June is Jumping in 2016!

Brooklyn...
Brooklyn…

How is life treating you music lovers and others out there? Life here is A-OK. Oh I could complain about many a mundane thing but I actually don’t have anything to share but good news. Many artists and friends are struggling to survive in New York City. Struggling to stay and be viable in a dwindling area where working people can afford to be. Many are going through tough times, such as Arts for Art, the organization that puts on the Vision Festival, is going through a rough patch over loss of funding.

We (my husband and I) are OK for the moment but we rent. In Brooklyn. So…

We like where we live, it all feels stable since we’ve been in same place for close to 13 years. Stable…until it isn’t. Of course.  Which is the angst.  Too many before us have been there. If it comes to that, it will all work out somehow. Sharing the stress of what many of us have faced, are facing, and will face in this city is important. There is no shame in feeling afraid of how the money we make simply won’t go as far. Still the music goes on…now on to some good news!

Rehearsing with Aruan Ortiz and Marty Ehrlich for a fantastic hit at the 55BAR!
Rehearsing with Aruan Ortiz and Marty Ehrlich for a fantastic hit at the 55BAR!

As I step out of May 2016, I’m full of gratitude for the three performances I had last month that were extremely different and so rewarding in their own way. Wonderful to meet up musically this month, twice, with pianist Aruan Ortiz. We’ve done a number of things together over the past few years and he’s making wonderful music himself. We played with Sam Newsome on a new series called One Breathe Rising combining poetry and music, (May 6th) then Aruan joined me at the 55BAR with the great reedist Marty Ehrlich last week Thursday (May 26). Smack dab in the middle of the month I went to Chicago with the fantastic musician/composer/educator Tyshawn Sorey to perform our DUO concept (about 4 years running) at Constellation which was just incredible. Standing ovation to boot. Check out this review of the concert here:
http://www.cacophonymag.com/fayvictoryandtyshawnsoreyduo

Fay Victor & Tyshawn Sorey Back stage at Constellation, Chicago. #selfie
Fay Victor & Tyshawn Sorey Back stage at Constellation, Chicago. #selfie

Now June is upon us and I’m thrilled to be back on the Vision Festival!! One of my favorite Festivals and an honor to be asked to perform as a leader for the 4th time! I’m bringing a new group called the SoundNoise Quartet. Last Fall on the InGarden Series put on by Arts for Art, I asked the incredible saxophonist Sam Newsome and Reggie Nicholson to join me for a free improv set. The results were just…wow. Check the video below. When Patricia Nicholson Parker reached out to offer me a set, she suggested the trio which I loved. But I wanted to add another element and thought of the electric bassist Melvin Gibbs to join us. He said yes! So there it is. we hope to see you there and throughout the festival.

In addition I’m part of two panel discussion on the Vision Festival – the first time I’ve been asked. Vision Festival Details Below…

JUNE 7 – 12, 2016 
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South, NYC
VISION FESTIVAL XXI

>>>>June 10th – 5PM
Panel The Creative Option : FreeJazz vs Fascism
Hamid Drake, Matt Shipp, Connie Crothers, Fay Victor, P Nicholson
Adam Zanolini, Moderator Scott Currie
>>>8PM
Fay Victor SoundNoise Quartet
Fay Victor – voice, text
Sam Newsome – soprano sax
Melvin Gibbs – bass guitar
Reggie Nicholson – drums, perc.
>>>>June 12th – 5PM
Panel The Creative Option : FreeJazz vs Fascism
William Hooker, Mike Reed, Fay Victor, Charlotte Ka
Moderator Scott Currie
www.artforart.org

On SUNDAY, JUNE 19th My Advanced Vocal Workshop at the New York City Jazz Workshop will put on their Spring presentation at Smalls! The group is just incredible this session and I look forward to smiling and swinging proudly through their performances. So proud of all the vocalists that will present their artistry and learnin’ on June 19th. On Wednesday, JUNE 22nd back at the Gin Fizz Lounge with the trio that blew the roof off the place when we played there in March – Marvin Sewell (guitar), Sean Conly (bass) and Reggie Nicholson (drums)! I close the month out on June 30th at the 55BAR with the Quiet Side w Ken Filiano and Sam Newsome!

Stay tuned too for the annually Birthday Hang bash at the 5’s! Will reveal the real deal on that very soon. These are becoming the stuff of legend. 😉

Much love, peace and music – we need, we need, we need!
Fay

Union Square Tilt Shift...by FV
Union Square Tilt Shift…by FV

 

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
at the GREENWICH HOUSE
part of the SOUND IT OUT Series
46 Barrow Street, just west of 7th Avenue South
www.greenwichhouse.org
8PM (2 sets)
$20
212-242-4770
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
FV-voice
Anders Nillson – guitar
Ratzo Harris – double bass
Reggie Nicholson – drums
Early Set, 7-9PM
No Cover, 2 drink minimum
www.55BAR.com

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

In music,
Fay

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