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

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)

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.