Summer’s begun. I’d bet most of you are on your way to doing great warm weather things. A good thing too. If you’re reading this from the North East USA then you know all too well how horrible this past winter was. And loooong. That’s all behind us now. This summer finds me just slightly less busy then the rest of the year, which is a first. My teaching practice – now booming – isn’t letting up! Later this month, my dearest and I will celebrate 18 years of married life and love, the week after that – I turn 50!! I can’t believe it myself.
One of the ways of celebrating that milestone takes place on THURSDAY, JULY 30 at the 55BAR! My residency enters its third year there and every anniversary I celebrate by inviting great friends and idols to join me a for a musical smorgasbord for a couple of hours. It’s always a great hang, it’s free and having you there make the celebration all the better. This year the special guests are: Anders Nilsson, Ras Moshe, Ken Filiano, Michael Attias, Mazz Swift, Reggie Nicholson, Cooper Moore and William Parker!
Speaking of William Parker, just a couple days ago a joined a small chorus for his piece at the Vision Festival XX that was a blast. And as I write today – SUNDAY, JULY 12th – I’ll be at Barbes with the wonderful musician and singer Jeremiah Lockwood going deep into the blues at 5PM.
Early in August (FRIDAY, AUGUST 7th), I head out to the West Coast, playing with Lisa Mezzacappa at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park working out some the material for Glorious Ravage – being more formally presented in September/October. To learn more on that amazing project, check out Lisa’s website and even spread the word if you can. Later in August, I run the Advanced Jazz Vocal Summit for the New York Jazz Workshop. The Summit lasts 4 days and I’ve organized a nice gig at the Lexington Hotel, smack dab in midtown on FRIDAY, AUGUST 21st to feature the vocalists from this year’s session. Very happy to provide this opportunity to the students. On TUESDAY, AUGUST 25th, I’m on the Harlem Jazz Series doing a program called In Praise of Ornette with Kenny Wessel, Sean Conly and Darius Jones. This is a great afternoon Jazz Series, curated by the great trombonist Craig Harris. I’m so excited about this! Back at the 55BAR on THURSDAY, AUGUST 27th for the Early Set and the line-up soon come. Details on all the shows mentioned are in the GIG section of the site.
In other great, great news – I’m honored to be a part of a newly released book, entitled “Giving Birth to Sound: Creative Women in Music”, edited by William Parker and Renate De Rin and published by buddy’s Carlson Knives. I got my copy a couple nights ago and I’m inspired by all the thoughts these powerful and creative women have on the process of making music. How music impacts our lives. Pick up a copy and learn more here.
I’ll be back with a proper post come September so until then – have a great summer!! Thanks for reading and maybe, just maybe – I’ll see you out there.
Love, not war. and music.
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.
Unbelievably warm greetings from New York City.
No desire to jinx the rest of the winter but we’ve been dipping in and out of a winter heatwave of sorts. I’m not too mad about it yet I actually start to miss seeing snow and can’t help but think about a warming planet that feels OK for the moment but what does this portend?
I’ll ease off thoughts of doom and gloom for now and move into sending thanks for the friends that came out to the shows last month and that stopped by the APAP/JazzTimes DIY Crash Course in early January held at the Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. Wonderful to see so many folks in the audience the entire day taking part in the panel discussions, checking out the smaller presentations and asking lots of good questions about how to move forward in this music. Publicist Scott Menhinick of Improvised Communications and of the relatively fresh launch of the online trade journal JazzDIY was on hand as well to talk about the JazzDIY and the DIY aesthetic for the music in general.
Mid month, I had a couple shows in town, one with Other Dimensions in Music on the Evolving Series (January 16th) and the Jazz Vault Project at the 55BAR (January 25th). I’ve also started teaching a bi-weekly Jazz Vocal workshop for the New York Jazz Workshop! A fantastic group of students to start and we’ve added a new student each new session. The aim is turn it into a regular weekly workshop through out the Fall and Spring season so get in touch HERE if you’d like to sign up or know anyone that would. Please reach out to me with any questions as well and while we’re at it, I’m currently taking on new private students too. Best way to email about these matters is to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the recently updated teaching page for additional information.
Coming this month…I’m playing a very special concert this coming Friday night at the Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, with composer’s Moon Young Ha’s Mis-en Ensemble performing an incredible beautiful piece composed by Luciano Berio called O King, written in honor of and dedicated to the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the first time I’ll be performing contemporary repertoire and I’m nervous and very excited at the same time. Please check out the link HERE or on Performance section of the FV site for details about the entire program for the evening. This concert is FREE. Later this month, I’ll appear with Ras Moshe’s Ensemble on the Evolving Series as well right before heading out to Europe to perform and collaborate with musicians there.
Much more about this in post for March but I can’t wait to share with you all the thrilling news of doing a DUO concert with the European Jazz master Misha Mengelberg at the Bimhuis on March 7th. Please check out a clip of Misha and myself playing Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ask Me Now’ in 2008 in Amsterdam HERE:
March will keep me busy including an appearance on the ArtActs Festival in St. Johann(Tirol), Austria featuring the collective ReDDeer trio with Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and UK bassist Dominic Lash, sessions with pianist Achim Kaufmann in Berlin, a vocal workshop based in Amsterdam and more.
Finally, I’m honored to once again by chosen as the El Intruso Female Vocalist of the Year and to see so many peers and friends on the list including Anthony Braxton himself as one of the Musicians of the Year and for Mr. Braxton’s opera Trillium E! Check out all the winners HERE and many thanks to all that voted.
Here’s hoping all is well with you and since I’m writing this from not just a warm but a winning NYC, I’m wishing you read this in winning spirits!