeing you there on SUNDAY November 24th at Le Poisson Rouge!

Right before that on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21st I’ll sing LADY DAY in a Lou Reed Tribute which should be a hoot! That’s taking place at a venue called Barchord in the Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn. at 8PM….

The San Francisco Chronicle writes a feature on FV!

I’m honored  to report that the San Francisco Chronicle has written a feature article on me, set to run on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4th, 2011 in the Art Section. I’m honored and humbled that journalist Lee Hildebrand took an interest in my music and my trip to the West Coast to want to write a piece. I’m very grateful to Laurie Antonioli and Terri Hinte, Vocal Director of the Jazz School at Berkeley and Publicist respectively for all their help.  Please share your thoughts when you can and thanks again for your support.

You can read the online edition here!

BARE: How the Blues caught me by the jugular and never let go

Dear Friends!!

On the last day of this August month, Anders Nilsson and myself (as the ExPosed Blues Duo) release our debut recording, BARE, on Greene Avenue Music.  I’m so excited about this project being released and we’re looking forward to hearing the feedback that’s bound to come – one way or the other.  Preparing for the release also bought me back in touch with why I love the blues so much and how that came to be.  I’d like to share some of that with you…

A couple years after I moved to The Netherlands in the 90’s, I got asked to sub for an American soul singer at a festival in Cologne, Germany. We performed a mishmash set including jazz standards, blues, R&B and soul tunes we threw together to make the show. When the set was finished, a guitarist came up to me and asked if I’d ever performed blues before and if I’d be interested in performing a complete blues gig at a monthly series he fronted the house band for in Muenster, Germany. I told him I knew a couple blues tunes but was certainly no blues singer and doing a gig like that was out of my league. He said he thought I could become a great blues singer and it’s worth a try. What did I have to lose he said. On a Monday night, decently paid, room, board and travel thrown in. I agreed to give it a shot.

For the show in Muenster, a great German college town about 3 hours from Amsterdam, I pulled together a set of tunes based on the few bluesI knew and some jazzy-blues numbers by Stanley Turrentine and that ilk. When the Theater Café filled to capacity that night, it was no time to be tentative. I did the best I could and surprisingly folks really enjoyed it. Now, I figured one-half of the reason they liked it so much is because I looked the part.  Being African-American gives me all sorts of rights to sing this music, despite the fact that in that moment, I knew almost nothing about it.

You see, the truth of the matter is when I started out and heard the blues sung by Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Bessie Smith,I thought that was the real thing – or should I say the only thing. I learned some blues when I started performing because that’s what I was told to do plus they were ‘fun’ and ‘crowd-pleasing’ as opposed to a serious ballad or navigating a bebop tune. A jazz vocalist’s repertoire is incomplete without blues in the repertoire, just as it would be if one sang no bossa novas.

So this opportunity in Germany to put the blues out front made me look at that music differently for the first time. I began to see that it was an art in and of itself. Much older than jazz, simpler, clearer in expression, individual, ornery, dirty. I began to listen to Robert Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Blind Lemmon Jefferson, Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson, Elmer Snowden, Skip James, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Charles Brown and so much more. That band leader in Muenster asked me to front his band, which I did for three years as well as work with other blues groups in Germany. At the same time, I began to appreciate and know how much the blues profoundly influenced the best part the soul and R&B music I loved and grew up with.

Gigging with the blues and the study that happened alongside it laid the foundation for a journey of learning to express myself through this substantial medium and I ‘got’ it early on that it’s not a music to hide behind.  It’s a music to deepen my understanding of myself because it won’t tolerate a facade.  At least it didn’t for me. And all those gigs (100’s) performing this music made it clearer still. The blues has helped me be a more colorful and storytelling vocalist and deeply informs the compositions Jochem and I write.  It’s a fundamental part of my expression.

So why a blues record now?

In 2007, I was asked to perform a blues-based program at the WinterNights Jazz Festival in Marseille, France. Myself and Fay Victor Ensemble guitarist Anders Nilsson came up with an approach and used some material I performed when I lived in Europe, added new tunes and re-wrote the script for that event. We thought we’d open up the forms and tunes, leaving BARE the possibility for free improvisation to emerge, just like those singular Delta blues guitarists, we said. It worked, the audience told us. It felt good to connect with an audience that way again! So we went on to develop what started in Marseille and formed the ExPosed Blues Duo, melding blues forms and free improvisation.  As we gigged around town, the music got more organic, pure, languid and visceral. We felt that some strong music may come out of this. Let’s record this happening and take it from there.

Here we are.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

More info:
Greene Ave Music
Improvised Communications
Media Contact: Scott Menhinick

BARE is available for download at CDBABY and I-Tunes.
The Street date for the physical CD is August 31, 2010

CD RELEASE FIESTA
BARBES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010

8PM