Herbie Nichols SUNG + the LAST Gig of 2013!

IMG_20131217_141613Ahhhhh just back in NYC from  an inspiring and beautiful weekend of music making with flautist/composer Nicole Mitchell’s spellbinding project “When Life’s Door Opens” in nonet in Milan, Italy for  about 1000 riveted folk. The piece is beautiful, employing many musics plus lots of space for improvising. Moreover, the band has five women, such a treat and I’m loving working with powerful, FIERCE women like Nicole as well as vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia, spoken word artist Jamika Ajalon and afro-electronica specialist Val Jeanty…along side bassist Ken Filiano, guitarist Marvin Sewell, drummer Tomas Fujiwara and Vincent Chancey on French horn. A great project written and lead by a beautiful and musical soul, composer and musician.

Now this week, I turn my focus back to an older musical hero..Herbie Nichols. If you follow me at all, you probably have an idea of what he means to me.  I discovered his music in the ’90’s when I first moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands by stumbling across a cheesy compilation disc my then boyfriend had at his home.   The badly recorded CD didn’t hide the beauty in the composition “House Party Starting”.  I was caught by the jugular hearing it the very first time. I knew instantaneously that I wanted to sing it yet I also knew that I didn’t have the chops to do so at that time.  A couple years went by before I revisited the tune (better able to at least navigate the melody) again as a possibility for my sophomore recorded effort, ‘Darker Than Blue‘ (Timeless Records, 2001).  One Saturday afternoon the lyrics came pouring forth and thus my journey with Herbie Nichol’s Music began.  I did record “House Party Starting’ on the album called which lead me to the great European Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk stylist, Misha Mengelberg and with him I began performing Herbie Nichols’ music in 2005.  I started a NYC based group in 2007 and in 2012 settled on an instrumentation and approach to his unbelievably beautiful melodies. They are just that. Sinewy, twisting, angular and soulful melodies that I’ve always found singable and it’s a thrill to get to play his music this week once again with a band that’s incredible and strong.

Its the holiday season and I know folks have a lot to do but if you’re free it would mean a lot to me if you came to check out the music from this seldom performed composer We’re playing this FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 at the Greenwich House in the West Village. Such a beautiful venue and sound and I’m honored to not only play there, we’ll also close out the Fall 2013 season.

We look forward to seeing you and the deets are below…

FRIDAYDecember 20, 2013
Herbie Nichols SUNG
part of the SOUND IT OUT Series
46 Barrow Street, just west of 7th Avenue South
8PM (2 sets)
FV – voice, lyrics, arrangements
Michael Attias – alto & baritone saxophone
Anthony Coleman – piano
Ratzo Harris – double bass
Rudy Roylston – drums

I close out the month at the 55BAR the day after Christmas and I’m bringing back Blues & Standards to close out my performing year for 2013.  What a year it has been!

THURSDAYDecember 26th 2013
FV Blues & Standards at the 55BAR
Anders Nillson – guitar
Ratzo Harris – double bass
Reggie Nicholson – drums
Early Set, 7-9PM
No Cover, 2 drink minimum

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a wonderful, fruitful, joyous, restful, reflective and loving holiday season!

In music,

November 2013: Halloween, Absinthe & Vermouth, Trombones, Duos etc…

FVE_Absinthe&VermouthHello everyone,

I hope this email finds you well and all is well in your world.  The news came on Sunday that the great musician, poet and rocker Lou Reed died at the tender age of 71 stopping me dead in my tracks for a moment until I realized he lived a full – take no prisoners – kind of life, not without consequence.  I applaud and respect anyone who is confident enough to live that way. He had guts and grit, to me its a gift that he was here to experience through his music. SO tough to put your heart and soul out into the world and be secure in how you’ll be perceived – good or bad.  Yet we creative sorts do this every time we step onto a stage or reveal a new piece of art or premiere a play.  Its the unknown response that seeps inside us and helps us try to be better, more focused, more connected so we can feel it when any genuine response is there. It works that way for me…the more I connect, the deeper I want to go the next time.

Speaking of a revealing….NOVEMBER 5, 2013  I’m extremely excited to release Absinthe & Vermouth, the newest CD from the Fay Victor Ensemble!  It’s our third release as a group and my third of all original music by Jochem van Dijk and myself. Guitarist Anders Nilsson and bassist Ken Filiano have been tussling with the music for 8 1/2 years now and I am incredibly grateful for their contribution to my strange musical vision. Not only do I love what we managed to lay down but the composing for the group has evolved significantly toward this new direction which I’ll call ‘chamber-funk’ for now. I hope you’ll check it out, enjoy it, spread the word and purchase it.  Its my most important project to date and your feedback is deeply appreciated.  If you’re in the New York City area, then join us for the CD release event on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 2013 at JACK in Brooklyn. It is going to be a serious explosive blast! Three Sets of music – starting the Night off with Roy Nathanson & Friends with Ben Perowsky, Sam Barfield and Tim Kiah, the The Fay Victor Ensemble Absinthe & Vermouth CD Release show followed by Marika, Mazz and Morley, which is Marika Hughes, Mazz swift and Morley Morley! you can preview Absinthe & Vermouth here and you can pre-order Absinthe & Vermouth on Amazon right now.

Another major highlight in November: I’m fortunate and honored to be on a track of the esteemed trombonist Roswell Rudd’s new CD TROMBONE for LOVERS to be released on November 19th on Sunnyside Records. It’s a star studded affair with such folk as John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Gary Lucas, Bob Dorough and Alan Commess (of the Spin Doctors) and more. I’m performing “Trouble in Mind” on the new record and I’ll join everyone at Le Poisson Rouge on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th for the celebration of this wonderful album and Roswell’s 78th birthday.  Save the Date for that too!

There’s a lot more great happenings coming up starting with this Thursday (HALLOWEEN) and into November so without further ado – here are the details

THURSDAYOctober 31, 2013
A DUO Dialogue for Halloween
FV – voice
Marvin Sewell – guitar
blues, jazz, mayhem, wails, shrieks, etc….
Early Set (7-9PM)
NO COVER, 2 Drink minimum

SATURDAYNovember 2, 2013
Tyshawn Sorey/Fay Victor DUO
FV-voice (and more)
Tyshawn Sorey – Drums (and more)
No way to say how this will go other than it will GO! Bring seat belts.
in double bill with
Doggy Woof
Super Natsuki Tamura (didgeridoo)
Ken Kobayashi (drums, percussion)
Jochem van Dijk (bass guitar, effects)
121 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY

SATURDAYNovember 8th, 2013
House concert with Jaap Blonk!
Details on a need to know basis – inbox me for details.

**WEDNESDAYNovember 13, 2013**
CD Release Feast at JACK!
The Fay Victor Ensemble presents
Absinthe & Vermouth (Greene Avenue Music)
with sets by Marika, Mazz & Morley
Roy Nathanson & Friends
$15 for the night
505 1/2 Waverly Place
Brooklyn, NY 11238

SATURDAYNovember 16, 2013
Improvisations at
Real Art Ways
FV – voice, words
Joe Morris – guitar, bass
Stephen Haynes – cornets
56 Arbor Street #1
Hartford, CT 06106

SUNDAYNovember 24, 2013
Trombone for Lovers: A 78th Birthday Concert for Roswell Rudd
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
NY NY 10012

TUESDAYNovember 26th 2013
Party for Han Earl Park!
w/ a cavalcade of pretty amazing improvisors!
Douglass Street Music Collective
295 Douglass Street
Brooklyn, NY

Thank you for reading and keeping in touch. This month is packed full of performances with musical heroes I’ve never worked with before such as Joe Morris, Steven Bernstein, Bob Dorough and Jaap Blonk on top of releasing the new FVE record and being a guest on Roswell’s new disc! I feel so blessed and I hope to see you out. thanks so much for reading and for all your support.
Autumn greetings to you!


What’s Happening in August 2013?

Its been an incredibly busy summer while also battling the heat…

In my neck of the woods, I hoped for a relaxing and reflective summer.  That has yet to happen and I’m having a wonderful time. I took a small singing break last month, ending July gig-wise performing as a guest with  reedist Michael Moore‘s quartet(YES!!) at the Stone and celebrating my first year having a monthly gig at the 55BAR.  The pre-birthday hang was too much fun, making music with fantastic musical friends such as Darius Jones, Roy Campbell, Reggie Nicholson, Timucin Sahin, Jochem van Dijk, Shayna Dulberger plus Ras Moshe and Albey Balgocian stopping by and lending their sounds with a full warm house to take it all in.  I couldn’t ask for more…  I ended the month heading up to hang the the 2013 Fellows at MusicOmi outside of Hudson, NY.  Guitarist and long-time musical companion Anders Nilsson was a fellow this year plus its a joy to be there and meet interesting musicians from all over the world and getting to play with them too.

August had a running start from day one running the intermediate/advanced Jazz Vocal Summit for the New York Jazz Workshop for the 4th year in a row! I had a great group of vocalists this year and for the first time we added a fifth day devoted to the business of music.  Teaching about this wonderful music we call jazz and showing vocalists how to get out there is a dream come true.  I’m going to be following up soon with a business workshop as part of a new WorkshopsfromHome series that I’ll unveil very shortly.  And there’s plans to in the works to run a Master Class of business for the New York Jazz Workshop. Check the teaching section shortly for more info.

Further into August, I’m thrilled once again to head out to the West Coast to play and continue the rewarding collaboration with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and guitarist John Finkbeiner.  We’ll hit the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (THURSDAY, AUGUST 15th), The Center for New Music in San Francisco (FRIDAY, AUGUST 16th) and the new club Duende in Oakland, CA(SATURDAY, AUGUST 17th) performing our predominantly all original program the features compositions of Lisa Mezzacappa’s and my own. Then we’ll head into the studio to record newly written pieces for this tour and further working towards a release of this project.  Such an exciting collaboration and if you’re out that way come on through!

Finally at the end of August, I’m back in NYC and playing at the 55BAR on THURSDAY, AUGUST 29th with Herbie Nichols SUNG in quartet with Michael Attias, Ratzo Harris and Rudy Royston for the Early Set. Keep up with all the performance details on the Performance section of the site. Watch out for the full quintet presentation on the Sound It Out Series at the Greenwich Music House on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20th with the great Anthony Coleman at the piano.

That’s all for now and for the rest enjoy the winding down of summer…and see you soon!

In music and friendship,

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,

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.



September 2012 News

Hey there friends,

Summer wrapping up and I don’t know about you but I’m buckling down for an active Fall, coming out of an active summer! I spoke about July in last month’s post and August was also special, having gigs with the ExPosed Blues DUO and the Fay Victor Ensemble and getting to be an ensemble member in other folks’ happenings such as pianist Thollem McDonas‘ Everywhere Quintet and multi-media artist Jesse Hlebo‘s haunting tome on the US Prison system “Habit Toward Obedience” (thanks for coming out to all the shows EVERYONE!).  Finally, I taught the New York Jazz Workshop‘s Jazz Vocal Summit for the 3rd year in a row and this time we were not only sold out, it was also a transcendent experience for myself and the participants. I’ll run it next year as well and possibly expand the Summit to FIVE days.

Coming up in September, I start off the month doing a free jazz foray with one of my favorite people Ras Moshe at the Brecht Forum this SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th, part of a full night of music starting at 7PM.  A few days after that, I’m off to Rostov-on-Don, Russia to perform at the Rostov International Jazz Festival with the East/West Big Band (a rare treat for me) plus teach a Master Class for jazz instructors there. Rounding out the month at the 55BAR for the monthly Residency (on the LAST Thursday of every month). THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th, I’ll be there with bassist Ratzo Harris and reedist Michael Attias for Herbie Nichols SUNG, our own way through the music of Herbie Nichols. Get all the DEETS for the concerts and more on the Performance section of the FV website.

In other news:

*I’m excited to share that New Braxton House Records just released Anthony Braxton’s Syntactical Ghost Trance Choir with a slew of great vocalists on the first ever all vocal performance of Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music, recorded in 2011 at Roulette!  Learn more and download here. If you’re in town on September 13th, please visit Roulette for Anthony Braxton’s sole performance in New York City for the year.  Please go!

*I’m honored to share that I’ll be part of the legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd’s upcoming release Trombone for Lovers, featured on a track that will include John Medeski!  More news on that soon.

*With September and school in the air, its worth mentioning that I’m available for private lessons and more.  Please get in touch for more info and take a look at the recently updated teaching page on the FV website.

That’s all for now but I’ll be back in touch in early October with more news, gigs and more.

In music!

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,




July is in the Air!

Summer is here and hot!! Been a scorcher in NYC since last Wednesday.  I’m riding the wave of it, trying to stay AC free for as long as possible.  Wish me luck.  How are you faring out there?  Stay cool friends and if you need some cooling things to do later this month, I’ll be happy to give you some ideas. But before I pass on my tips, I need to give thanks to a great month of music and special connections that was June.

A big thank you first and foremost goes out to William Parker for having me in his Essence of Ellington project that premiered at the Suoni per il Popolo Festival to a packed house and ended with a standing ovation on FRIDAY, JUNE 8!! Although I’ve performed with William in Other Dimension of Music, this was so different and much more about his vision for Ellington’s Music that was inspiring and playing with the likes of Hamid Drake and Dave Burrell as well as Steve Swell, Rob Brown, Darius Jones, Dave Sewelson and more was a pure joy.  A couple days after that on MONDAY,  JUNE 11, Vision Festival 17 began in earnest and turned into one of the best Festivals I’ve ever seen and I could only be there three of the seven days it ran.  How wonderful of Patricia to ask me to take part in the invocation on the first night then witnessing the powerful sets of Paul Dunmall’s, Farmers by Nature, Darius Jones Quartet, In Order to Survive, Jason Hwang’s Burning Bridge and more blew my musical mind. Having VF 17 at the new Brooklyn Roulette gave a more peaceful vibe than other Vision Festivals I’ve attended or perhaps since I live in Brooklyn the easy commute made it feel more relaxed! Check out some pics I took here

June started out with an inspired evening of Herbie Nichols tunes with bassist Ratzo Harris and Michael Attias on reeds on MONDAY, JUNE 4.  THAT was too much fun, a great openness with that instrumentation strolling through and opening Nichol’s pieces.  We’ll be doing that again, probably at the 55BAR.  More on that in a second. I closed out the month this past MONDAY, JUNE 25. The ExPosed Blues Duo with Anders Nilsson (guitar) teamed up with bass guitarist Tim Dahl for an Electrified ExPosed Blues Session on the Evolving Series Close-out, that was a blast! A sonic boom.  The Series will be back up in October.

Keeping on the Exposed Blues groove, we’ll be moving around the city quite a bit this summer.  Firstly and for the fourth year in a row, we’ll lament and celebrate the country’s independence on, er, well, Independence Day for the early set at the 55BAR.  Come early and hang, leave just in time to hear the fireworks.  Now with the Supreme Court Decision on ObamaCare, I’m feeling pretty happy about the US of A for the moment…positive vibrations.  FRIDAY, JULY 20th, we’ll be on WFMU courtesy of Kurt Gottschalk and his show Minature Minotaurs. We’ll play live, we’ll chat and we’re damn excited too.

I’m happy to announce as of THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2012, I’ll have the 4th Thursday of every Month at the 55BAR for the Early Set! I’m very happy and excited about this opportunity.  I’ve been playing at the 55BAR consistenly since 2005, so being there on a regular basis will be a hoot! I plan on mixing it up each month, highlingting my working groups and other special projects.  As always, check the performance page for all the details.

If that wasn’t good enough, we’re kicking off the start of the residency on my birthday! Yep. July 26th is my birthday.  I can’t believe it but for as long as I’ve been performing (…clears throat…) I’ve NEVER had a gig on my birthday. Never ever. So this is big for me and I want you all the join me.  Its going to be a special night, I’ve invited some friends down to play, sit-in and hang and I’d love you to be a part of it.  More details about the special guests in the coming days.

In other news, check out these recent sounds of the Fay Victor Ensemble, we’re working out new material and we’re recording next winter, would love your feedback:
FayVictorEnsemble SOUNDS by GreeneAveMusic


I’m teaching a lot these days, enjoying it immensely, especially the workshops that I’ve been giving.  I’m teaching a Jazz Vocal workshop every 2 weeks and two Everyone Can Sing workshop weekly for the New York Jazz Workshop. I’m flying much more from my gut and instinct instead of any script, much more comfortable letting the my real self come out – mistakes and all.  The students and I are having so much fun!  They laugh, relax and feel open to new experiences. It seems so funny that the more I let go of ‘trying’ the more effective as a teacher I become.  I’m grateful to ALL the students I’ve come into contact with recently for putting up that mirror.

Thanks for reading and if I don’t see you out and about, have a great and restful summer.

In music and gratitude,




Whats Happening in June 2012

Hey hey,

I’m sitting here wishing that all is well with you as I write this on a beautiful sunny Sunday.  Life over here has been strangely strange and full of music. Just the way I like it….at the end of April my longstanding group, the Fay Victor Ensemble, played again for the first time in over a year and we performed two more gigs in May.  I was so taken with these concerts and the music, grateful for the friends that came out and for new folks that stopped by and gave wonderful and important feedback on the music.  I’m amazed at the choice words people use when describing our music!  For example, someone said that listening to the FVE was like “smoking a joint with out actually smoking a joint.” On these outings we’ve been a trio and this format has opened up new avenues of exploration which we plan to check out a while longer.  See the FVE next at Cornelia Street Cafe on July 31st as part of the Voxify Vocal Series.

Last month the ExPosed Blues Duo (me + Anders Nilsson) also stepped out once more with a private hit and a public expose at Sycamore, part of a double bill w/Shayna Dulberger’s group.  Check out a new video of us here…ExPosed Blues DUO rocks Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho. We’ll play again as the closing act for the Evolving Series at Clemente Soto Velez on MONDAY, JUNE 25th, electrifying the set with the addition of electric bassist Tim Dahl, closing out the gig list for June…

Before that, join me this MONDAY, JUNE 4th for a fun hang at the 55BAR with bassist Ratzo Harris and reedist Michael Attias performing Herbie Nichols music in ways we’re sure you haven’t heard before!  We play the Early Set…Later this week I head to Montreal, Canada to perform with William Parker’s Essence of Ellington Project as part of the Suoni per il Popolo Festival in celebration for Aum Fidelity’s 15 year anniversary, then performing with Patricia Nicholson Parker and more for the Invocation of Vision Festival 17 on MONDAY, JUNE 11th. Get more information on the performance section of the FV site, or go here to purchase tickets and more. Hope to see you out there!

In other news…I’ve been doing a lot of private teaching and giving many workshops in the past few months.  I’ve been running 2-3 workshops a week and its been a fantastic learning experience and a joy.  I’m running an Everyone Can Sing workshop on Wednesdays and a more advance Jazz Vocal Workshop every other Thursday through the New York Jazz Workshop.  Check out their website here to learn more.

Looking forward to seeing you out this month but if we don’t run into each other, have a great summer!  Lots of news coming for the Fall and beyond….

In Music,