Hello September 2014!

Hey there September!

Yep…summer 2014 is finished for all intensive purposes and I’m looking forward to a robust autumn filled with teaching and wonderful ventures.

Chinatown, NYC
Chinatown, NYC

Before I go into that – – how was your summer?  Did you take it easy, reflect, tackle that thing laid low for so long?  I hardy tackled anything old nor did I take it as easy as planned.  The summer turned out to be much busier than I expected with a few good periods  for reflection and introspection…new changes are a foot.  All good, all good.

Now back to this month’s happenings…on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4th I’m part of an benefit event put on by Matana Roberts and Musician For Peace, a benefit to raise funds for Michael Brown’s Family.  This will be a beautiful event and a sharing.  The line up features some amazing people donating their time and energy to this event will be held at Union Pool…check out the funky flyer below:

Then I take a dip out of town but back in time to hit the 55BAR on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th with the Fay Victor Ensemble with Ken Filiano on bass and Anders Nilsson on guitar for the early set!  Rounding out  the month in an event I’m honored to be a part of and if you want to get in on this amazing festival, I’d buy tickets sooner rather than later.  Pianist Jason Moran is curating a phenomenal event of the weekend of SEPTEMBER 27-28th dedicated to the music of Henry Threadgill called VERY VERY THREADGILL at Harlem Stage.  The line-up is insane, including folks such as Imani Winds, Black Sun featuring Cassandra WIlson and much more…

In other news, the Jazz Vocal Workshop at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music starts up this month (The New York Jazz Workshop Adv.  Jazz Vocal Workshop starts up in the beginning of October).  My private practice is growing still I do have some space open and availabel for new students.  If you or someone you know is looking for vocal instruction, learn more on the FV Teaching page. Finally, I’m honored to be included in an exhibition of the amazing Slovenian photographer Petra Cvelbar called “In Women’s Hands” featuring female artists that have performed in Ljubljana. I was fortunate to be there in 2011 on tour with Dutch reedist Ab Baars. You can learn more about her work here.

Have a festive end of summer and ease on into Fall.  It’s not so bad!


Photo taken by Petra Cvelbar in Ljubljana, Slovenia in November 2011
Photo taken by Petra Cvelbar in Ljubljana, Slovenia in November 2011

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.

Courtesy of Michael Weintrob

Cheers to you!


Summer Happenings – July 2014

Woooooo weeeeeeee!

Brooklyn SunsetI’m still calming down from an amazing and thrilling June! Some traveling, lots of teaching and playing, more performances than I’ve had in one month for a long time.  The trip to Istanbul, Turkey with the New York Jazz Workshop was a transcendent life experience.  Not only were the vocal students I had for a week wonderful and incredibly smart, they all developed in leaps and bounds within that week.  At the beginning I encountered singers so used to singing together that they blended beautifully, almost becoming one sound.  Yet I wanted each vocalist to begin to feel confident within their own individual voices.  I was so happy to hear that by the final presentation they did just that! Sounding like their beautiful individual selves and all the happier for it.  Here is a happy selfie of the students in Istanbul!

Istanbul Vocal Group Selfie
Soon after returning to NYC, I played the final day of Vision Festival 19 in duo with multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey – I’m still thinking about that set and looking forward to playing with him once more in August, closing out Tyshawn’s residency at the Stone on SUNDAY, AUGUST 3RD for the 10PM set and part of a full night of vocals with Jen Shyu playing with Tyshawn at 8PM!  Another wonderful happening in June was getting back together with former Music OMI fellows Elisabeth Harnik and Dominic Lash who came in into town to perform as part of our collective trio ReDDeer! We hadn’t played together in over 2 years, coming together playing first at the Austrian Cultural Forum and then on Andrew Drury’s Soup and Sound Series! Just before this wonderful OMI reunion (the day before in fact), I presented my first Jazz Vocal Workshop class at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.  All of the students and the serious rhythm section behind them kicked it out of the park!  I look forward to continuing to run the Jazz Vocal Workshop at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music this Fall.  I finished June with a wonderful hit on the Evolving Series with Will Connell, Vincent Chancey and Ken Filiano in a free improv foray I’ll remember for a long time to come.

by musicWitness - Jeff Schlanger at Vision Festival 19 DUO with Tyshawn Sorey
by musicWitness – Jeff Schlanger at Vision Festival 19 DUO with Tyshawn Sorey

Now July is here as is the call of summer and I’m scaling it back a bit but not too much! This coming SUNDAY, JULY 6th, I play on the North Square Lounge Brunch for the first time at the Washington Square Hotel in West Village of NYC.  This is a fabulous brunch in a cool art deco setting.  The prices are reasonable, the music is free of charge and I almost never do a jazz brunch (my first time here) so I’m looking forward to playing in this setting and having you there. Having Kenny Wessel on guitar and Ratzo Harris will surely charge up any Sunday afternoon swing! Speaking of swinging, I’m at the Lexington Hotel twice this month – playing with Ratzo Harris on TUESDAY, JULY 8 and with Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, JULY 22nd.  I’m also excited to play for the first time at the WhyNot Jazz Cafe on the WhyNOT Experiment Series with the Fay Victor Ensemble on SUNDAY, JULY 13th curated by vocalist Andrea Wolper. Closing out the month on THURSDAY, JULY 31st celebrating my 2nd year residency at the 55BAR.  The last couple years this event coincided with my birthday but this year its almost week away – so I’ll present FV’s Blues and Standards with special guests through out the evening.  Check the GIG section of the site for all the deets…

Photo by Richard Koek
Photo by Richard Koek

For the rest I’m looking to filling in the empty spaces with relaxation and reflection, seeing friends, going to the beach and just smelling the roses.  I love being busy and active but if I’m not careful it can pull me away from myself.  Furthermore, I really need to work out a workout regimen that works for me, so I’ll be working on that! Need to get more healthy and most importantly have more energy. I wish everyone a fruitful, restful and rejuvenating summer. Follow the link below to learn more about how to give Spartagen and how much for the ones in need.

Till soon and stay cool,

Blue Mosque FountainFountain at sunset between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, Istanbul Turkey (June 2014)

*ALL photos taken by FV unless otherwise noted*

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,


Life/Work Lesson: Filter

Life Lesson: Anton Goudsmit.

Anton Goudsmit is a Dutch guitarist who played in my Amsterdam based group for over 3 years. We met through my husband and since he was a fixture on the Amsterdam music scene,  I had heard Anton play live a couple of times.  I loved his playing, his energy.  He exploded on stage.  When I decided to put together  a group s few years later, I booked Anton for a couple small gigs, playing mainly standards with little rehearsal. I didn’t know it then yet my whole idea of music and what was possible started to change.  My husband and I had started writing and I yearned to express  my own words and voice more. I was busy figuring out my own sound, beginning to tire of the jazz mannerisms that I had latched on to and I didn’t know how to shake  off.

I can best describe Anton as the perennially good side of a 10 year-old with all the greatest of intentions. He is a warm, carefree, fun-loving, open, brutally honest and creative person who was and is always in the moment. Sometimes I’ve tried to have a conversation with him and he veers off looking at some clouds while he contorts is face in a weird way. Then he’s back, dead serious, looking at me dead in the eye. Always present. This made the experience of performing with him a gift because I never knew what would happen. He showed me the pure joy that lay in just expressing oneself in the moment and how an audience can react to that. Audiences LOVE him. Anton had no filter.

Anton and I connected immediately on those early gigs and started working together shortly thereafter.  As it turns out he is, to date one of the best musicians I have ever worked with. He is a serious musician and an original thinker. His skills as a guitarist are world-class and he has his own “sound”.  He is pretty influential on my sound because we played many unisono passages with voice and guitar on original pieces or arranged standards.  He had to figure out how to sustain a tone and I needed to blend my voice with is sound.  I asked him to be on Darker Than Blue, my second outing for the Dutch label Timeless Records that I’d record in New York.  I knew we were off  to a good start when House Party Starting, the Herbie Nichols tune  I couldn’t find the music to, turned out to be Anton’s favorite tune when he was studying.  He knew it inside and out. Everything fell into place on the recording. I asked him to be part of a new band I was going to form. He said yes immediately and stayed in the band until I left the Netherlands for good in 2003.

We performed a lot with that group so I saw how much he was a part of the music he created and how it all came out like water. How the ideas flowed in anout through his fingers. All the time.   Anton and I talked about it, me trying to understand something that was so purely him that he never gave the thing a thought. It’s just how Anton was.  Same off stage.  Same onstage. This was the way to BE. Was it possible for me to be that way too?  No buttoned up sentiments or canned nuances with walls in between me and the audience. The real thing – true connection. I too sought to be more honest in my expression. I wanted to express ME. Whatever that is. Anton showed me the door and walked me through it sometimes and it was a treacherous yet exhilarating feeling to try. Try to express ugly, sad, happy, angry, sensual, loud, strong, vulnerable, sassy, sexy, political, analytical, beautiful, spiritual, small, big, historical, bad, righteous, bawdy and a whole lot more.

I owe Anton big for that.

Check out a video and here him play on the link below..
Han Bennick & Anton Goudsmit

Originally posted on my teaching blog The Visible VoiceJuly 2008

Infrequent Seams w/Dom Minasi – July 2, 2009

Dear Friends,

Tonight, guitar great Dom Minasi and myself will perform together for the first time as part of James Ilgenfritz’ Infrequent Seams Series! Come down to Brooklyn and have some happening Senegelese food and enjoy the music with us at Le Grand Dakar. Music starts @8PM.

The Infrequent Seams Series @ Le Grand Dakar
THURSDAY, July 2 2009

FV – voice
Dom Minasi – guitar

Exploring voice, guitar and standards

Le Grand Dakar
285 Grand Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

G Train to Classon Avenue


The Fay Victor Ensemble
WEDNESDAY July 15, 2009

Anders Nilsson-guitar
Ken Filiano-bass
Michael TA Thompson-drums

@ The Stone

10PM Set
One Set Only

Upcoming Performance June 30th @ the 55Bar!

Dear Friends,

Many fine greetings on this pleasant Sunday evening.  Please join Anders Nilsson (guitar) any myself for an early evening set of spine-tingling, twisted dark blues.  It’s happening this Tuesday, June 30th at the 55 Bar when Anders and I do our ExPosed Blues Duo thing.  I think you might like it!


The ExPosed Blues Duo
Anders Nilsson-guitar

55 Bar
TUESDAY, JUNE 30  2009
Early set
7:00PM – 9:00PM

55 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014

F,V,A,C,E.B,D to West 4th Street
1 to Christopher Street/Sheridan Square

Hear a sample of our stuff here.
And we hope to see you there…

courtesy of Philippe Dollo
courtesy of Philippe Dollo