February 2013 news, thoughts and views

Yup, just under the fresh heels of a winter snowstorm in New York City and since I’ve yet to step out in it, I love it to death.  Its so wonderful to look at from the distance of dry warm feet and until I have to step out into it, that’s how I’ll feel.  No winter is not my thing, but that’s no reason to move away from New York City (although it was a GREAT reason to move away from Syracuse, NY), so I’m looking forward to see it go.  Later this month I’ll step out of town but no warmer climes for me but perhaps if I’m lucky more temperate.  And then there’s the music that’s happening before I head out of town which I hope will heat things up. Before getting into what’s coming up, I’d like to give a HUGE thanks to all the folks that came out to the shows plus a small wrap up of the amazing music month that was January 2013!

The moment JANUARY 1st, 2013  landed and I woke up, I felt like a new person, like something strange had lifted and flew away. So cliche no?  Yet it is the absolute truth and boy did I need that sort of energy going into the month as I had more gigs in NYC last month that I’ve ever had since I’ve loved here ( or ever) and ended the month recording the new Fay Victor Ensemble album ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH, due for release in September 2013. I’m so proud of what guitarist Anders Nilsson and double bassist Ken Filiano contributed to the music…boy oh BOY!

January started though with the music of Herbie Nichols as I opened the IBEAM residency I had on Saturdays in January with the launch of the quintet version of the project including Rudy Roylston on drums and the great Anthony Coleman on piano along with Michael Attias on reeds and Ratzo Harris on bass.  The quintet also played a set at Cornelia Street Cafe as part of vocalist Sara Serpa’s Voice Box Festival on JANUARY 22nd.  The rest of the residency was the Fay Victor Ensemble honing the original music we’ve been playing plus brand new pieces for the recording.  It was a great time at IBEAM, a wonderful performance space in Brooklyn and as a band we grew over the three Saturdays we played there.  We filmed the music too and here’s a teaser video of what’s to come on the new record: CRYSTAL – Fay Victor Ensemble The band also played at BAM Cafe LIve, one of the best venues to pay in the city with a great crowd and a fantastic atmosphere.  Great performing there again, I saw it as a good omen that we play at BAM at this time since we also performed at the Bam Cafe Live right before recording our last CD, The FreeSong Suite in 2008.  Looking forward to sharing this music with everyone and I’ll keep you posted on events and sounds as they unravel!  January ended at the 55BAR for my monthly residency there with Herbie Nichols in trio with Razto Harris and Michael Attias.  That was so much fun and a great way to end where we began the month with Herbie Nichols.  I’ll be back at the 55BAR on March 28th with the Lisa Mezzacappa/Fay Victor TRIO!

A very important note: I was honored and humbled to be asked my William Parker to sing a piece he wrote for David S. Ware’s Memorial at St. Peter’s Church on JANUARY 7, 2013.  The evening was a pristine example of space, love, class, dignity, compassion and music with performances by Matt Schipp, Guillermo Brown, William Parker, Cooper-Moore, Joe Morris, Steve Dalachinsky, Daniel Carter, Darius Jones, Muhammed Ali and more.

Coming up this month, this TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12th, I’ll appear with the ExPosed Blues DUO and special guest Darius Jones for a set sharing the bill with Turkish guitar phenom Timucin Sahin at DROM and then I’ll appear with William Parker’s Essential Orchestra at Roulette on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16th.  Then I’m one the road, meeting family in France and heading to Berlin to work on and play Herbie Nichols with pianist Achim Kaufmann and tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius, culminating in 2 nights of concerts MARCH 1st and 2nd in Berlin.  February began with the openingof the Evolving Series and a special duo with drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey.  It was a powerful start and I trust there will be more, and soon.

Going back to January once more -it was an incredible month but a sad month as well. With the loss of Butch Morris suddenly and the recent passing of Jayne Cortez and now most recently Donald Byrd (amongst so many others), it hard not to feel that our heroes and mentors are leaving quickly, like butterflies. In the case of Butch Morris, I can say with great honor that I worked with him and learned a lot from him when I did.  I attended his conduction workshops in NYC back in February 2005, the now famous Black February and attended many of those events.  I later became part of his Chorus of Poets for about three years and I tapped into Butch’s ‘Conduction’ method at a time when I was figuring out how to improvise on my own terms and truly venture into the free. It was great to have a method of improvisation where you essentially respond to his baton and in turn that creates an orchestrated sound in its entirety, whether its with voices, strings, brass, percussion or any combination of these. It was an enlightening, sometimes frustrating experience to go through but I’m a much better improvisor because of it.  Rest in peace, Mr Morris.

Thank you for reading and many thanks for your continued support.  Let’s go out and support each other’s music. Let’s share and gather for reasons other than death or loss because in sadness and in good times – MUSIC IS THE BEST.

Fay

 

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year Friends,

My best wishes to you and all who are dear to you to have the best year yet and I’m looking forward to get this year off and running.  2012 was an awkward year for me, I mean some amazing things went down such as playing duo with the great Misha Mengelberg, performing with the great Hamid Drake and Dave Burrell and in Montreal for the first time, my teaching practice grew, thanks to my students I became a better teacher and I solidified the next two projects I’m going to release (more on one of those releases later in this post).  But it was also a tough year, climaxed by Hurricane Sandy and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut just as the holiday season was in full swing. So many have and are suffering so it feels good to start fresh with hope and a positive destiny.  I’m doing my best to start the year off with a bang.  Lots going on this January including a month long I-BEAM Residency, an appearance on Sara Serpa’s curated vocal festival at Cornelia Street Cafe, the FVE appears at BAMCafe and we also record our third release and follow up to 2009’s The FreeSong Suite at the close of January 2013, set for an autumn 2013 release.  Incredibly excited about that!

Here are the dates and groups for I-BEAM (also check the gig calendar):

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5th
Herbie Nichols Sung
8:30 + 9:30 PM
FV -voice, words
Michael Attias – alto + baritone sax
Anthony Coleman – piano
Ratzo Harris – bass
Rudy Roylston – drums
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12th
The Fay Victor Ensemble/Ken Filiano’s Quantum Entanglements
8:30PM
Ken Filiano’s Quantum Entanglements
Ken Filiano – bass, compositions
Michael Attias – alto & baritone saxophone
Michael TA Thompson – drums
Tom Hamilton – Electronic Soundscapes
9:30 PM
The Fay Victor Ensemble
FV -voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – electric guitar, effects
Ken Filiano – double bass, effects
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19th
The Fay Victor Ensemble / Hot & Cold
8:30PM
The Fay Victor Ensemble
FV -voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – electric guitar, effects
Ken Filiano – double bass, effects
9:30 PM
Hot & Cold
Anders Nilsson – guitars
Aaron Duggan – guitar
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26th
The Fay Victor Ensemble
8:30PM + 9:30PM
FV -voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – electric guitar, effects
Ken Filiano – double bass, effects

 

Alongside this amazing opportunity is an appearance with Herbie Nichols SUNG on Sara Serpa’s curated Vocal Festival at Cornelia Street Cafe on TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2013 plus the Fay Victor Ensemble performs at BAMCafe LIVE in FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2013!! A wonderful place to perform and a great omen for us as it was the last gig the FVE did before going into the studio to record The FreeSong Suite back in 2008.  It feels good to have that same venue once again right before we record our next release. I end the month with Herbie Nichols SUNG once again, paired back down to a trio at the 55BAR on the last day of the first month of this new year.

Always at this time of the year, I try to reflect on all of the wonderful and gracious people I have as friends and those I come across in my travels that have been supportive of what I do and this year is no different, yet it took me a moment to feel grateful.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, seeing 2012 go felt great to me and I woke up today feeling clear and fresh in a fashion I haven’t felt in some time.  I don’t know why this feeling fills this specific day but it may have something to do with my final performance of 2012 – last week Thursday at the 55BAR. I played blues and standards with a crackpot group to a packed audience that was having a ball.  I realized later that I hadn’t felt that sort of connection with an audience in quite some time either and I want to do more about that.  Make the music I make with the focused agenda of connection no matter how abstract the music may be.  Its been a wonderful journey learning about what I do and say thanks to you all that listen.  I listen.  I feel when the music isn’t working, I trust you to tell the truth, especially in this city.  A big thank you to those who’ve been supportive, loving, caring and honest.

May 2013 be the year you go for the truth in your own lives and may you also love bigger and better than ever before.

Cheers!
Fay