Happy Holidays Friends,
I write this last note to you for 2019 as we sit in the middle of impeachment hearings for the current US president, as humanity hangs on the cusp of a climate catastrophe and as strongmen and the extremely wealthy around the world blatantly assert their superiority. It easy to feel helpless, hopeless, cynical and just afraid in light of all of this. Yet, we all have a say in how we conduct our own lives, how we impact others around us. What are we doing to contribute to the world we want to see? We may think we’re so small in light of all this but I say NO! If our voices are for the positive forces want to see, we must use them how ever we can. And keep moving…there is still much to be hopeful about.
In the past couple years, I’ve worked in academia much more than I have ever before. Not only as Faculty at the New School but in doing appearances at various academic institutions around the country. Interacting with students around jazz, improvisation and composition. What I’ve witnessed over and over again is an openness in the students I’ve encountered. A willingness to go down unknown roads with little resistance. I’ve had immense conversations with young people about what they want to say with their art. What they are grappling with and how their struggle for language and understanding keeps them on the search. It’s inspired me deeply and instilled even more faith that the music and the future is in good hands. I don’t have children myself so gathering this understanding has been given me much more insight into where to focus my own energy as an educator.
On that front, I just wrapped the last class (and performance!) for my Vocal Performance 5 Class at the New School. It was a wonderful semester. Very excited for Spring 2020 and happy to share as well that I joined Creative Music Studios (CMS) as an Artistic Director. Honored to be asked by Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame) and Steven Bernstein to be a voice in this esteemed organization started by Ornette Coleman, Karl Berger & Ingrid Sertso.
Out in the bigger world – folks around the world are fed up, hitting the streets, putting and pitting their bodies against teargas and rubber bullets to say NO MORE. These times are scary and fascinating the geo-political shifting feels seismic and when the dust finally settles – who knows where we’ll be but if we have solidarity in our truth at least we won’t be alone.
I won’t get any credit for it in the ‘jazz’ press (and rarely have I) but my work is always political. Here’s a track from my latest album – Talk Talk (part 2) – about making up one’s mind on where we stand and please consider picking up a copy for your gift-giving pleasure this holiday season
More on being the change you want to see. I am so so very proud to report that the We Have Voice Collective that I am deeply honored to be a part of, we that launched an Open Letter in December 2017 and then went on to arduously and carefully crafted a Code of Conduct to Promote Safe(r) Spaces in the Performing Arts has been selected by the New York Times as ONE of the definitive moments in jazz of the entire decade of the 2010’s.
Final concert of the year!
Last show of the year is very special indeed! Playing a DUO concert with the amazing drummer/composer Gerald Cleaver. I’ve played with Gerald over the years in collective contexts but this is a FIRST. And it’s Free. The Brooklyn Rail wrote a nice lil preview.
That’s happening here:
The Clemente, Room 203
107 Suffolk Street, NY NY 10002
Bring your kids! Last 10 minutes of the concert is interactive.
Please check the GIG section for all the coming appearances for 2020 (and keep checking back!)
FIRST Show in 2020 – a dream come TRUE!
DUO with the illustrious Joëlle Léandre (double bassist, vocalist)
Fay Victor/Joelle Leandre
TUESDAY, January 7 2020
33 Bleecker Street, NY NY
8PM $20 at the door
Be kind to yourselves and each other. Let’s figure out ways we can communicate better with each other. Somehow. Wishing all of us the best possible outcome for life, love and unity on this planet in the coming decade. Happy New Year!