Yes we’re deep into Spring and NYC feels like it’s gearing up for winter. Yet the music never stops…
Been a moment since I’ve written a proper post. The world has changed drastically since then. Most recently losing the great musician extraordinaire crazy fantastical energy machine that was Prince. Seems like a locally grown bigot named Trump will be the GOP nominee for our next President, and I’ve made some musical discoveries as I open up my musical palette of taste and musicians and finally and WOO so happy to say – I recorded my Herbie Nichols SUNG project! Look for news on that release as it unfolds.
And teaching. Been teaching a bunch, deeply inspired by the students I’ve run across. How curious they are and open. So freaking open. Not much resistance to the unorthodox things I sometimes throw at them. I’ve been up at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, taught masterclasses in Antwerp and Amsterdam, ran a sold-out improvising workshop in the Bay area and still running the weekly workshop for the New York Jazz Workshop. Phew. Yesterday I did a clinic at NYU and for the first time I approached the podium feeling completely comfortable to just talk off of the outline. Let the flow determine where we go. We had a good time interacting and I may have found my stride as a speaker and educator. Makes me happy and only about 9 years in the making. 🙂
Add to that, a few wonderful shows are coming up this month that I’m happy to be a part of. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
FRIDAY, May 6 2016 One Breathe Rising Presents
FAY VICTOR’s Standard Explorations
FV – voice, compositions
Sam Newsome – soprano saxophone
Aruan Ortiz – piano
Opening first – Poet Delana R.A. Dameron
South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford Street
Ft Greene, Brooklyn, NY
$15 for all
SATURDAY, May 14 2016
Fay Victor/Tyshawn Sorey DUO
FV – voice, piano
Tyshawn Sorey – drums, piano, found objects
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
THURSDAY, May 16 2016
55BAR Residency: FV with Marty Ehrlich & Aruan Ortiz
FV – voice
Marty Ehrlich – reeds
Aruan Ortiz – Fender Rhodes
55 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
I want to thank all the incredible musicians I’ve collaborated with in the past couple months on some amazing musical journeys: Achim Kaufmann and Tobias Delius on Herbie Nichols SUNG; Pianist Amy Bormet’s Quartet for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival; Darius Jones, Sean Conly and Kenny Wessel in In Praise of Ornette; Mazz Swift, Marika Hughes, Darren Johnston and Lisa Mezzacappa with me in the Bay area in early April; Tomas Fujiwara and Ben Gerstein with me on Sound Session for the Evolving Festival (check out the video of this performance below). That’s an amazing group of people to swirl around musical ideas with. I couldn’t be more blessed.
That’s what’s been going on and what’s coming up. See you out there or see you soon! Thanks so much for reading.
Just back from a small tour in Europe, playing at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and the Loft in Cologne, Germany, performing and recording the glorious music of pianist/composer Herbie Nichols. Myself alongside stellar band mates Achim Kaufmann on piano and Tobias Delius on tenor saxophone and clarinet opened up Nichols’ compositions in thrilling ways I’m just started listening back to the roughs – I am very excited with what we have and sharing it with you all will be part of my work this year. More on all that soon!
Besides the live concert recordings, I also ran a full masterclass in Antwerp, Belgium at the Royal Conservatory as well plus an improvisation workshop in Amsterdam! Look out for 2017 when I’ll be back in Europe teaching once more. You all know I love teaching…the more I get to do it, the happier I am.
That keeps going in March. I’m off to spend two days at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA (MARCH 22nd + 23rd) with the great musician and professor himself, Marty Ehrlich. I’ll hang with the students in his class focusing on Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk compositions. The following day I’ll host a talk on my music, artistic perspective and validation of artistic ideas. Before that I’m super honored and looking forward to SATURDAY, MARCH 12th, I’ve been asked to join a panel with two esteemed African American female scholars, Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffith and Dr. Courtney Bryant. We’ll share and speak with inquiring youth in HighBridge Voices in the Bronx on Women of Color in this music through the invitation of Paul Harding.
And for the gig this month! I’ll be joining the Washington Women in Jazz Festival once again as a special guest performing at the Hill Center in Washington, DC on WEDNESDAY, March 16th. FRIDAYMarch 18th I’m back at the Gin Fizz Lounge with…wait for it….Marvin Sewell, Sean Conly and Reggie Nicholson bringing the soulful moves and grooves to that happening lounge. OnTHURSDAY March 31st, back at the 55 Bar with ‘In Praise of Ornette’ featuring Darius Jones, Kenny Wessel and Sean Conly focused on Ornette Coleman compositions and closing out March 2016 just before heading West…Thanks for reading and supporting live and recorded music!
May blessings and music abound in joy like Spring,
C O M I N G U P! April 1st 2016:SOLO Her w Marika Hughes, Mazz Swift and FV Red Poppy House, San Francisco, CA April 2nd, 2016:New Blues Views (celebrating jazz appreciation month) w/ Marika Hughes, Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa and FV California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley, CA April 3rd, 2016:Vocal improvisation without scatting Workshop California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley, CA May 14, 2016:Tyshawn Sorey and FV DUO Constellation, Chicago, IL June 10, 2016:FV SoundNoise Quartet w/Sam Newsome, Melvin Gibbs and Reggie Nicholson Vision Festival XXI
Greetings from Brooklyn where the sun shone bright today under mild skies. For the moment, its quiet just long enough to get some work done including sending this update and greeting to you all. The year started with a bang – a daily occurrence of public loss…loss of great souls and personalities. That gave music a whole new meaning ,entering this year feeling like a warrior. It’s important more than ever to say something when you can. All we have are our voices, let whatever art we create be reflective of who we really are. It has to be this way for me and I’m blessed to do music I love, music that matters. Thanks to all that came out to the January performances… lots of good stuff is coming up so please read on.
First up, I am more than honored to be asked to perform with the late vocalist Jimmy Scott Jazz Expressions in a tribute to his great legacy on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13th at Sista’s Place, in the heart of Bed Stuy here in Brooklyn.
Then later in the month I head to Europe and so excited to share the news of FINALLY recording Herbie Nichols SUNG with Achim Kaufmann on piano and Tobias Delius on tenor saxophone and clarinet. WooHoo! We’ll record over two live concerts – at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and De Loft in Koln, Germany. I’ll also teach a couple workshops – one at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp (Belgium) and another in Amsterdam at Zaal 100. Will post flyers for the workshop and the concerts and please spread the word and share!
Royal Conservatory Antwerp
MONDAY, February 22, 2016
HERBIE NICHOLS SUNG BIMHUIS
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2016
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2016
WORKSHOP – to Scat and Beyond
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2016
in other news:
Here’s a video of the New York Jazz Workshop Jazz Vocal Advanced Class performing my arrangement of Work Song by cornetist Nat Adderley with lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr. Shot during the bi-annual school presentation in December 2015, this was the final tune of this groups presentation. I’m so proud of these ladies that also knocked out there individual performances.
In January 2016, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Jazz Vocal Workshop gave their end of semester presentation to a packed house. It was one of my most expansive presentations to date where the vocalists sang individual selections, duets and a group song – also Work Song – but with a completely different arrangement. I wanted to do Work Song with both vocal groups because it’s powerful political sentiment is an important statement today on mass incarceration that I wanted to make and I wanted the students to get away from singing ‘pretty’ for a moment and sing something evocative of the sentiment in the blues that Nat Adderley wrote.
Here’s a pic of the group!
This just IN: I was the vocalist last year for Lisa Mezzacappa’s Glorious Ravage on the West Coast and here is a little video excerpt of the show…via this link: http://gloriousravage.com/watch/
What’s coming up in March? A lot.
Heading to DC (March 16) as a special guest with the Amy Bormet Quartet for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Heading up to Hampshire College as a guest of the great reedist Marty Ehrlich to perform with his students plus give a masterclass (March 22-23). Will be on a Women in Music Panel with two esteemed panelists in Dr. Courtney Bryan and Farrah Jasmine Griffith in the Bronx (March 12) and back in the 55 BAR with in Praise of Ornette to close out the Month.
Finally, I want to share with you all something very important to me that I started along with blogger, professor and curator Cisco Bradley called the TalkRACE Forum that got started in December 2014. The whole point of the forum is to create a space to have uncomfortable conversations about race across gender, ethnicity and class. Since that time the almost monthly meetings have revealed so much about the work there is to be done and how important these conversations seem to shed light on how we feel. I’m finally making it public as we’re beginning to give public TalkRACE Forums. We gave one at Pratt Institute in November 2015 and on February 2016 we’ll moderate another TalkRACE Forum at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a good time to let you all know that this is happening and anyone interested in know about these events, please feel free to reach out. Here is our budding FB page: https://www.facebook.com/talkraceforum/
It’s the beginning of December, Thanksgiving is just behind us and now we’ll go hurtling towards more holidays then the end of the year. It’s unbelievable how fast it goes since it feels like just a few months ago that we left 2014! Was 2015 good for you?
2015 felt (still feels) like a transformative year for me. I’ve come to some strong decisions which I’ll share more in the early months of 2016. What I will share now is I’ve stepped back and taken some distance to this idea of ‘career’ that’s liberating. Incredible too that it only enhances every musical experience I’ve gone into because the music is the main reason I’m there. I’ve always said that music is a great catalyst for honest expression. I discovered that focusing on having a career made me less honest than I want to be. I didn’t want that anymore. Yet even with putting that idea aside, I feel more on the move than ever. Excited for 2016. Wishing you all a healthy, fun, creative, exciting, prosperous and musical New Year…and let this be the year where all your dreams come true.
On SUNDAY, December 6th, there a presentation of the Advanced Jazz Vocal Workshop of the New York Jazz Workshop at Club Bonafide! I’m excited for all the work the vocalists have done this Fall – looking forward to hearing them strut their stuff.
And I have one final gig for the year on the last day of the month (NEW YEARS EVE!) at the 55BAR, closing out the year with a trio of classy strings…doing a bunch of things. This should be fun and I’d love to have you join us to ring out 2015, blessings, warts and all!
All Things with STRINGS
FV – voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – guitar
Marika Hughes – cello
Sean Conly – double bass
at the 55BAR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31st 7-9PM NO Cover 2 drink minimum
Seasons Greetings and Much Love to you ALL! We need it more than ever….Fay
Happy November to you all! I’m hoping lots of good stuff is coming up for you as colder temps start approaching and looking forward to seeing some of you out and about. Some nice things coming up this month and I can’t wait to share…
If you’ve got folks in Baltimore, invite them to come out to the Caton Castle this coming Saturday Night (NOVEMBER 7, 2015) where I’ll be playing with some of the finest musicians on the East Coast as part of the Composers Collective featuring TK Blue of reeds, Lafayette Gilchrist on piano, Herman Burney on double bass and Eric Kennedy on drums. We’ll perform a mostly all original set of music! Check out the website here for details.
Then on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, I’m honored and proud to be part of honoring the great trombonist Roswell Rudd turn 80 years old at Le Poisson Rouge featuring a great cast of musicians including Steven Bernstein, Lafayette Harris, Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet and more. This will be a glorious celebration of an extraordinary musician. You’ve got to come on out!
On WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, I’m at Weeksville Heritage Center with Sean Conly and Sam Newsome, performing for the opening of the Lost Jazz Shrines exhibit. As someone that started my career as a vocalist in Brooklyn, how awesome is that!
**No 55BAR month because of Thanksgiving but back on Christmas Eve and that lineup will be announced soon!
In other news…wonderful new Paul Kemsley Video is up of a happening a concert in October with Sam Newsome and Reggie Nicholson…check it out:
Great press links to bassist/composer Lisa Mezzacappa’s Song Cycle Glorious Ravage that I performed on the West Coast at end of September and the beginning of October…here.…here…here….!!
“Vocalist Fay Victor (from New York) rivaled the globe-girding tessitura of Yma Sumac…” – San Francisco Classical Voice
“The music rolled, roiled, staggered, even swung, with the phenomenal voice of Fay Victor delivering lyrics and sounds with an unusual combination of soul and abstraction”…metaljazz.com
“Fay Victor is a powerhouse with a clear, precise and cutting voice, and the dynamic and textural range of any master instrumentalist. Mezzacappa describes an instant chemistry with Victor, who can easily match Mezzacappa’s wide-ranging, groovy, and sometimes frenetic, turn-on-a-dime aesthetic.” – Roger Kim Music
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.
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.
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.
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,
What a month I had between Europe and Turkey. I first went over to do a tour with Herbie Nichols SUNG; after that I ran two masterclasses on my own at Bern University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland, then moved on to Istanbul, Turkey to join the New York Jazz Workshop team for a week of master-classes at Bogazici University, truly the Harvard University of Turkey. Three different scenarios and each deeply fulfilling.
First off the Herbie Nichols tour…a small dream that revealed so much about where Nichols’ music can go and how open people were towards it. We’re taking an elastic approach to the forms, full of detours and improvisations that crop out of nowhere. So wonderful to hear how the music unfolds over four back to back concerts, every concert different from the other and always exploratory. I couldn’t have asked for better partners in pianist Achim Kaufmann and reedist Tobias Delius on this journey. These musicians know Nichols’ music inside and out, having played his pieces from years, a fact that left the possibilities endless. It was a revelation. I learned so much and see Nichols music in a different way now. Not just tunes that are a master-class in themselves of form, harmony and thematic development, but now as fluid materials so strong that those melodies are indestructible beacons of light carrying feelings, sounds and intuitive joy. The feedback and reaction to the tour were amazing and I was floored by the reaction to our unorthodox approach. The concert in Amsterdam, where the tour started had quite a few members of the Instant Composers Pool coming out to hear our way, musicians that know the Nichols’ book just as well, arguably much better than I do. The great reedist and shakuhachi player Ab Baars said “Good you came over to give us a great view on Mr Nichols’ music.” !!!
After the HBS tour ended in Berlin, Germany, I spent a few days there getting to know that great city during springtime. Always a lover of history, I learned more about the history of the city as East Berlin, with enough evidence around to back up the conversations. The night before heading out of town, I got to check out the Bad Plus in Berlin doing Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction with a front line to die for: Ron Miles, Tim Berne and Sam Newsome. Very honored to be Sam’s guest at the A Train and sit front row taking in all the beauty. Just in awe.
Then it was on to Bern, Switzerland where the master classes went so well at Bern University of the Arts, I almost cried. It was a small group of 5 amazing students in total, diving into a deep place looking at vocal confidence and audience connection. Every time I’ve given this workshop, there’s been a deep emotional response from at least one of the participants. This occasion was no different. The second class was on improvised group vocal improvisations with a rhythm section joining us exploring improvisation by ear over the blues, Stella by Starlight as well as free improvisation. Great discussions with these students, many of them at the Masters degree level in music and composition and it looks like I can go back! I was thrilled. The stay in Bern was brief, just a night before the master classes there, taking the night train back to Amsterdam that same evening. Amsterdam now just as a mini vacation, seeing friends and family. A cool spring, hell everywhere was cool – yet sunny and beautiful too. I left there wishing I could stay just a few days longer. It felt so good and connected this time.
Istanbul, Turkey. I was the vocal instructor of the New York Jazz Workshop team and after a successful run last year, we were invited back Bogazici University to teach over 40 students during their Spring Break. The vocalists were so excited after last year’s proceedings that we doubled the amount of vocalists this year! The students aren’t music majors but they’re brilliant students in their own fields. From freshmen chemistry majors to biomedical engineers working on their online evaluations for medical marijuana
and Ph.D’s…all for a love of this music. The week was dynamic and the team was immense: Drummer Tony Moreno, pianist Nikolaj Hess, bassist Jay Anderson, guitarist Kenny Wessel…alongside our ring leaders and co-directors of the New York Jazz Workshop – tenor saxophonist Marc Mommaas and Marco Chelo. Last year, I had the group of vocalists entirely and this year, I had all of the vocalists in the morning, and floated around in the afternoon to the ensembles that they were a part of. Such a new way of interacting for me, which was uncomfortable at first but I got into it and learned so much about myself and the power of those vocalists integrating themselves into the different ensemble lead by the instrumentalists on the team. Last night when we put on the final concert…we were floored by the range, depth and power of the performances and the audience of a few hundred people responded in kind. How lucky I feel to have had anything to do with this amazing outcome and what a place in the world to have this opportunity. Istanbul is incredible.
I started to fall in love with Istanbul…the people, sounds (the call to prayer blows my mind), the food, the love of music, the chaos and the love people show. Passionate beautiful people…warm and appreciative was my experience. It’s such a beautiful city too, almost like a shining jewel. The house we stayed in on campus was decadently comfortable, with views from on high of the Bosphorus at every turn. The five minute walk from my room to where I taught each morning was like walking past a postcard with differing views depending on the light. The amazing barges colored orange and red..stood in gorgeous stark contrast to that Bosphorus’ blue hue, sounds of the water moving through the trees just outside my window took my breath away too many times to mention. We also played a great concert at Nardis, the famed Istanbul jazz club. Marc Mommaas lead the band and featuring his compositions, and I joined the band with a couple choice standards and two originals of my own. A packed house and a gleefully vocal audience!! An intense period of deep connection to great people in a dream like location with jazz as the catalyst.
This has been a dream month for me. I can’t begin to express the deep gratitude I have for my life and music in this moment. The force of it. The BEAUTY of it!!!! What it does to people. A few months ago…I questioned the importance of music and my place within it. I couldn’t see the value as I saw it before when I decided to become a musician in the first place. I went through a period of reflection and trying to find meaning, lasting months. I live in a country that doesn’t really care about these things unless someone is successful or making a wave. New York is too hard a city to get carried away by beauty alone. How would you eat and take care of yourself? How do you show the importance of beauty in a throwaway society such as ours. I had to come away and throw myself in the deep end in places that understand what that means. To make it real, we were here because someone decided they wanted the students to have this experience, simple as that. I write this post on the flight home from Istanbul where the experience hasn’t been processed enough but I can say that I had the time of my life, connecting to friends, students, musicians and people just happy to be where we met. I come home a renewed being, having gone through some sort of metamorphosis that I can’t quite put my finger on yet…but you’ll hear it soon.
Great love and thanks to Achim Kaufmann, Tobias Delius, Tom Baeten, Nico Chientaroli, Danielle Oosterop, Renate De Rin, Wolfgang Glode, Lukas Frei, Ali Yekta Ulgen, Marc Mommaas, and Marco Chelo for contributing so much to make this month happen and unfold the way it did.
So what’s next? More music of course! Back at the 55bar on THURSDAY, APRIL 30th with cellist Marika Hughes and pianist Aruan Ortiz…playing a wide range of things. 7-9pm. No cover. . Then I’m a special guest with the ICP Orkest at Roulette on WEDNESDAY, MAY 6 alongside trombonist Ray Anderson. I love that band and it’s an honor to play with them once again! Later on in May, I head to the West Coast for a concert and workshop at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA on SATURDAY, MAY 23 and SUNDAY, MAY 24th respectively. The concert will feature fantastic Bay area musicians Lisa Mezzacappa on bass and John Finkbeiner on guitar – with special guest Steve Adams from the Rova Saxophone Quartet. The Workshop on the SUNDAY, MAY 24th is called “Improvising without Scatting” and I’m excited to share with participants all the interesting ways we can use our voices outside of the scat realm. Learn more about all of that here. Then it back to NYC, ending May 2015 at the 55BAR featuring guitarist Kenny Wessel and bassist Ratzo Harris doing a totally jazzy Early Set on THURSDAY, MAY 28th.
Ahh music…you weave a thread so deep that carries across my life. In deep gratitude for what I do and for what others allow me to bring into their lives as a musician and teacher. At this moment, I’m full and have what I need to keep going on. We’ll meet along the way.
In NYC the turn of the weather has come to us and Spring is now in the air. Just as I leave town to play some dates in Europe and later on in Turkey. I’m excited to get out on the road with Herbie Nichols SUNG – playing four dates in Holland, Belgium and Germany. Playing his music with pianist Achim Kaufmann and reedist Tobias Delius is a delight since both musicians know Nichols’ music inside and out and we’ve played once before as a group in 2013 for a buoyant crowd in Berlin, Germany. It was a great night I still think about so getting a chance to dig in even deeper feels like a great gift I’m looking forward to cashing in on! More importantly, the opportunity to perform Nichols music and expose more audiences to his amazing compositions makes me so very happy. Come catch us! Here’s where we’ll be…specifics in the GIG section of the site.
Herbie Nichols SUNG Fay Victor – voice, lyrics Achim Kaufmann – piano Tobias Delius – tenor saxophone, clarinet
The Maarten Luther Kerk
Amsterdam the Netherlands
April 10 De Singer
April 12th Novilla
After a few days off in Berlin, I’ll head to Bern, Switzerland to teach a day of masterclasses at the Bern University of the Arts! Looking forward to teaching a wonderful group of students on confidence building with their voices and more. Then its off to Istanbul, Turkey for a week of masterclasses with the New York Workshop team with Marco Chelo and Marc Mommaas at the helm. We’ll also play at the famed club Nardis in Istanbul on THURSDAY, APRIL 23rd! The New York Jazz Workshop was there last June and it was a joy – not only to teach these incredibly talented and brilliant students – but to also taken all that is beautiful about Istanbul. We should have a blast and feel even more at home than we did last year…
I’m back in NYC near the end of the month, just in time to make my 55BAR residency and this month, I’ve asked Aruan Ortiz on piano and Marika Hughes on cello to join me on THURSDAY, APRIL 30th for the Early Set at the 5’s playing some older originals and music from other sources. I’ve been interacting with both of these formidable musicians in the last couple years so this will also feel like home and not just a homecoming.
Excited to take Herbie Nichols SUNG on the road next month with the great Achim Kaufmann on piano and Tobias Delius on reeds. I’ve been performing and developing Herbie Nichols material now for over 10 years and put together a number of configurations to communicate the ideas I had for Nichols’ knotty compositions. The latest approach and bringing back piano into the fold started with meeting Achim Kaufmann in Berlin in 2012, spending a week hashing out ideas and approaches to Nichols tunes. I came back to New York and formed a group here to further develop the ideas in performance hoping to record the project and bring it out! That hasn’t happened yet and perhaps this tour will open up a few doors. Whatever happens, I’m always thrilled and honored to play Herbie Nichols’ glorious compositions and with great company from how should I feed my bulldog. Spread the word!
Happy March Friends! The promise of Spring looms in an air of abstraction here in the NorthEastern US yet being able to say we’re in the month of March assures warm weather fairly soon. YES!
With all that said I’m wearing my warm jazz hat quite a lot this month in wonderful musical settings starting tomorrow as part of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival where I’m invited as a special guest with DC based group Ephemera and we’ll perform a double bill with RAW of Sweden on SUNDAY, MARCH 8th at the House of Sweden in DC. on SATURDAY, MARCH 7 – I’m giving a Masterclass at the Levine School of Music in DC as well. Very excited to perform in DC for the first time with this great group of musicians. Later in March, I’ll run a Masterclass much closer to home at Long Island University through the wonderful invitation of master musician himself, Sam Newsome. On the local gig front, I’m putting on another Greene Avenue Music Presents (the event in February with Tyshawn Sorey and Brandon Seabrook was a musical sensation !!!) presenting Herbie Nichols with a European aficionado of his music, Akhim Coughman and Ratzo Harris at I-BEAM in preparation for an upcoming Herbie Nichols SUNG Europe tour in April (more on that shortly), plus the 55Bar Residency this month features FV’s Blues and Standards (THURSDAY, MARCH 26th) for the Early Set with Anders Nilsson (guitar), Ratzo Harris (double bass) and Jason Nazary (drums).
If the weather itself doesn’t warm up come and wrap yourself up in some good music wherever you can find it. The last gig with the Fay Victor Ensemble at the 55 BAR found me entering an empty bar on a cold cold night with folks from water softener reviews to set up for the gig to having it filling up with smiling and welcoming faces bringing a warmth that went straight to the heart. Music warms from the inside out.