Happy New Year!

NewYear Posting Pic

Happy 2016! I wish you and all your loved ones the best wishes for this New Year!! May this year be your most enriching and fulfilling yet….

I start this year in a warrior spirit. Like I’m gearing up for battle on many fronts including my own creative quest for who I am and what I need to say. It’s been a couple years since I felt sure of my musical vision. I’m a restless creative spirit that has to pursue a variety of things but always with a main project that anchors everything else. A project I call home. For over 10 years that was the Fay Victor Ensemble, the vehicle for my writing, band-leading and improvisational playground (co-written with my husband and bass guitarist Jochem van Dijk). We’re still going strong – be on the lookout for FVE 2016 dates soon – yet I feel a pulling to perform music that isn’t written by me at all. For a couple years now I’m performing tunes from the Great American Songbook again finding new possibilities that I couldn’t even think of when I was starting out as a traditional jazz singer and my ears were more closed. An amazing rediscovery for me!

Jazz standards will show up on my 55BAR residency this month (THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016) with Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone and Ken Filiano on double bass that I call the Quiet Side. My first gig of 2016 mines the jazz universe in a different way; the compositions of Ornette Coleman. Guitarist Anders Nilsson suggested we check out some Ornette Coleman tunes for our ExPosed Blues Duo project. I love Ornette’s music, already a fan and even learned a few themes by ear yet never considered singing them until Anders suggested it. We’ve done Ornette’s music as a duo a number of times over the past few years, last Spring we bought it to the 55BAR and invited bassist Sean Conly to join us. As luck would have it alto saxophone titan Darius Jones stopped by to hang for the gig and sat in. No doubt after hearing these rough forays that there wasn’t something there. A few months later the quartet, with Darius and Sean played on Craig Harris’ Series in Harlem after Ornette had left us in June 2015. Guitarist Kenny Wessel (and ex-Ornette Coleman sideman) replaced Anders, who was out of town, and what emerged that afternoon made my heart sing. That group, In Praise of Ornette… will appear on the Evolving Music Festival on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016 at Clemente Soto Velez.

There are beautiful Free Improv forays too this month in settings I’m proud to be a part of: on FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, I’ll join saxophonist/composer Matana Roberts residency at the Stone in the Lower East Side of NYC at 10pm, performing with her and more wonderful folk, then on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, join me for another Green Avenue Music Presents at IBEAM with Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ben Gerstein on trombone and a special guest Elisabeth Harnik on piano! SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 and SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2016 I’m playing in Chi-town!! on the 23rd at Constellation with the incredible multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey as we dig deeper into our duo dialogue and the following night I join drummer Mike Reed, bass clarinetist Jason Stein and Nick Butcher on electronics and guitar at the Hungry Brain for another fresh musical meeting. What a way to start the New Year. I hope to see you out at the shows and as always you can get all the performances details on the GIG section of the site…

Other super important things happening this month…SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, I’ll emcee an important event – a benefit to support the family of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy gunned down by police in Cleveland over a year ago. We want to assist Ms. Samaria Rice in getting the help she needs to fight the lack of indictment in this case. It will be a great event with musical performances and more…if you can’t be there, do what you can to donate to the cause and/or please spread the word.

On MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016, the Jazz Vocal Workshop will put on their end of semester performance! I’m very excited for this performance as these students have worked hard and risen to the occasion throughout the semester. This will be the most diverse presentation I’ve put on yet and I’m damn proud of this group. Sadly, it will be my last presentation as I am leaving the position at the end of semester. I had such a great two years at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music but the other news for 2016 is going back to school! So I’ll be focusing on that this year as well.

Ahhhh….a good feeling to start the year with a fighting spirit in a positive way. Life is painfully short. If no other year made that painfully clear, 2015 should be strong contender. No need to dilly-dally over the small stuff that gets in the way and distorts focus. We’ve got to fight the powers that be within and without.

Blessings!!

FV

In the THICK of it…September 2015 News

Fay NEW
Come on September!

Yes…like it or not, we’re in the waning days of summer with the Fall season upon us. Here in NYC one of the things that means is that live shows go back inside. Funnily enough I have not done one outdoor show all summer. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve played outside. Maybe in 2013 at the Hammer Museum in LA..that sounds about right…and the Red Hook Jazz Festival in 2013 was outdoors too.

Truthfully, I’ve been indoors a lot this summer. Made it to the beach for the first time just last week. Teaching and working on refocusing my energies and developing new projects. I write this at the end of a ‘staycation’, I took time to be home, stepping back from social media (except instagram), and people in general to regroup and reflect on what’s next and which way to go. And to get a few things DONE such as clean up the teaching page of my website. One thing I’m working on is expanding my teaching of jazz and improvisation around the world and a good clear page about that part of my life was long overdue. Take a look when you have a chance and please spread the word! (add weblink here) This month marks the return to running workshops at both the New York Jazz Workshop (just finished the annual 4-day Vocal Summit) and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music + resuming my private teaching practice full force. Then next month, I’m honored and thrilled to head to Macedonia to teach two days of master classes alongside saxophonist Marc Mommaas at the University of Skopje. Learn more about that and more teaching coming up on the road on the updated teaching page.

the 2015 Jazz Vocal Summit (Intensive).  FOUR days of learning with these wonderful vocalists.  This session was sold out.
the 2015 Jazz Vocal Summit (Intensive). FOUR days of learning with these wonderful vocalists. This session was sold out.

I’m also working on new music, mostly working on the beautiful song cycle Bay area bassist/composer Lisa Mezzacappa put together called Glorious Ravage! The song cycle alongside 4 independent films made in conduction with the music, will prier in Los Angeles on the Angel City Jazz Festival on SATURDAY, September 26, 2015 at RedCAT. the amazing 15 piece ensemble (including musicians such as Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford, Vinny Golia and more…) heads to San Francisco to premiere Glorious Ravage on October 1st and 2nd. Lisa’s has a great website about it all – you can learn more at this link. I’m working on some of Ornette Coleman’s music, developing and working out a number of compositions to perform. Anders Nilsson and I started doing this a couple years ago, and now after a great and revelatory concert in August on the Harlem afternoon Jazz Series, playing Ornette’s music in quartet was inspiring to say the least. I want to keep this going.

Lisa Mezzacappa's Glorious Ravage at De Young Museum, SF, CA. Photo by Charles Smith
Lisa Mezzacappa’s Glorious Ravage at De Young Museum, SF, CA. Photo by Charles Smith

ExPosed Blues DUO - Anders Nilsson/Fay Victor. Photo by Michael Weintrob
ExPosed Blues DUO – Anders Nilsson/Fay Victor. Photo by Michael Weintrob

Before I head back out West, I’ve got a couple shows here in NYC that I’m looking forward to! Coming up on the WhyNot Experiment Series at the WhyNot Jazz Club – I’m there doing a double bill with the marvelous Kyoko Kitamura! Kyoko’s pairing with the ever inventive dancer/choreographer Mark Lamb and later I get to pair up with guitarist Anders Nilsson (aka the ExPosed Blues DUO) for a foray into the experimental blues galaxy that exists waaaay out there. The ExPosed Blues DUO hasn’t played out in the city since the winter so we’re raring to go! What a fun night this will be…happening on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2015. Then on SEPTEMBER 18, 2015, I’m back at the Gin Fizz Lounge, one of my favorite places to play in the city. A fun loving crowd comes out that enjoy the music! We opened up the live music on Fridays at this venue and glad to be back with my Blues and Standards Group. This month at the 55BAR, guitarist Anders Nilsson will be filling in my residency slot on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2015. I’ll be back at the 55BAR on THURSDAY, October 29 with Herbie Nichols SUNG.

with Sam Newsome (sax) and Ken Filiano (bass), rehearsing for 55BAR residency gig.
with Sam Newsome (sax) and Ken Filiano (bass), rehearsing for 55BAR residency gig.

Finally, I’ve got to say THANK YOU to a wonderful house and time at the 55BAR on August 27th with Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone and Ken Filiano on bass. Took it to the quiet and intricate side – it was beautiful, playing mostly standards in the soundscape with so many possibilities of time, space and sound available made this music so special. Another project to keep moving forth with. Playing tunes in this way is a joy! Thanks for reading. Get all the deets all on gigs that’s coming up on the GIG calendar.

Wishing you all the best for a fruitful and positive Autumn full of music, peace and love,

Fay

FEBRUARY 2015 Happenings

Fire and Light!
Fire and Light!

Dear Friends,

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…

BlackLivesMatter Festival
BlackLivesMatter Festival
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.

The FVE - Anders Nilsson, FV, Ken Filiano.
The FVE – Anders Nilsson, FV, Ken Filiano.

Thanks so much for reading…hope to see you out at the shows!

Fay

August 2014 Happenings

Summer Greetings…

A selfie I took at the Stone
A selfie I took at the Stone

How is summer treating you? Summer is treating me fine and I survived just passing another time around the sun and celebrating 17 years of marriage to my great hubby, Jochem van Dijk,  by hibernating in a cabin in the foothills of the Catskills. I closed out July with another celebration – the two year anniversary of my residency at the 55BAR on Thursday, July 31st!  It was an amazing night of music and new collaborations.  To help me celebrate I asked a bunch of special guests to stop by including reedist Daniel Carter, Michael Attias and the great Will Connell!

The gangs all here from the 55BAR FV celebration on July 31, 2014: Will Connell, Daniel Carter, Michael Attias, Anders Nilsson, Jochem van Dijk, Ratzo Harris and Jason Nazary!
The gangs all here from the 55BAR FV celebration on July 31, 2014: Will Connell, Daniel Carter, Michael Attias, Anders Nilsson, Jochem van Dijk, Ratzo Harris and Jason Nazary!

Just as August entered, I once more had the honor to play with the wonderful multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey on SUNDAY, AUGUST 3rd, closing out his week long residency at The Stone! We had an explosive set, following an intense set with vocalist Jen Shyu.  What a great night of music that was and so damn honored to be a part.  I also applaud Tyshawn for programming one hell of a week at the Stone and how cool of him to close out the run with vocalists on his final night! And the music – OMG. Here’s a fresh video below of the proceedings, courtesy of Don Mount.

Now into August, slowing down just a tad but still a few things in town if you’re around…I’ll be at The Lexington Hotel twice in August continuing the DUO series through the presentation of the New York Jazz Workshop with guitarist Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 and with Kenny Wessel on TUESDAY, AUGUST 26 playing jazz standards.  Anders and I are back in DUO at the 55BAR this month as well on THURSDAY, AUGUST 28th, this time though as the ExPosed Blues DUO, honing our Ornette Coleman program and more favorites.  Check all the details on the GIG section of the FV website for more details.

ExPosedBlues_Weintrob
Courtesy of Michael Weintrob

Cheers to you!
Fay

 

February 2014 – A Different World

Look to the sky...
Look to the sky…

Dear Friends,

So much has happened since my last ‘news’ post that the world even seems to be a different place.  A BIG part of the reason is the sudden loss of trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr and all the pain and beauty that wrought as well as the loss of the eminent poet, scholar, activist and force behind the Black Arts Movement Amiri Baraka.  They both left us on the same day.  At the beginning of this year I posted on FB about the losses that left us reeling at the end of 2013, having no way of knowing what was to come so early in this year. Especially in the case of Roy whom I performed with a number times and knew and whom I actually saw just a few days before his passing, my words feel strangely hollow.  Like someone at distance trying to soothe the affected.  Now I FEEL that pain deeply and saw how these transitions caused an entire community to stop, ball and shake fists at the sky because nobody understands why.

Daniel Carter - saxophone and Hamid Drake - drums play and mourn for Roy Campbell Jr.
Daniel Carter – saxophone and Hamid Drake – drums play and mourn for Roy Campbell Jr.

Through it all there is music, which is an amazing salve and catalyst to feel the pain and let it out.  I got to scream only once publicly in January at the FVE concert at Roulette (THANK you all for coming) and have been letting it out in private, creating new sounds of necessary expression to say the unsayable, the unthinkable. Yet despite the sadness and heavy feelings, I personally am glad that I can feel them and there is music to help commune with others sorrow.  We’re going to feel THIS pain for some time to come…

I’m also writing tons at the moment, especially for the piece the Fay Victor Ensemble is presenting in April 2014 as part of the Tri-centric Foundation Presenting Series.  That helps incredibly to focus and channel difficult feelings.  Isn’t music so wonderful to accommodate all the emotions that come up in our lives?

This month I’m looking forward to letting it out in public more.  Take a look at the PERFORMANCE tab on the website to check all the details for what’s going down around town this month including TWO new venues for me, the Classon Social Club, right near the Brooklyn Museum and the Lexington Hotel where my jazz hat will reign supreme as well as the ExPosed Blues DUO back at the 55BAR and a performance I’m particularly excited about and right on Valentines Day to boot – Aruan Ortiz’s Firm Roots at I-BEAM.

Be well.  Stay warm.  Make as much love and music as you can. Tomorrow may be as hard to grasp as a hummingbird in flight.

FV

What’s going on this JULY

Hello,

Summer is finally here and I’m looking forward to one big show before a small summer slowdown then doing a couple of wonderful things at the end of July.   More on all that in a minute but I need to give praise for the month that was JUNE 2013, it was a great month.  A landmark month maybe.  No Carnegie Hall hit or an appearance with the New York Philharmonic but I worked with four esteemed musicians this month for the first time, The FVE kicked ass at the Red Hook Jazz Festival, I MC’d the final night of Vision Festival 18, played a great night of Standards with new musicians and a new venue in Baltimore, MD and the ExPosed Blues DUO played at Cornelia Street Cafe for the first time, that concert becoming the catalyst toward a new and wonderful musical direction.

At the end of May at the 55BAR a friend told me how lucky I was to do what I do and to get to share and connect with so many people from all over the world.  Her statement gave me pause because although I say I’m grateful a lot, lately I’ve been too busy with wanting more and feeling I’m getting less.  Her words made me see what I have to be so grateful for and June exemplified what living a full musical life enables sometimes – fortunate and deep connections communicated in a unique way with people who are strangers at first but quickly become confidantes accessing areas so remote in other parts of life yet may bloom in full view here.  So working with pianist Aruan Ortiz, saxophonist Sam Newsome, guitarist Marvin Sewell and the legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille for the first time this month unlocked new vistas for me.

And before the summer breaks, please join the Fay Victor Ensemble at our DEBUT at the SHAPESHIFTER LAB on TUESDAY, JULY 2nd at 8:15PM performing music from the upcoming release Absinthe & Vermouth…all the deets are here! I love this group so much.  how we play together and interact is really special.  I hope you join us as well be laying low until close to the release of Absinthe and Vermouth in the Fall.

Also at the end of July I’ll appear as a featured guest with reedist Michael Moore’s quartet at the Stone on TUESDAY JULY 23rd. Michael will be here for a week doing a Stone residency and I’m honored that he asked me to join his group. I round out July with and a double celebration of my one year 55 BAR Residency and my birthday which I celebrate on July 26th (also the date we started last year).  The gig last year was phenomenal with amazing musicians and people joining me on the bandstand including Tyshawn Sorey, Michael Attias, Ratzo Harris, Ras Moshe and Kyoko Kitamura for a rip roaring good time.  This year I’m looking forward to celebrating one year of having the last Thursday of the month to share my music and I’m inviting a different cast of characters to join the fun including Darius Jones, Roy Campbell, Reggie Nicholson and more…happening onTHURSDAY, JULY 25th at the 55BAR for the Early Set.

Thanks for reading and have a safe and relaxing summer!  I’ll be back with an August update as I head to the West Coast once again to make music with Lisa Mezzacappa and Herbie Nichols Sung makes a quartet appearance on the 55BAR residency at the end of the month + an update on the release of Absinthe & Vermouth!

Fay

A June bug told me to be out on the town!

Happy June!

After the touch and go weather month that May was, I’m happy to see my city bathed in sunlight and mild temperatures…and I’m happy to be out making music in this fair city this month (with a little step out of town as well) and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Getting there shortly and before I do, I want to talk about a special event last month – I put on my first student presentation. This was major for me. I’ve been teaching voice privately and in groups for going on 15 years and outside of any school based presentations I’ve been involved in, I hadn’t put on one of my own. So on THURSDAY, MAY 30, I gave over my monthly 55BAR residency and asked a few esteemed vocalists from the New York scene to come in and “SIT IN”. Students & Sit-ins turned out to be a wonderful  evening. The students gave strong performances and the vocalists that gave of their time and spirit were a delight and an inspiration to hear. Folks stopping by to hang were treated with a evening full of vocalists performing to great accompaniment of pianist John Austria and bassist Andrea Veneziani. I’m very proud of the work the students have put into their own personal sound and grateful to Lezlie Harrison, Marianne Solivan, Katie Bull and Amy Cervini offering a wonderful glimpse into how it can be done! We dedicated the night to the astounding pianist Mulgrew Miller who passed away last week and still has the jazz world shattered. It felt appropriate dedicating these performances to him, a dedicated educator and mentor beloved by so many for his unique take on the jazz tradition in his playing. May he rest in peace. Thanks again to all that were involved including the fantastic and supportive audience that came out to show love and happiness to all the vocalists.

Lots coming up this month, so I’ll dive right in with the happenings and as always performance details on the PERFORMANCE section of the FV sight.

– Coming up this SUNDAY, JUNE 9, the Fay Victor Ensemble is thrilled to be part of the Red Hook Jazz Festival, the first festival we’ve appeared on since our 2010 appearance on the Vision Festival and we’re really looking forward! Our new record, ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH is rolling out later this Fall will be the playlist for our 2PM set.

SATURDAY, JUNE 15 I’ll hang with Alby Balgochian’s BassCentric at the reopening of the wonderful 5C Cafe in the Lower East Side.

SUNDAY, JUNE 16,  I’m MC’ing the night of Vision Festival 18 at Roulette in Brooklyn. This year the festival honors drummer Dr. Milford Graves with a night devoted to him on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12th

– The ExPosed Blues Duo (Guitarist Anders Nilsson and myself) perform on Sara Serpa’s curated Voice Box Series at Cornelia Street Cafe on TUESDAY, JUNE 18 for the early at at 8:30PM. We’ll be unleashing some new directions on this gig…and coming up at 10PM is the Camila Meza quartet.

– A performance I’m just honored to take part with these esteemed gentlemen: pianist Aruan Ortiz, saxophonist Sam Newsome and the legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille as part of Arun Ortiz’s Music and Architecture Series at DROM on THURSDAY, JUNE 20 from 9 – 11PM.

– Heading to Baltimore to hang and play at Caton Castle on SATURDAY, JUNE 22,  performing Blues and Standards with a killing Baltimore based quartet.

– This month’s 55BAR residency has the esteemed guitarist Marvin Sewell joining me and perhaps a special guest. Come hang with us  for the Early Set on THURSDAY, JUNE 27.

Thanks for reading and I’m sending wishes of love, kindness, openness and support. I’m blessed to be able to go out into the world on my terms as much as possible and its because so many beautiful souls have told me the truth about themselves, their lives and how what I do may filter through that. Its such a gift to get that insight into others hearts and souls. I recently wrote a piece about the process of dying while waiting on someone you love desperately to come home, based on a true story. I performed that piece in a concert a few months ago and afterwards a listener came up to me and told me that when her Mom was dying, her Mom wanted to wait on her Dad to be there to see her go.  How her Mom held on as long as she could and he made it in time. The listener told me that she never heard a piece of music convey that idea as strongly as this piece did for her. What an honor that the listener shared that with me, letting me into something so deeply private while letting me know that my intention came across loud and clear to her.

May 2013 News

Spring has finally sprung in my part of the world and not a moment too soon, arriving just as May cruised in.  Trees became more lush, cherry blossoms began to bloom and fly through Spring air and birds sang more in earnest. Am I happy to see Spring our what? I am.  It took awhile and I welcome it with open arms…and perhaps feeling just a bit hopeful, grateful and full of faith.

Now despite the April chill, I had some wonderful musical times, highlighted by the New Commissioned Works at Roulette on April 21st where I took part in an incredible piece written by flutist Nicole Mitchell. What a great night that was! I also bought back Blues and Standards back to the 55BAR for my monthly residency there on THURSDAY, APRIL 25th – a slightly more laid-back affair than the first outing but still sweaty and swinging like I like it!  Great playing tunes with guitarist Anders Nilsson, bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Jason Nazary.  They killed it and I’m looking forward to more with them in the near future.

For May’s residency I’m doing something extra-special at the 55BAR on THURSDAY, MAY 30th for the Early Set. I’ll present some of my private and workshop students in solo performances alongside some serious NYC vocal talent ‘Sitting- in’ for a tune including Marianne Solivan, Amy Cervini, Lezlie Harrison and Katie Bull.  I’m calling Students and Sit-In – it should be a fun night of song and sharing.  I hope you’ll join us.  Details up in the PERFORMANCE section.

Speaking of Katie Bull, on SATURDAY, MAY 11th, the wonderful vocalist is hosting a CALLING ALL FORCES, the first annual Earth Friendly Jazz Party – a party to celebrate the Earth with a great line-up of groups for a great evening of music, dance, poetry and art for a great cause! The ExPosed Blues DUO will perform at 8PM and the festivities jump off at 6PM.

In other news, I’m almost finished mixing the new Fay Victor Ensemble record Absinthe & Vermouth and I’m looking forward to presenting it to the world!!  We’ll play on the Red Hook Jazz Festival on June 9th and at the ShapeShifter Lab on July 2nd.  More news soon on release dates, etc…

Finally, here are some recent sounds and video:

Check out a video of Crystal, one of the selections from Absinthe & Vermouth

Check out my International Jazz Day Contribution

Check out a special take on Monk’s Brilliant Corners recorded in Berlin, Germany.

Thank you for reading –  I’m embracing this feeling of Spring, fleeting warm air passing by
and briefly stopping before it gets hot and after it was cold.

In music,
Fay

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

 

Heating up August 2012

Happy August everyONE,

I’m sailing into this month in a good mood. A busy month ahead including teaching a 4-day Jazz Vocal Intensive through the New York Jazz Workshop, a number of nice gigs around town and for the first time in a while I’m able to present all of my woking groups the same month.  The Fay Victor Ensemble, The ExPosed Blues DUO and Herbe Nichols/Jazz Vault project are all playing in NYC, closing out the month performing with esteemed pianist Thollem McDonas as part of his Everywhere quintet.

Before getting into the details of August, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to all that came out and participated in my Birthday Hang at the 55BAR on JULY 26th.  That was one of the most special gigs I’ve ever been a part of plus one of my best birthdays ever, plus a kick off like no other for my monthly residency at the 55BAR (the 4th Thursday of every month – next date August 23rd).  So many great friends came out and the musicians I asked to play with me on the evening were sublime. Thank you too for checking out the Fay Victor Ensemble at Cornelia Street Cafe on the Voxify Series on JULY 31st! That was such a fun gig and there’s nothing like hearing the sound of the audience laughing with you and the music.

First up Anders Nilsson and I pull out our ExPosed Blues DUO (EPD) bag for a set at the old Zinc Bar now called Zir Zamin on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8TH along with Jonathan Wood Vincent and others.  We play ONE SET at 9PM,  last month The EPD were LIVE on WFMU courtesy of Kurt Gottshalk and his wonderful weekly show called Miniature Minotaurs doing a bit of Mingus, Rev. Gary Davis, Lonnie Johnson and more. Check out the link to the archive right here.

The monthly residency continues at the 55BAR on THURSDAY, AUGUST 23rd with Herbie Nichols SUNG – a new project focused solely on the compostions of Herbie Nichols sung with many of my own lyrics.  We’re there for the Early Set, starting at 7PM.  Finally on the gig list, I’m excited to join pianist Thollem McDonas as part of his Everywhere Quintet at Spectrum Loft Space on SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 2012.  More details on that, soon come.

Last but not least and for the third year in a row, I’ll run the 4-day Jazz Vocal Summit as part of the New York Jazz Vocal Workshop‘s Summer Intensives starting on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 9th! I’m looking forward to being open, sharing and exploring this music and their voices.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post…here’s hoping all is well with you!

Happy halfway summer,

Fay