Happy New Year!

NewYear Posting Pic

Happy 2016! I wish you and all your loved ones the best wishes for this New Year!! May this year be your most enriching and fulfilling yet….

I start this year in a warrior spirit. Like I’m gearing up for battle on many fronts including my own creative quest for who I am and what I need to say. It’s been a couple years since I felt sure of my musical vision. I’m a restless creative spirit that has to pursue a variety of things but always with a main project that anchors everything else. A project I call home. For over 10 years that was the Fay Victor Ensemble, the vehicle for my writing, band-leading and improvisational playground (co-written with my husband and bass guitarist Jochem van Dijk). We’re still going strong – be on the lookout for FVE 2016 dates soon – yet I feel a pulling to perform music that isn’t written by me at all. For a couple years now I’m performing tunes from the Great American Songbook again finding new possibilities that I couldn’t even think of when I was starting out as a traditional jazz singer and my ears were more closed. An amazing rediscovery for me!

Jazz standards will show up on my 55BAR residency this month (THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016) with Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone and Ken Filiano on double bass that I call the Quiet Side. My first gig of 2016 mines the jazz universe in a different way; the compositions of Ornette Coleman. Guitarist Anders Nilsson suggested we check out some Ornette Coleman tunes for our ExPosed Blues Duo project. I love Ornette’s music, already a fan and even learned a few themes by ear yet never considered singing them until Anders suggested it. We’ve done Ornette’s music as a duo a number of times over the past few years, last Spring we bought it to the 55BAR and invited bassist Sean Conly to join us. As luck would have it alto saxophone titan Darius Jones stopped by to hang for the gig and sat in. No doubt after hearing these rough forays that there wasn’t something there. A few months later the quartet, with Darius and Sean played on Craig Harris’ Series in Harlem after Ornette had left us in June 2015. Guitarist Kenny Wessel (and ex-Ornette Coleman sideman) replaced Anders, who was out of town, and what emerged that afternoon made my heart sing. That group, In Praise of Ornette… will appear on the Evolving Music Festival on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016 at Clemente Soto Velez.

There are beautiful Free Improv forays too this month in settings I’m proud to be a part of: on FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, I’ll join saxophonist/composer Matana Roberts residency at the Stone in the Lower East Side of NYC at 10pm, performing with her and more wonderful folk, then on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, join me for another Green Avenue Music Presents at IBEAM with Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ben Gerstein on trombone and a special guest Elisabeth Harnik on piano! SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 and SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2016 I’m playing in Chi-town!! on the 23rd at Constellation with the incredible multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey as we dig deeper into our duo dialogue and the following night I join drummer Mike Reed, bass clarinetist Jason Stein and Nick Butcher on electronics and guitar at the Hungry Brain for another fresh musical meeting. What a way to start the New Year. I hope to see you out at the shows and as always you can get all the performances details on the GIG section of the site…

Other super important things happening this month…SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, I’ll emcee an important event – a benefit to support the family of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy gunned down by police in Cleveland over a year ago. We want to assist Ms. Samaria Rice in getting the help she needs to fight the lack of indictment in this case. It will be a great event with musical performances and more…if you can’t be there, do what you can to donate to the cause and/or please spread the word.

On MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016, the Jazz Vocal Workshop will put on their end of semester performance! I’m very excited for this performance as these students have worked hard and risen to the occasion throughout the semester. This will be the most diverse presentation I’ve put on yet and I’m damn proud of this group. Sadly, it will be my last presentation as I am leaving the position at the end of semester. I had such a great two years at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music but the other news for 2016 is going back to school! So I’ll be focusing on that this year as well.

Ahhhh….a good feeling to start the year with a fighting spirit in a positive way. Life is painfully short. If no other year made that painfully clear, 2015 should be strong contender. No need to dilly-dally over the small stuff that gets in the way and distorts focus. We’ve got to fight the powers that be within and without.

Blessings!!

FV

Closing out the year – December 2015 News

 

#selfie taken at Weeksville Heritage Center, November 18, 2015.  Performance for Lost Jazz Shrines of Brooklyn
#selfie taken at Weeksville Heritage Center, November 18, 2015. Performance for Lost Jazz Shrines of Brooklyn

Dear Friends,

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

 

Holiday Lights at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Holiday Lights at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

What’s Happening in NOVEMBER 2014

bath selfie

yep.

Fall now is in full swing and this weekend in New York City we’re feeling it.  Brisk and fresh, its definitely time to think of the indoors and get ready for the cold. Warming up with great music always helps to get through the dark and short winter days to come and we’ve only just put the clocks back.

a page from the Sequenza III score
a page from the Sequenza III score

Stepping back for second to October turned out to be a wonderful month of musical eclecticism for me.  Started the month playing at I-BEAM with Jason Hwang on violin and Miya Masaoka on koto! Whoa.  A joy and new discovery to make music with these instruments.  We also a special guest from Indonesia Djudak Ferianto a great musician and vocalist that joined and added abundantly to the proceedings.  The next great thing was VoiceHornsBass on the InGarden Series for Arts for Art with Ken Filiano (double bass), Will Connell (reeds) and Vincent Chancey (french horn).  This was our 2nd meeting of improvising textures, tones and text…it was wonderful. Then what was for e a milestone – I had the opportunity to perform Sequenza III by the great Italian composer Luciano Berio, as part of an all Berio program at Columbia University through the new and exciting chamber organization, ensemble mise-en.  It’s the first time I performed a solo vocal piece ever.  What a thrilling experience it was.  I closed out the month at the 55BAR with Marika Hughes (cello) and Sean Conly (double bass) playing older songs of mine and Jochem van Dijk – pre-FVE tunes re-cast in a different instrumentation.  It was a lot of fun and great exploration with fresh approaches.  I think we’ll do that again very soon….

InGarden Series at Frist Green Gardens - though Arts for Art
InGarden Series at Frist Green Gardens – though Arts for Art

Coming up this month, its a month chock full of DUOs and a big film Collab. I’m back at the Lexington Hotel twice in November with bassist Ratzo Harris on WEDNESDAY, November 5 and Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, November 18th.  On November 15th, I’m playing with guitarist Brandon Seabrook at new venue run in Brooklyn by Cisco Bradley called New Revolution Arts.  Then on TUESDAY, November 25th, I’m past of a big group at JACK in Brooklyn performing and improvising in front of and alongside films! Finally, the day after Thanksgiving I head to Chicago to help celebrate 40 years of the great Amsterdam club the Bimhuis in a duo with famed cellist Tristan Honsinger, where we’ll play an improvised voice/cello set at Constellation.  I haven’t been to Chicago since 2010, looking forward to being there for a little while.

Thanks much for reading and hope to see you out and about!

Fay

Out at night at home in Brooklyn
Out at night at home in Brooklyn

*all photos by FV unless otherwise noted.

 

April 2013 News and such…

Dear Friends!

Its April and the cold snap has snapped back to what I hope is a memory for now…sun is out and warm.  I’m looking forward to some wonderful happenings coming up this month and here’s hoping all is well with you.

I’ll be on the Evolving Series this MONDAY APRIL 8TH for the 9:50 Set, but not with the Fay Victor Ensemble as previously advertised.  There was a scheduling mix-up (I apologize for any inconvenience) BUT I’m happy to present brand spanking new FV String Improv Ensemble in its place!  This should be smoking too and I apologize for mix-up.  The FVE will next play on the Red Hook Jazz Festival on June 9th, 2013. The FV String Improv Ensemble is Anders Nilsson – guitar, Tomas Ulrich – cello and Sean Conly – double bass.

Later this month, I am so honored to be a special guest on Nicole Mitchell’s new piece “When Life’s Door Opens: The Cross Roads for The TriCentric Orchestra’s debut New Commissions held at Roulette on SUNDAY, APRIL 21st.  This will be a special concert also featuring new works by violinist/composer Jason Kao Hwang and Kamala Sankaram accompanied by a crackpot 16 piece ensemble.

Rounding out the month on THURSDAY, APRIL 25,  I’ll perform Blues and Standards once again at the 55BAR!  In December 2012, I wanted to take a break from my normal projects I decided to sing some blues and standards for the holiday season at the 55BAR on my monthly gig.  Not only did we have a packed and enthusiastic house, the music was just so much fun…TOO much fun!  So I’m doing it again this month at the 55BAR with Anders Nilsson on guitar, Ratzo Harris on double bass and Jason Nazary on drums.  As always no cover…just treat the bartender right!

Continuing on the 55BAR note,  a whopping thank YOU for those of you that came out on March 28th and gave SF guests bassist/composer Lisa Mezzacappa and guitarist John Finkbeiner a rousing NYC welcome! Great presenting the music that Lisa and I put together for our group.  The music is growing nicely and we had the 55BAR gig as well as a performance at the fantastic Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT the next day to dig into the music.  We’re working toward releasing a record with this project and there are plans to head out to the West Coast again this summer to continue the collaboration.  More, more, more on all this soon…

That’s what’s been happening and what’s up for April!  Happy Spring to you all!  Check out all performance details on the Performance section of the site, there is also lots of new clips (especially Herbie Nichols) up on the FV Soundcloud page.

Thanks for reading and happy Spring!