What’s Happening in February 2012

Hello Friends,

Unbelievably warm greetings from New York City.

No desire to jinx the rest of the winter but we’ve been dipping in and out of a winter heatwave of sorts. I’m not too mad about it yet I actually start to miss seeing snow and can’t help but think about a warming planet that feels OK for the moment but what does this portend?

I’ll ease off thoughts of doom and gloom for now and move into sending thanks for the friends that came out to the shows last month and that stopped by the APAP/JazzTimes DIY Crash Course in early January held at the Hilton in Midtown Manhattan.  Wonderful to see so many folks in the audience the entire day taking part in the panel discussions, checking out the smaller presentations and asking lots of good questions about how to move forward in this music. Publicist Scott Menhinick of Improvised Communications and of the relatively fresh launch of the online trade journal JazzDIY was on hand as well to talk about the JazzDIY and the DIY aesthetic for the music in general.

Mid month, I had a couple shows in town, one with Other Dimensions in Music  on the Evolving Series (January 16th) and the Jazz Vault Project at the 55BAR (January 25th). I’ve also started teaching a bi-weekly Jazz Vocal workshop for the New York Jazz Workshop! A fantastic group of students to start and we’ve added a new student each new session.  The aim is turn it into a regular weekly workshop through out the Fall and Spring season so get in touch HERE if you’d like to sign up or know anyone that would.  Please reach out to me with any questions as well and while we’re at it, I’m currently taking on new private students too.  Best way to email about these matters is to lessons@fayvictor.com.  Check out the recently updated teaching page for additional information.

Coming this month…I’m playing a very special concert this coming Friday night at the Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, with composer’s Moon Young Ha’s Mis-en Ensemble performing an incredible beautiful piece composed by Luciano Berio called O King, written in honor of and dedicated to the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This is the first time I’ll be performing contemporary repertoire and I’m nervous and very excited at the same time.  Please check out the link HERE or on Performance section of the FV site for details about the entire program for the evening.  This concert is FREE.  Later this month, I’ll appear with Ras Moshe’s Ensemble on the Evolving Series as well right before heading out to Europe to perform and collaborate with musicians there.

Much more about this in post for March but I can’t wait to share with you all the thrilling news of doing a DUO concert with the European Jazz master Misha Mengelberg at the Bimhuis on March 7th.  Please check out a clip of Misha and myself playing Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ask Me Now’ in 2008 in Amsterdam HERE:

March will keep me busy including an appearance on the ArtActs Festival in St. Johann(Tirol), Austria featuring the collective ReDDeer trio with Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and UK bassist Dominic Lash, sessions with pianist Achim Kaufmann in Berlin, a vocal workshop based in Amsterdam and more.

Finally, I’m honored to once again by chosen as the El Intruso Female Vocalist of the Year and to see so many peers and friends on the list including Anthony Braxton himself as one of the Musicians of the Year and for Mr. Braxton’s opera Trillium E! Check out all the winners HERE and many thanks to all that voted.

Here’s hoping all is well with you and since I’m writing this from not just a warm but a winning NYC,  I’m wishing you read this in winning spirits!

In music,



Happy NEW 2012 to YOU!

Happy New Year!

I’m all gangbusters for 2012! 2011 was a good year and I feel 2012 will be an even more exciting and special year.  We’ll see how it goes and as always I’ll post here to keep those of you interested in the loop. My posts will be even more concise unless the month is so special that brevity just isn’t possible (such as the November 2011 post).  So let me get right to what’s happening this month and some info about what’s to come…

On THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012, I’ll be giving a presentation of living the JazzDIY life for the JazzTimes DIY Crash Course held at The Hilton in NYC and part of the annual APAP convention.  I’ll talk about how and why I do the things that I do and I’ll also talk about the online trade journal, JazzDIY!  There’s a day filled with presentations and workshops and its free.  Check out info here  or check out the Performance Section of the FV Site for more info.

On MONDAY, JANUARY 16th, I’ll be on the EVOLVING SERIES with Other Dimensions in Music for the 10PM set and with Patricia Nicholson’s Last Call at 8;45 as part of the monthly segment, Creative Sounds of Dissension, on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25th, I’m back at the 55BAR with the Jazz Vault Project for the Early Set, swinging and opening up pieces of Herbie Nichols, Thelonious Monk and other iconoclastic jazz composers.  Speaking of Other Dimensions in Music, the record I produced and made with them, KAISO STORIES, has made a number of year end lists including being selected as one of the albums of the year by the New York City’s Jazz Gazette, the New York City jazz Record.  Please check out all the lists we made on the Discography section of the FV site.  I’m so thrilled at how KAISO STORIES was received! As I’ve said before, its a project near and dear to my heart and its also the first project I’ve produced entirely in some time.  To have this sort of reaction is just wonderful.  Thank you all for your support!

And looking to the near future – next month I’ll perform a piece by Luciano Berio called ‘O King’ with Korean composer Moon Young Ha’s Mise-en Ensemble.  I’m also going to be part of the soundtrack for a documentary film to be recorded in February(more on that soon) and the biggest news of all is that I will be doing a DUO concert with the great pianist Misha Mengelberg in March at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam as an opening to more dates European dates, Including performing at the ArtActs Festival in Austria.  And so much more…

Looking forward to see you out and about, here or abroad real soon and I’m wishing you all a healthy, happy, hearty, musical, creative, prosperous and fun year!

In music,


Gearing back up, August 2011

Dear Friends,

Many warm summer greetings and warmth is necessary where I am in the world as we’ve had heavy rain and cool temps for the past few days in NYC.  I don’t mind it so much as work mode is gearing back up after a few weeks of taking it slow, punctuated with a couple of gigs that came up at the 55BAR. On FRIDAY JULY 22nd the HOTTEST night of the year (it hit 107 degrees in Central Park that day), Other Dimensions in Music (w/Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, William Parker and Charles Downs) and myself performed the Late Set to a packed house! It was a BLAST, the audience was welcoming and open so the music just flowed.  Less than 10 days later, Anders Nilsson and I played the Early Set as the ExPosed Blues Duo singing/playing the blues. Always a joy to play at the 55BAR…

Next week WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24th I’ll perform my only gig this month at the wonderful 92YTribeca as part of t a triple bill entitled Denbaya feat. Emanuel Gibson, Fay Victor and Makane Kouyate.  An eclectic evening of rock, jazz and world music featuring emerging guitarist and songwriter Emanuel Gibson, myself and headlined by the enchanting world music band Denbaya, with Malian artist Makane Kouyate. I’ll perform standards with a twist, with Andrew Bemkey on piano, Dominic Lash on bass.  We’re on at 9PM but come and hang for the whole eclectic ride, should be a good time. Check info here or on the PERFORMANCE section of the FV site.

In other news, I just finished teaching a wonderfully intense 4-day Jazz Vocal workshop through the New York Jazz Workshop (learn more about them here).  It was energizing, rigorous and fun! Great students who put in the work to realize their goals and they all made progress in the direction they wanted to go in.  I realized after this workshop ended how much I loved teaching them.  Luckily, I get another opportunity on the West Coast through the Jazz School @ Berkeley on September 11, 2011 giving a Masterclass on taking the ‘Creative Option’.  The night before I’ll perform a concert at the JazzSchool with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and guitarist John Finkbeiner.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to go to San Francisco (it will be my first time out west ever!!) I’m looking forward to meet the Vocal Director of the School, Laurie Antonioli. A wonderful vocalist herself, she is open to allowing the students that attend the JazzSchool to get exposed to myriad approaches and ideas. More info here and tell all your SF/Oakland based friends to come by.

After that the Fall heats up with me hitting the road heading the Germany and Holland, then back to perform in Anthony Braxton’s Opera Trillium J in October 2011.  Towards the end of October, there’s some gigs planned with the amazing pianist Elisabeth Harink. And much more to come and share…but for now going to enjoy the last weeks of summer.

I hope you having a summer to remember as well.


June 2011 is BUSTING Open and Up

Hey Friends,

It appears that 2011 has reached its halfway mark and I can still remember clearly the beginning of this year!  Time is moving so fast and summer is almost here.  Feels like it is here since temps have hit 90 already and NYC gets ready for its jazz and blues summer with music in bigger and open spaces, where just walking by gets you an earful.  One of the great things of living in this city.  I hope everyone who reads this post and lives here too gets out and takes in as much of it as possible.  I sometimes forget to myself, so busy with work sometimes. But I decided this summer, I’ll try to be out more and enjoy what NYC has to offer. Its a treasure and with funding getting cut more and more, there is no guarantee that all these wonderful cultural events we take for granted will be here in years to come.  Just to name a small sampling, check out Central Park’s Summerstage, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell, the Undead Jazz Festival and of course the Vision Festival, of which I am fortunate to be a part for the second year in a row.  And speaking of that, there’s a lot of musical diversity in my gig list this month, because of this city and the vibrant, diverse scene here.  There’s so much going on that I’m going to get right to it!

Coming up in a few, on FRIDAY, JUNE 3 2011 to be exact the FVE hits the early set at the 55BAR.  We had a thrilling night last month on Frank Oteri’s 21st Century Schizoid Music ar Cornelia Street Cafe where the FVE did a double bill with my Jazz Vault project (where we did a complete set of Herbie Nichols compositions) and the FVE performed the new music we’re working towards recording.  We’re getting the music stronger and tighter and we’ll continue digging in this Friday.  So come on down!

The 55BAR

FV-voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson-guitar, effects
Ken Filiano-bass, effects
Michael TA Thompson-drums,percussion
NO Cover, 2 drink minimum

Then I’ll be on the Vision Festival as part of Vocal Flight with vocalists Kyoko Kitamura and Jean Carla Rodea and bassist Filiano and drummer Tyshawn Sorey filling out the ensemble.  A combination of composed pieces and free music…dancing on the edge.  We kick off the night and what a night it is.


7:00PM – 8:00PM
Kyoko Kitamura, Jean Carla Rodea, FV – voice
Ken Filiano-bass
Tyshawn Sorey-drums
Abrons Arts Center Main Stage
466 Grand Street between
Pitt St and Abraham Pl
Door:$30  Event Pass:$140  Students & Seniors:$20
nearest subway East Broadway or Delancey on the F, Essex St on the J,M,Z
complete schedule – www.visionfestival.org

On SUNDAY JUNE 12 2011 join myself and percussionist Satoshi Takeshi for an intimate concert at the loft of the Connie Crothers. We’ll delve into words and textures focusing on sound exploration. I had the amazing honor of performing with the esteemed poet and writer Amiri Baraka last month on a beautiful concert put together by percussionist Reggie Nicholson.  The sound of words and drums alone is truly special and I look forward to continue this exploration with Satoshi. Perhaps we’ll have a special guest as well.

at the home of pianist extraordinaire Connie Crothers
Presents: DUO-Fay Victor/Satoshi Takeshi
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011

Contribution $10
475 Kent Avenue (between Division Avenue and South 11th Street),
#410 Brooklyn, NY 11211(get full directions in the performance section)

Then PLEASE Save the Date of SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011 is the CD-Release for KAISO STORIES!!

The record has gotten some great reviews and we’re thrilled at the reception of the music and of Calypso!  So please join myself and Other Dimensions in Music for this special event…

Some words we’ve gotten on KAISO STORIES:

“While the record is steeped in Victor’s heritage, even the accents and inflections she grew up hearing, it’d be a mistake to call KAISO STORIES a calypso record. It’s free jazz with source material and as such is an unusual and wonderful album.”
-Kurt Gottschalk , The New York City Jazz Record

9/10 – “Conjuring up the spirit of Jeanne Lee, Fay Victor speaks, sings, and wails like a horn through variations of eight Caribbean tunes from the 1930s through early ’70s. A wonderful combination, simultaneously true to its origins and entirely new.”
-Laurence Joseph, Montreal Mirror

***** “Victor’s voice sonically melds with Carter and Campbell, becoming a third horn, adding compelling counterpoint throughout. In a civilized world with a forward thinking music industry and curious listenership, in a culture a where Art was as valued as everyone likes to say it is,KAISO STORIES would be a crossover sensation, charting for months and finding a grateful audience that no Improvised music had found before. Until such time, it is one for the initiated to treasure.”
Stanley Zappa, Free Jazz

Happening at The STONE – SUNDAY, JUNE 19 2011

Roy Campbell-trumpets and more
Daniel Carter-reeds and more
William Parker-bass and more
Charles Downs-drums


The last gig of the month goes somewhere else again.  Doing our semi annual double bill hang, myself and Kyoko Kitamura have a very different meeting from the Vision Festival gig, pairing ourselves off with complementary partners.  Kyoko with dancer Mark Lamb and myself with bassist Ken Filiano. Not sure where we’ll go and that’s definitely part of the fun.

DOUBLE BILL: Kyoko Kitamura/Mark Lamb + FV/Ken Filiano
Avenue C and 5th St.
$10 suggested donation

Kyoko Kitamura-voice/piano
Mark Lamb-spoken words, movement
Ken Filiano-bass

Phew! With the exception of a couple things, I’m going to take it a little easy this summer gig-wise, focusing on workshops I’ll be teaching in NYC and California in a few months and on a wonderful project with Dutch composer/musician Ab Baars.  Much more on all of this soon. Thanks so much to reading and I hope to see you in the park listening to music or at one of the shows.

Happy coming summer,


Percussion, Words and Movement for MAY 2011

Dear Friends,

A happy Spring to you! Here in NYC we finally have a Spring I’m delighted to say.  It was tough going for a moment but that seems to be behind us now (if I haven’t jinxed it with this post!) Anyway, I digress.  So much to share so I’ll just get to it…

I mentioned in my last post that I’d perform with The Instant Composer’s Pool Orkest in Philadelphia and that was an amazingly fun night in early April! The music felt great all around, the audience was full and seemed to enjoy it plus the Christ Church in Philadelphia is such a beautiful venue.  Some family and friends came down to take in the concert as well.  Many thanks to the ICP for having me with them during their 3 day stay at the Ars Nova Workshop and to Susanna von Canon for all the arrangements.  About a week later on Monday, APRIL 11 the Evolving Music Series moved from the Local 269 to its new home at the Celemente Soto Velez.  We had an AMAZING grand opening including a duo set with Theo Bleckmann/Jay Clayton, The Charles Gayle Forgiveness Trio and Charles Gayle conducted a large ensemble after that as well to close out the night!  Thanks to bassist Dominic Lash for performing the opening set with me to a packed house.  I closed out April with a fun set at the 55BAR playing with the Jazz Vault Project working out some new vibes for a big gig coming up this month! Getting to that shortly but before I do a BIG thank you to Jason Crane for once again asking me to be on his popular and wonderful podcast, the JazzSession.  The show aired on April 11, 2011 and is still available for download here.

What’s on for May?  Well please everybody SAVE THE DATE of MONDAY, MAY 23 2011.  On this day I am proud to take part in Frank Oteri’s amazing Series 21st Century Schizoid Music at Cornelia Street Cafe. I’ll present two groups this evening, first up will be the Jazz Vault Project and then the Fay Victor Ensemble will perform on the 2nd set.  The Jazz Vault Project will focus on compositions of Herbie Nichols for this special evening and the Fay Victor Ensemble will perform new studio bound music for our third recording. It’s a great opportunity to present two of my groups and a great opportunity for people who haven’t seen me before to get a taste of what what I do.  I do hope you can make it and please spread the word!!
The Jazz Vault Project @ 8:30PM
Oscar Noriega-reeds
Anders Nilsson-acoustic guitar
Jose Davila-tuba

The Fay Victor Ensemble @ 9:30
FV-voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson-electric guitar, effects
Ken Filiano-double bass, effects
Michael TA Thompson-drums, percussion

On SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011, I’ll take part in a special performance as a special guest with Percussionist Reggie Nicholson’s Percoetry project featuring Reggie Nicholson and the esteemed and legendary writer and poet, Amiri Baraka. I’m honored and humbled to share the stage with these two gentlemen. Please join us for a very different take through sounds and words in the afternoon with tea and other refreshments.  This is the LoftArt Series curated by Nioka Workman held at the TheatreLab.  And in just a couple of days – this TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011 – please join me for the premiere of a new trio with reedist Oscar Noriega and precussionist Satoshi Takeshi, we’re calling it the Cauldron Trio, checking out sounds and textures using my words and the words of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Paul Harding, and Edgar Allen Poe with a free-improv flow. We’re on at the University of the Streets featuring a moment with Matt Lavelle on alto clarinet.  We’re on the 8PM set and all performance details are in the performance section of the FV site.

KAISO STORIES(Silkheart Records, 2011), my calyps0-free jazz project with Other Dimensions in Music (who are Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, William Parker and Charles Downs) is getting some wonderful reviews and we’re celebrating the release on SUNDAY, JUNE  19th at The Stone!  More details on that coming up and check the discography page for some fresh quotes and for more insight into the project  – how it came together and more – please check out the Jason Crane’s Jazz Session podcast as mentioned earlier in this post.  You can purchase the record through the JazzLoft, InstantJazz and Silkheart Records.

Many thanks for reading.  Looking forward to sharing music with you soon…

April 2011 News and Views

Dear Friends,

Happy Spring…or as happy as one can be this Spring.  Still brrrrr in NYC as I write and the world’s gone haywire (more on that later in this post) but I’m keeping the music going because it’s healing, soothing and stabilizing and with music, I’m having a good time. Before I get into what’s up for April, I want to extend many thanks for the friends – old and new – that came out to hear the ExPosed Blues Duo at Barbes and the Fay Victor Ensemble at University of the Streets in March. The FVE gig was especially thrilling because we unveiled all new music that’s studio bound and power house violinist Jason Hwang came by and shot a great video.  Take a look at that here and share your thoughts. Save the date for the next FVE gig on MONDAY, MAY 23rd as part of the 21st Century Schizoid Series at Cornelia Street Cafe…
VIDEO: Fay Victor Ensemble @ University of the Streets

And in April there is some amazing news to share.  This coming Saturday, April 2nd, I’ll go down to Philadelphia to perform with the incredible Dutch Tentet The Instant Composer’s Pool Orchestra(headed by pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink) at Ars Nova Workshop. I toured with them for the first time last May and it was a BLAST! so honored that they asked me again and for you NY’ers they are at Le Poisson Rouge this Thursday night.  Please go!  and next week SUNDAY, APRIL 10th the ExPosed Blues Duo has a hit on a new Series at FatBaby’s.  We’re on the 8PM Set and the next day please join myself and Arts for Art for our FIRST concert of the EVOLVING SERIES in our new location at Clemente Soto Velez!! After two wonderful years, it was time to move the Series from the Local 269…we had a great time there and it’s hard to start new and make a change, especially when the experience was fruitful and help set the stage for where we’ll go in the future. At the Clemente Soto Velez, we feel there’s more space to expand and I hope you’ll join us every Monday night at this NEW location as of MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2011.

Celemente Soto Velez
107 Suffolk Street
Bet. Rivington & Delancey
F/J/M Train to Delancy/Essex Streets

and what a line-up we have planned!

7PM: Fay Victor/Dominic Lash DUO
Dominic Lash-bass

8PM: Theo Bleckmann/Jay Clayton DUO
Theo Bleckmann-voice
Jay Clayton-voice

9PM: Charles Gayle’s Forgiveness
Charles Gayle-tenor sax
Francois Grillot-bass
Michael Wimberly -drums

10PM: Arts for Artestra, conducted by Charles Gayle
Charles Gayle (tenor sax, conduction)
Matt Lavelle (trumpet, bass clarinet), Chris DiMeglio (trumpet), Ras Moshe (tenor sax)
Yoni Kretzmer (tenor sax), Dave Sewelson (baritone sax), Sarah Bernstein (violin)
James Keepnews (guitar), Brad Farberman (guitar), James Ilgenfritz (bass)
Francois Grillot (bass), Michael Wimberly (drums), Mike Pride (drums)

$10 per set – $20 buys the whole night – not a bad deal.
more info here.

And on TUESDAY, APRIL 19th, please join me for the Early Set at the 55BAR, performing with the Jazz Vault project and dipping into the repertoire of seminal pianists Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols.  Bringing the month full circle gig-wise as concert with ICP will include much of this repertoire. In other news, Kaiso Stories is starting to get reviews and the initial words on the project have been incredible.  On April 11th, I’ll be on Jason Crane’s the Jazz Session talking about Kaiso Stories and a lot more.  This will be my second time on the podcast and talking with Jason is a relaxed and lovely affair.  Please tune in to this podcast and there so much more, take a look and listen here.

I hope to see you out at the shows just to share some new and old music that comes from an honest place. These are difficult, trying times around us.  The earthquake in Japan and its aftermath, civil unrest all over the Middle East and the horror in Libya not to mention the dwindling prospects and the clearer adgenda of the powers that be in the USA has many feeling a heavy sense of hopelessness.  A sense that all the good things to work for are going away. Sort of everything is upside down and twisted and right or wrong have lost all meaning.  Maybe I’m old fashioned or just getting old but the world feels like a particularly alien place at the moment and I guess I’m wondering what I feel and what can I do.  In that wondering, I remembered a song of Mose Allison called “Ever Since The World Ended”(also an album of the same name on BlueNote Records-1987).  As I started thinking about the words and singing the song to myself, I started to cry because the words mean so much right now and moreover it shows once again how necessary artistic creation is – in my inability to explain my feelings, a song lyric does the trick:

VIDEO: Mose Allison-Ever Since the World Ended

Ever Since The World Ended

Ever since the world ended,

I don’t go out as much.

People that I once befriended

Just don’t bother to stay in touch.

Things that used to seem so splendid

Don’t really matter today.

It’s just as well the world ended–

It wasn’t working anyway.


Every since the world ended,

There’s no more bible belt.

Remember how we all pretended?

Going ’round, lying ’bout the way we felt.

Every rule has been amended,

There’s no one keeping score.

It’s just as well the world ended

We couldn’t have taken much more.


Ever since the world ended,

There’s no more black or white.

Ever since we all got blended,

there’s no more reason to fuss and fight.

Dogmas that we once defended

no longer seem worthwhile.

Ever since the world ended,

I face the future–

With a smile.


Hoping you are all coping and pushing forward.

In music,

October 2010 NEWS…a little late, a little bruised.

Dear Friends,

I’m writing from partly sunny Amsterdam, recuperating from a fall I had last week.  Yep.  I biked in the rain my second day here, tried to avoid someone, slipped and fell.  Banged up my knee and have been on crutches for a week and just a couple days ago got the go ahead to work back towards normal walking life.  It goes OK.

I don’t know why this happened but those close to me seem to think it may have something to do with the heavy schedule I’ve been keeping up. And me literally not taking a break for weeks on end.  Perhaps this was a rather mellow warning to slow down.  Take it easy and reflect.  Seriously.

So what all happened in September?  It was an amazing, musically schizophrenic month where I recorded and mixed one record and released another and where the Evolving Voice Series celebrated a one year anniversary.

September started off with a gig and a recording for Silkheart Records. Silkheart’s owner Lars Gustavsson and I met about four years ago when he stumbled onto a gig of mine at Enzo’s Jazz Club in Midtown Manhattan.  He liked what he heard and he wanted me to record for his label but didn’t have an idea for a project.  Over the years we threw a few ideas back and forth.  Nothing really gelled until he came to the Vision Festival in 2009.  We met there and there he came upon the idea of doing a project with the legendary Other Dimensions in Music (or ODIM – trumpetist Roy Campbell, reedist Daniel Carter, bassist William Parker and drummer Charles Downs). He even spoke with Roy and William at the Festival about the idea and they were both into it – which was an honor for me.  So cool that they were willing to do a project but WHAT would the project be??

Lars suggested I take the time necessary to figure that out and in the end decided to do something with my roots in the Caribbean and the legacy of Calypso as a people’s music, important to tell the REAL news of the day. After some research and discussion – I arrived at the idea of focusing on the lyrics of calypsos alongside free improvisation.  I thought this might be an organic way to spotlight the importance of the message in a given calypso with an improvised musical backdrop sometimes recognizing the source – ofttimes not.  It turned out to be a good idea and on Labor day (MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2010) ODIM and I performed on the Evolving Voice & Music Series at the Local 269 to a packed house and unleashed the crux of the project. The response was so strong that it garnered two live reviews, one here at AAJ.com and the other review here, in AAJ-NY’s October issue.  We went into the studio two days later to record and it looks like the record will be ready for release by early 2011.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the midst of this project came the CD release for BARE, the project of the ExPosed Blues Duo, released on AUGUST 31 on Greene Avenue Music(you can purchase directly from the Website now!).  What a night that was!!  The back room at Barbes on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 was standing room only and what a beautiful audience it was. Guitarist Anders Nillson and I were thrilled to be recommended by both the New York Times AND Time Out New York for the concert.  TONY even went on to put our CD release on the small list of Must See Shows that night in town with such luminaries as The Bad Plus and Marc Ribot!

Then just five days later we celebrated the One Year Anniversary of the Evolving Voice Series on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010.  We celebrated by having an all vocal night featuring poetry with Steve Dalachinsky and Patricia SpearJones and music by the wonderful Lisa Sokolov and co-curator Patricia Nicholson Parker did a powerful set with William Parker on bass.  The music opened up with the Fay Victor Ensemble presenting new music that Jochem and I have been writing, gearing up to record early next year.  It wasn’t our best gig but it was great to try the music and look forward to more gigs in the coming months as we delve deeper into the new ideas.

What a month!

Now I’m in the Netherlands.  Got here at the end of September to rehearse and perform with reedist Michael Moore’s Fragile Quartet, and I’ll play on a great experimental series tomorrow(SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10th) in Utrecht at the Centraal Museum with flutist Mark Alban Lotz and guitarist Jasper Stadhouders. Next week Sunday (OCTOBER 17, 2010) I’ll conduct a workshop called “Opening and Evolving the Voice” just a few days before heading off to Germany for three weeks on a Blues tour with a wonderful German pianist by the name of Christian Bleiming.  If you know someone in the area who may be interested pass on the word.  I have a few open spots left.

In between, seeing friends and family, making as much music as possible and getting my leg back up to fighting strength.

Be well and thanks for reading,


SEPTEMBER 2010: A Legend has gone, BARE Drops, Silkheart beckons…

Dear Friends,

How was your summer??

Fun, fruitful, restful and more?  For me it was a working and restful summer.  An amazing residency at MUSIC OMI that I was fortunate to be a part of (JULY 22 – AUGUST 9) was just what the foot doctor Mississauga ordered it seemed.  I returned back home refreshed and renewed.  I’m glad I did because the break was wonderful but meant that lots didn’t get done while I was away and this Fall is active to say the least…so without further ado, let me hip everyone to what’s happening and I hope to catch you out sometime in September.

BUT before August skidaddles away, BARE, the debut album of my duo with FVE guitarist Anders Nilsson drops from the sky as a brand new baby.  Save the date for the CD RELEASE for BARE at Barbes on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 at 8PM and Nate Chinen wrote a wonderful piece in Saturday’s New York Times about Abbey Lincoln’s legacy after her passing on August 14, 2010 and talked about the release of BARE and more in an article you can read here. Wow…Abbey Lincoln.  How does it feel to be included in a piece on one of the most seminal jazz vocalists of the last half century? Just amazing to even be considered for it and what a loss to the music world at large, not just jazz. Hell, what a loss to the spirit world of this realm.  To me, she was such a strong articulator of her ideas and the fact that she wrote many of the words she sang just made her presentation all the more intense.  They were great words coming from a woman who obviously LIVED a full life, observing the ebb and flow and negating none of it.  At least this is what her music said to me. She was one of the last links to the tradition of jazz vocals, coming out of Billie Holiday and I felt a void so big for days after her passing, because history died that day too. I had a gig two days after and I have no songs of hers in my repertoire yet I wanted to honor her in my own way.  During one of the improvs  and I started this pattern on “I said/you said” ending with “you said now that Abbey’s gone, maybe jazz is dead.” The day I found out that she died, I happen to take some photos of clouds (I’m a bit of a cloud fanatic) that were in a configuration that I can NEVER recall seeing.  The wonderful spoken word/song artist Paul Harding thought they were carpets laid for her journey…

It was a sad day indeed but her legacy and lessons lives on.

Before the BARE CD Release though, stop by Evolving Voice and Music on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 at 8PM for a very special performance of yours truly with the renowned avant-garde group Other Dimensions in Music (trumpeter Roy Campbell, reedist Daniel Carter, bassist William Parker and drummer Charles Downs – WHA??!!) on the series down at the Local and I’m thrilled about this.  Doing a special project called Kaiso Stories based on the texts of Calypsos from Trinidad & Tobago, where my roots are from.  We go into the studio with this project on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 for the Swedish based Silkheart Records!  I’ll keep you posted on the release as  I know more and performance details are in the performance section.  But I can tell you that I am thrilled AND honored to do this project with these gentlemen.

I’ve been wanting to do a music project based on Calypso for a long time yet didn’t have a clear idea of how best to represent the music.  I didn’t want it to sound cliched or that I was informing the world what a ‘calypso’ should sound like.  Calypsos have some of the best lyrics and stories I’ve ever experienced or read and I want to focus on that.  See, calypsos started out as a newspaper for the people of Trinidad and citizens trusted what the calypsonian (calypso singer) had to say than any politician or government official. Because of this, many calypsos have been censored by the Trinidadian government. Yet the best calypsonians find ways of masking their message to officials through the use of double-entendre, using patois and other clever devices to get the news through.   Humourous, politcal, social, sexual – you name it, the subject matter varied widely and the calypsonian needed to keep his audience enraptured by how the story was told because Trinidadians are some of the toughest audiences anywhere you can find. What a gig and I haven’t even begun to talk about how this all relates to Carnival, of which Trinidad & Tobago has the 2nd largest Carnival celebration in the world after Rio de Janiero.  So we’re recording a project that focuses on the lyrics told in these songs..and that’s all I’ll say about it for now.  Stay tuned!

Then join Arts for Art/RUCMA/The Local 269 for a special celebration of Evolving Voice Series turning ONE on MONDAY SEPTEMBER 20! We’re celebrating by having an ALL VOCAL program for the evening with Patricia Nicholson Parker and William Parker, The Fay Victor Ensemble, poets Patricia Spear-Jones and Steve Dalichinsky and  vocalist extraordinaire, Lisa Sokolov!  Sure to be a special night in celebration of a series that has blossomed in this last year and I’m so proud that it’s still going strong.  I will post an piece about this event later in the month but please SAVE THE DATE.

That closes out September for me will also be my last gig in town for a minute. I’m off to Holland at the end of September to perform with reedist Michael Moore’s group and then some, teach some workshops and tour Germany with a blues project towards the end of October into November.  I’m back in NYC in mid-November and hope to meet you then unless some of you are hanging overseas…

Thanks for reading and for your support of the music!


PS: Purchase BARE at AMAZON.COM and CDBABY…Print copies available on AUGUST 31st!