How is summer treating you? Summer is treating me fine and I survived just passing another time around the sun and celebrating 17 years of marriage to my great hubby, Jochem van Dijk, by hibernating in a cabin in the foothills of the Catskills. I closed out July with another celebration – the two year anniversary of my residency at the 55BAR on Thursday, July 31st! It was an amazing night of music and new collaborations. To help me celebrate I asked a bunch of special guests to stop by including reedist Daniel Carter, Michael Attias and the great Will Connell!
Just as August entered, I once more had the honor to play with the wonderful multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey on SUNDAY, AUGUST 3rd, closing out his week long residency at The Stone! We had an explosive set, following an intense set with vocalist Jen Shyu. What a great night of music that was and so damn honored to be a part. I also applaud Tyshawn for programming one hell of a week at the Stone and how cool of him to close out the run with vocalists on his final night! And the music – OMG. Here’s a fresh video below of the proceedings, courtesy of Don Mount.
Now into August, slowing down just a tad but still a few things in town if you’re around…I’ll be at The Lexington Hotel twice in August continuing the DUO series through the presentation of the New York Jazz Workshop with guitarist Anders Nilsson on TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 and with Kenny Wessel on TUESDAY, AUGUST 26 playing jazz standards. Anders and I are back in DUO at the 55BAR this month as well on THURSDAY, AUGUST 28th, this time though as the ExPosed Blues DUO, honing our Ornette Coleman program and more favorites. Check all the details on the GIG section of the FV website for more details.
So much has happened since my last ‘news’ post that the world even seems to be a different place. A BIG part of the reason is the sudden loss of trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr and all the pain and beauty that wrought as well as the loss of the eminent poet, scholar, activist and force behind the Black Arts Movement Amiri Baraka. They both left us on the same day. At the beginning of this year I posted on FB about the losses that left us reeling at the end of 2013, having no way of knowing what was to come so early in this year. Especially in the case of Roy whom I performed with a number times and knew and whom I actually saw just a few days before his passing, my words feel strangely hollow. Like someone at distance trying to soothe the affected. Now I FEEL that pain deeply and saw how these transitions caused an entire community to stop, ball and shake fists at the sky because nobody understands why.
Through it all there is music, which is an amazing salve and catalyst to feel the pain and let it out. I got to scream only once publicly in January at the FVE concert at Roulette (THANK you all for coming) and have been letting it out in private, creating new sounds of necessary expression to say the unsayable, the unthinkable. Yet despite the sadness and heavy feelings, I personally am glad that I can feel them and there is music to help commune with others sorrow. We’re going to feel THIS pain for some time to come…
I’m also writing tons at the moment, especially for the piece the Fay Victor Ensemble is presenting in April 2014 as part of the Tri-centric Foundation Presenting Series. That helps incredibly to focus and channel difficult feelings. Isn’t music so wonderful to accommodate all the emotions that come up in our lives?
This month I’m looking forward to letting it out in public more. Take a look at the PERFORMANCE tab on the website to check all the details for what’s going down around town this month including TWO new venues for me, the Classon Social Club, right near the Brooklyn Museum and the Lexington Hotel where my jazz hat will reign supreme as well as the ExPosed Blues DUO back at the 55BAR and a performance I’m particularly excited about and right on Valentines Day to boot – Aruan Ortiz’s Firm Roots at I-BEAM.
Be well. Stay warm. Make as much love and music as you can. Tomorrow may be as hard to grasp as a hummingbird in flight.