Album cover for Life Is Funny That Way – Artwork: Bill Mazza, Photography: Deneka Peniston

This project started the day I became acquainted with the music of Herbie Nichols. The day I heard his music for the very first time, especially the composition ‘House Party Starting’ I was floored, curious. I hadn’t heard anything like it yet but it was  familiar too. I knew nothing about Herbie Nichols. I happened to stumble on a compilation of his in my then boyfriend’s music collection and pulled the album out based on his face, a warm face with cerebral eyes. 

The music I heard that day connected to my heart immediately as if he were an old friend. A few years later, I had learned House Party Starting and set it to lyrics. The words came like a flash. the whole thing written with the low Amsterdam sun on my shoulder. I sang it with my band. We let go of Nichols intro, started right on the head and used guitar instead of piano. I came out of the box wanting to find my own way with his music, never interested in an archival approach.

Bit by bit, I connected to his music song by song, living with these compositions in my head and heart until I found the words to tell that song’s story as I heard it. This organic process took some years. Around 2010 I started thinking of what group sound would work? I tried tuba,. saxophone and guitar for the Jazz Vault project which performed the music of Monk and Mingus too. There was a period where Misha Mengelbeeg spoke about doing a Monk/Nichols recorded project. That never happened but I did get to play Nichols’ music with ICP (instant composers pool) on a few occasions. 

I was going for something else too. Something I didn’t hear as much as I wanted to hear. Nichols’ music is harmonically complex. The forms can feel strange. There has been an effort to sound out all of these elements in other projects dedicated to his music. This is important.  For example, Misha Mengelberg and members of ICP flushed out these harmonies across 10 players of brass and strings.  Misha felt that was the natural progression for Herbie’s music. I wanted to also focus on the joy in his music. I wanted to channel the cultural connection that he and I share, which has roots in the Caribbean, specifically Trinidad and Tobago where both our mothers are from.  How that impacts expression. 

Thanks and gratitude to Whit Dickey and Steven Joerg of Tao Forms. They both took on and deeply embraced Life Is Funny This Way from beginning to end.  The attention, care and LOVE for this release is something I’ve never experienced in my recording career. This project was carried with love! Thank you to the design/artwork of Bill Mazza and the beautiful photography of Deneka Peniston. Thank you to Kevin Whitehead for the amazing words on Life Is Funny That Way.

To the band – Michael Attias, Anthony Coleman, Tom Rainey and Ratzo Harris. The journey to this day was built organically, gig after gig. Thank you for your patience toward the immersion and your love of Herbie’s music. A joy to have built this world with you all.

Life Is Funny That WayHerbie Nichols SUNG drops This FRIDAY, April 5, 2024
Double LP and Double CD options available!
Available on all music outlets – tactile and digital
from the Tao Forms Label
or via Bandcamp!

From Martin Johnson at the Wall Street Journal (March 30, 2024)

“Life Is Funny That Way” offers a rich portrait of Nichols, and it highlights the contemporary aspects of his music. Ms. Victor’s versatile band includes saxophonist Michaël Attias, pianist Anthony Coleman, bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Tom Rainey. Their range is a good fit, and her vocals embrace straightforward singing, scat, vocalese and poetic recitation; it’s a style that enables her to explore deeper meanings in songs and broaden their cultural connections. Her influences include both classic jazz singers like Betty Carter and late 20th-century innovators like Jeanne Lee.

The album opens with the title track, which stuns with swaggering confidence, layered improvisations, and a puckish vibe that feels emblematic of the entire Nichols catalog. Ms. Victor also revisits “House Party Starting,” here retitled “Tonight,” and it is highlighted by wry solos and clever interplay by the ensemble.  Her take on “Lady Sings the Blues” adds a chapter to the song’s evolution. The composition began as a midtempo instrumental piece, “Serenade,” but Holiday slowed it to a dirge, her lyrics capturing both sorrow and resilience. Ms. Victor slows it still further, making both elements more visceral, and the song becomes bracing.”

Read full review HERE.

Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful is the very first solo record by Fay Victor, whose 30-year-long music career has covered everything from House, New Music, Jazz (Blues) and Free Improvisation. Her deep history with dance music, her genreless output, and her lived experience as a Black woman in the world shaped the brand new process she used to create this prismatic album which touches on all the decades of her life like diary snapshots. It’s a mesmerizing collection of composed work that could only be made by an extraordinary improviser. 

From hearing the raw, almost gospel vocal style over a heavy beat of Donna Summer and Sylvester, to obsessing over shows like Soul Train, Solid Gold, and Dance Fever on TV, to experiencing the sweat and groove, the freedom of bodies moving at NYC clubs like Danceteria, The Loft, and the Paradise Garage – her life changed forever. As she was developing as a jazz singer in Amsterdam in the 90s, she danced to trance music in clubs like Mazzo and The Soul Kitchen. She landed on the Billboard charts with a club hit “You Make Me Happy” in ’91. Stoned on the sacred dance floor, Fay found ecstasy in the moving body, the groove, the beat.

As she entered deeper into the world of jazz, she was attracted to the rhythmic qualities of Thelonious Monk, Eddie Harris, Eric Dolphy, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Betty Carter, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nicole Mitchell, Milford Graves, Julius Hemphill, Charles Mingus, Herbie Nichols. Their confrontational rhythm sends her soul leaping, connecting her back to her clubheadheart.

With Mavin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” as a template, Fay started thinking about how her solo album might unfold. She sang, played keyboards, added textures and further dimensions with no other humans, without electronics. That was her process. Thoroughly creative, composed with music and words straight from her spirit.”

Blackity Black Black is Beautiful is ALBUM OF THE DAY on Bandcamp!

https://daily.bandcamp.com/album-of-the-day/fay-victor-blackity-black-black-is-beautiful-review

CD/Digital OUT NOW via Bandcamp

This impressive album is a thoughtful, obviously personal journey of a unique and wise artist that trusts the power of music and knows that music can motivate people and bring positive change, even with one song.
Eyal Hareuveni
https://salt-peanuts.eu/record/fay-victor/
EDITOR’S CHOICE!
Fay Victor tells a first-person story about accidentally getting lost in Breezy Point, a private enclave in Queens that is a bastion of Trump supporters in liberal New York City, on “Breezy Point Ain’t Breezy,” the new single from her upcoming album, Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful.”
https://www.jazziz.com/jazziz-editors-choice-norah-jones-jon-batiste-antonio-adolfo-more/
“Governorship/Senate (for Stacey Abrams)”
From Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful makes the UK’s The Wire Playlist for August 2023
https://www.thewire.co.uk/audio/on-air/phil-england-presents-adventures-in-sound-and-music-68943
One Man’s Jazz Playlist: Fay Victor, Tyshawn Sorey, Matthew Shipp & Jaimie Branch.
“Vocalist Fay Victor‘s new solo album, Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful, is one of the featured new recordings in this episode of One Man’s Jazz.”
https://www.allaboutjazz.com/fay-victor-tyshawn-sorey-matthew-shipp-and-jaimie-branch-fay-victor
ALBUM OF THE DAY – AUGUST 24, 2023// BANDCAMPhttps://daily.bandcamp.com/album-of-the-day/fay-victor-blackity-black-black-is-beautiful-review?utm_source=notification

Fay Victor Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful

Fay Victor Announces Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful
Out August 25th on Northern Spy Records

“Breezy Point Ain’t Breezy” Now Streamingvia Bandcamp

Today, Fay Victor is announcing Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful – her 2nd album for Northern Spy – along with the first single “Breezy Point Ain’t Breezy,”  a first person story about accidentally getting lost in Breezy Point, a private enclave in Queens that is a bastion of Trump supporters in liberal New York City.

Blackity Black Black Is Beautiful is the very first solo record by Fay Victor, whose 30-year-long music career has covered everything from House, New Music, Jazz (Blues) and Free Improvisation. Her deep history with dance music, her genreless output, and her lived experience as a Black woman in the world shaped a brand new process she used to create this prismatic album which touches on all the decades of her life like diary snapshots. It’s a mesmerizing collection of composed work that could only be made by an extraordinary improviser. 

From hearing the raw, almost gospel vocal style over a heavy beat of Donna Summer and Sylvester, to obsessing over shows like Soul TrainSolid Gold, and Dance Fever on TV, to experiencing the sweat and groove, the freedom of bodies moving at NYC clubs like DanceteriaThe Loft, and the Paradise Garage – her life changed forever. As she was developing as a jazz singer in Amsterdam in the 90s, she danced to trance music in clubs like Mazzo and The Soul Kitchen. She landed on the Billboard charts with a club hit “You Make Me Happy” in ’91. Stoned on the sacred dance floor, Fay found ecstasy in the moving body, the groove, the beat.

As she entered deeper into the world of jazz, she was attracted to the rhythmic qualities of Thelonious MonkEddie HarrisEric DolphyArt Ensemble of ChicagoBetty CarterSister Rosetta TharpeNicole MitchellMilford GravesJulius HemphillCharles MingusHerbie Nichols. Their confrontational rhythm sends her soul leaping, connecting her back to her clubheadheart.

With Mavin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” as a template, Fay started thinking about how her solo album might unfold. She sang, played keyboards, added textures and further dimensions with no other humans, without electronics. That was her process. Thoroughly creative, composed with music and words straight from her spirit.

CREDITS

Fay Victor SOLO
Voice, Compositions, Nord 4 Keyboard + Processing
Recorded on July 30-31, 2022 by Chris Weiss 
for Northern Spy Records
at Birdwatcher Studios, Big Indian, NY 

photo by Deneka Peniston

As some of you know, composing on my own is a recent phenomenon for me. I began in earnest around 2014 and thanks to Amy Bormet inviting me as a special guest in 2015 on her wonderful Washington Women in Jazz Festival, commissioning me to write a piece for her group. the piece I composed, “In The Flow” received incredible feedback and that response kept me writing on my own although I had few opportunities to present the music that was beginning to emerge. This music was new and different from the music I was performing at the time. My writing varied instrumentations, approaches and structure – just based on what I thought might sound great together. I was excited for this new direction, deciding to just write, learn and study. Yet there was a moment when I wanted to know what this music would sound like in the hands of other humans. How would these explorations ever be heard? In 2018, I was invited to be a Yaddo resident as a Herb Albert Fellow in Composition and wrote a large work devoted to my mother, called ‘Faith, The Gift”. I was thrilled about this opportunity, how that six-week stay allowed me the space to write about my mother, and mourn her death properly for the first time. I’ve YET to present that large scale work. Like I said so few opportunities to present the music I was writing. But these last few years things have opened up, portions of my Mutations for Justice project has been performed as well as the pieces I’ve written for SoundNoiseFUNK. This year though the opportunities have started to come even more!

I closed out March 2022 performing a pared down Mutations for Justice set at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (with bassist Luke Stewart and violist Melanie Dyer), just before a talk with Larry Blumenfeld of Trauma and Healing – What Does Healing Sound Like? Which also included musician and music therapist Noa Fort. At the Stone in early April, I presented different groups each night, where I could share my writing with audiences for the first time, especially the trio with bass guitarists Melvin Gibbs and Tim Dahl and the Black Poems performance, where I composed in a new way for me – sharing composed motives inside a tapestry score of poems, cues and other information for the amazing crew of Angelica Sanchez (piano), William Parker (bass) and Lesley Mok (drums). Fantastic to get to delve deeper into the works I composed for voice/bassoon with Rebekah Heller! Then recording a collective project based on James Baldwin’s novel, Another Country where we all contributed a composition to the mix with Dave Douglas (trumpet), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Patricia Brennan (vibes), Darius Jones (alto sax) and yours truly. April ended at Bang on a Can’s Long Play Festival, getting to share the compositions I’ve written for FLUTTER, with Nicole Mitchell for flute, electronics & voice. It feels like my writing is finally finding the spaces to be heard and I am just so grateful and looking forward to more ways to get my composing voice out there into the world.

Next week Thursday – May 26, 2022 – is a really a BIG deal for me. In September 2021, I joined the esteemed new music ensemble, the International Contemporary Ensemble. What an amazing connection of my practice with all of the absolutely amazing and groundbreaking work that they do. I couldn’t be happier with the work and with my colleagues! As an ensemble member, we all get the possibility to perform works curated by the Ensemble (for example, this past weekend the Ensemble took part in a three-day residency at Brown University including a final performance of works by student composers and a work by George Lewis).

Ensemble members can also present works of our own to be performed. On May 26th, my piece Sirens and Silences premieres at Roulette alongside works of Kate Gentile and Peter Evans. This is the first time I will present a composed work of mine that I am not performing on at all but I will conduct. Sirens and Silences is a ‘memory document’ composition, created to reflect a specific, space, place and time: New York City from April-May 2020 when New York was the epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic, the global ground zero for the burgeoning pandemic.

It would mean everything it you could be there! Thank you to the International Contemporary Ensemble for representing these works, to the Jazz Coalition for Commissioning Sirens & Silences and the amazing players that will perform Sirens & Silences: Mazz Swift (violin); Marika Hughes (cello); Kalia Vandever (trombone); Patrick Holmes (clarinet).

Purchase tickets here and learn more here: https://roulette.org/…/international-contemporary…/

Thank you for reading this long-ass post of gratitude. I’m trying to spread Black Joy y’all, as long as I’m alive I will do what I can to spread Black JOY! Much love and light to you all. 💃🏽✊🏾🙏🏾❤️

Photo by Deneka Peniston! #steppingout

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Didn’t know if I or you would make it here, especially those of us here in these United States. So I am grateful to be here still and in full acknowledgment of how many are not here now. I am grateful that you are here too and let’s continue to do all we can to see the other side of this damn pandemic. Being able to tell the stories of how it was to LIVE through. This is my New Year’s wish for us all.

One thing that’s drastically changed too is I’m not posting as much here, I’ve gotten downright insular. I’ve moved my more interactive online life to Patreon – where I’m giving talks and sharing all sorts of stuff not seen anywhere else. Even on the FV website, for now – which will remain a storehouse for keeping up on gigs and general announcements, but the nitty gritty is happening at Patreon – perhaps you’ll join me there!  

See, here is the thing. As monetary options are drying up for us artists, a place like Patreon helps us get and feel supported.  Many of us just give everything away online. No company is looking out for us as streaming music options proliferate more – thank goddess for BandCamp!  Please feel free to join me there. www.patreon.com/freesongsinger

First Gig of 2021

Arts for Art Online_Salon
THURS, JANUARY 7th at 8PM performance/ONE SET + Q&A
Fay Victor’s Chamber Trio
Fay Victor – voice, compositions
Darius Jones – alto sax
Marika Hughes – cello
https://www.artsforart.org/onlinesalon.html

Year End News for ‘We’ve Had Enough’

Will Layman over at Popmatters.com chose SoundNoiseFUNK’s WE’VE HAD ENOUGH as one of the top 20 jazz albums of the 2020. Wow and thank you!

“If Abby Lincoln were around during the last four years, I think she would sound something like Fay Victor, who is a pure jazz singer who happens to have freed herself of anything that might hold her back from total creativity. This is yet another “second recording” by a wonderful band, with Joe Morris on guitar, Same Newsome’s winsome soprano saxophone, and Reggie Nicholson on drums. “What’s Gone Wrong?” repeats the title phrase against a layered groove that grooves in a sophisticated way, setting up a simple counter-melody initiated by Victor and picked up by Morris. In contrast, “Ritual” and “I.M. Peach” are wordless and more abstract. But the genius of this date is that so much of it is filled with joy in the face of outrage. Fay and her band are always light on their feet, playing with each other—really playing. Victor improvises with lyrics as well as notes, often addressing politics, but even when she is singing “no air” in a song about climate destruction you are drawn in by the artful play of the band.”

—Will Layman
https://www.popmatters.com/best-jazz-albums-2020-2649470008.html

Thanks to Jim Macnie for choosing SoundNoiseFUNK’s WE’VE HAD ENOUGH as one of the top 20 jazz albums of the 2020 as well on his amazing blog, Lament for A Straight Line, link here:

SoundNoiseFUNK will have a CD release show – remember those? Thanks to the amazing people at Roulette, we’ll perform a streaming concert from Roulette on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2021, thrilled to make music with Joe Morris, Reggie Nicholson and Sam Newsome once more. We haven’t played since the pandemic, looking forward to celebrate the release of We’ve Had Enough in person and that you’ll join us. The show is already UP (check link here) on the Roulette website.
https://roulette.org/event/fay-victor-album-release-for-soundnoisefunks-weve-had-enough/

OVERCOME by Dave Douglas!

Another release from 2020 was a remote recording of a project with famed trumpeter, composer and bandleader Dave Douglas. It was a wonderful experiment and joy to be a part of this amazing recording. Thank you Dave for asking me to be a part and work with these wonderful musicians like Ryan Kerberle, Jorge Roeder, Camila Meza, Rudy Royston and Dave Douglas of course. The album, a digital-only release on December 4th has already garnered great praise from Rolling Stone, NPR and more. Learn more about this project through Greenleaf Music: https://greenleafmusic.com/overcome-by-dave-douglas-featured-on-npr-morning-edition/

Thank you for reading! Fay

Closed on 2020 on the beach of Newport, RI. A great way to see the waves take out 2020 faaaaaaaar out to sea.
❤️

Greetings to you! It’s been sometime since I’ve connected on the site. It’s been a super intense Fall for all the reasons these times are intense for us all.

Thankfully, we’ve made it past Election Day 2020. WHATS??!! Stress induced days leading up to November 3rd including being part of a great work by musician and composer Darius Jones entitled We Can Save The Country just the day before. I present a small portion of my Mutations of Justice work earlier in October, a work that’s been chronicling the Trump administration since 2017. Look out for a new & dedicated website page devoted to that project coming shortly! Finally, I got to perform an amazing improvised Blues duo with guitarist Marc Ribot the day after Election Day – just the medicine we all needed that day.


Album Cover by Fay Victor/Jochem van Dijk

Personally, THE most important NEWS to share is I have a NEW record out! My latest album with SoundNoiseFUNK is OUT (Esp-Disk) called WE’VE HAD ENOUGH! Released at the end of October 2020, our new record goes into fresh improvisational territory compositionally and emotionally.  Nate Chinen selected one composition entitled “What’s Gon’ Wrong?” for his Election Day Special Playlist that included music by Dave Douglas, Wynton Marsalis & Khalil El’Zabar. Deep gratitude to Sam Newsome, Joe Morris and Reggie Nicholson for their amazing contributions to the music and to the connection we have as a band. Link via BANDCAMP

“Fay Victor is a vocalist and composer with a proud history of social commentary, and a fearless commitment to discovery. In her working ensemble SoundNoiseFUNK, she engages fully with an outright all-star team: soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome, guitarist Joe Morris and drummer Reggie Nicholson. Their second album, just out on ESP-Disk is plainly titled We’ve Had Enough. “What’s Gone Wrong” is an impassioned lament that finds Victor repeating its title phrase, along with a secondary clause (“…with the world?”). There is despair in her rhetorical question, which doesn’t seem to expect an answer — but there’s also clear determination in the way Victor and her improvising partners work through their development. Without putting words in their mouth, I’d suggest that their cohesive oneness is one answer to another open question: what’s going right?”

Sharp Visions of America by Wynton Marsalis, Kahil El’Zabar, Fay Victor and Dave Douglas by Nate Chinen (WBGO Election Day Special Playlist)

https://www.wbgo.org/post/sharp-visions-america-wynton-marsalis-kahil-elzabar-fay-victor-and-dave-douglas#stream/0

Tomorrow (11.14.2020) I’m presenting a video as part of the Jazz Gallery LockDown Sessions along with musicians John Ellis, Kweku Sumbry & Matt Stevens via Live Stream. Learn how to sign on and more on JG website. Thank you Rio for doing what you can to keep artists creative and working during this time. www.jazzgallery.org

NYC is on the uptick with Covid -19 cases, even after the Election, this tension surrounds us as the the death toll mounts. In these last few months since I’ve posted here I’ve been working more than I ever have and I welcome the distraction. Then some days it’s just too much. I try to find the balance, aiming to stay creative and active in ways that are healthy and safe. Trying to listen more deeply to myself and everyone else that I can. Trying to keep going when I can, grateful to have what I need. Please share here how you’ve been coping. I’d love to hear from you and know.The main thing I found is not to be too hard on oneself for not doing or being whatever we thought we should be.

What I want more than anything is to meet and play with friends in person again.  Hug people I haven’t seen in months then throw a big party to celebrate life.  Someday soon. Wishing you much love, health and safety until the next time.

✊?❤️??
Fay

FV at the 55BAR in New York City, where she’s held a monthly residency since 2012. Truly missing performing in that space. Photo by Kyra Kverno

Sending greetings of love, safety and solidarity. I wish that you view this post through healthy eyes that are safe. Grateful to share that my family is healthy and safe as of now. Hard to describe these times but to say that they are turbulent and troubling. So many of us do not feel safe.

I am soul searching right now, looking inward and coming across difficult questions and answers. Processing all that has gone down these past 12 weeks of self-isolation. 

12 weeks y’all.

One inspiration is seeing absolute and resolute outrage that the killing of George Floyd all whose lives have been snuffed out by the police have spawned. Non-stop protests around the world.  The Pope even said George Floyd’s name. Suppressed people around the world have stood up. It’s an amazing thing to see, it’s forcing change and that occupant in the white house looks more like the anachronistic prop he really is. Like a hollowed out Andrew Jackson screaming into the wind…

If you can, please donate what you can to these organizations.  People are starving and jailed protesters need to be let out asap.  We’re still in a pandemic, we still need to stay safe. Jailed protesters are being thrown into cramped cells and easy way to spread the Coronavirus. If you want to help those protesting for racial, gender and trans equity – you may consider these places for your hard earned money to go. Thank you for considering.

The Anti-Racist Fund: https://antiracismfund.org/
Black Voters Matter: https://www.blackvotersmatterfund.org/
The Bail Project: www.bailproject.org
The Movement for Black Lives: https://m4bl.org/about-us/
Black Lives Matter Global Network: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/brooklyn-community-bail-fund-inc/let-my-people-go

Patreon

I started a Patreon page. Oh Yes. as the the online universe opens up for shows, workshops and you name it – I found myself doing a few performances that were fun, some were even fulfilling.  Yet, as a concert in person seems further and further into the future, I’m going to develop my solo performance voice for starters through my brand spanking new Patreon page.  There will be more and when the time is right – I’ll do a proper launch. Still, check it out, look around and let me know your thoughts. I look forward to developing tone of content through that channel, looking forward to seeing some of you there. 
Here is the link: https://www.patreon.com/freesongsinger

New performances & workshops

June 21, 2020 – 3PM PDT/6PM EDTONLINE via YOUTUBE LIVE
Doing my talk EXPERIMENTS IN COMMUNICATING MESSAGE for the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of British Columbia, and in collaboration with Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, Western Front.  Talk will be about 45 mins with 15 minutes for questions. I feel at this critical moment, artists may want to know how to crystallize what they need to say through their art. Using myself, the great Bob Marley and more as examples of artists clear on what they want to communicate and how that process brings clarity to their artistic output.

July 8, 2020 – 1PM EDTONLINE
Creative Improvisation Workshop through LIVE from our Livingrooms. As part of their Creative Summit & Fundraiser, I’ll give a workshop on Creative Improvisation omg July 8th at 1PM EDT online. 

July 30, 2020 7PM EDTONLINE
FIRST Monthly Concert through Patreon – Happy Birthday to me.
This year – I’ll being saying Happy Birthday, giving a social distancing show from home on the same day the annual birthday hang would have been at the 55BAR. I hope you will stop by and raise a glass with me. We can all use something to celebrate. Further details about this show in early July.

August 9, 2020 at 4:40PMONLINE
Performing a concert presented by One Breathe Rising, the concert will focus on the beauty and glory of Black Lives.

Thank you for reading. Wishing you all peace, strength, health and love. People that have been kept down too long are fed up and tired. Whatever else is wrong with this country at this time, we still have the right to protest the government that is supposed to serve us. Every American has the right to lift our voices and state our needs plain.  Human rights over property rights. Hearts and souls are hurting, some are dying. May all who read this post have what you need to keep going. Stay safe!

I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for us all.
In solidarity,
Fay

Hey there from FV’s quarantine central headquarters 🙂

Happy quarantine greetings.

Simply the strangest of times I’ve ever experienced in my life. Home in Brooklyn with my husband and so far – we are healthy, safe and keeping sane. I lost all my booked events but my work as an educator keeps going on and my husband is still employed so far. So we’re home going through this time in surreal motion. Keeping updated on the news, enclosed in a bubble on the hot seat. Venturing outside to shop or just plain take a walk can feel like traversing a minefield. careful of every step, watching your fellow pedestrian like a predator, keen on where they’ll go next.  Unsure of how they’ll interpret safe distancing. Sad to treat people like pariahs. Then there are the numbers. Constantly rising, nameless. Knowing that each is a name that had a family, friends, passions, demons, a job…a life.

Last week was especially hard.  Losing strong musical voices, forces with so much left to say was unbearable. Then a family member contracted the virus and was hospitalized for six days.  Covid-19 hit home and I was more afraid for their life than I dared to admit.  Gratefully, they have recovered now and back home.

We are fortunate.  I have not had to get on a subway for 4 weeks.  We have what we need to survive.  Balancing gratitude and fear.

I share this with you because I feel it’s important to be honest about what this feels real in this time, in acknowledgement that what we’re living through is a unique experience, bearing no precedent in my lifetime.  Or anyone else I know. Still important to share how hard it is, even when there is MUCH to be grateful for. We were not prepared for this moment, we could not know how we’d feel.  Much to sort out, on top of making sure you can survive.

I also want you to know of something fun + awesome coming UP!
On THURS APR 16, 2020, I’ll perform a solo concert online in a double bill with Caroline Davis. How cool is that?
INPUT/OUTPUT Magazine presents: Dinner and A Show!
Hosted by Magdalena Abrego
With guest performances by Caroline Davis and FV
I/O Magazine presents delicious recipes and live music in this new Instagram Live event series.

*PRESENTED LIVE ON INSTAGRAM @INPUTOUTPUTMAG*
KALE ME MAYBE Schedule of events
5:30-6:00 p.m. Cooking Kale Nachos w/ Magdalena Abrego (Recipe TBA)
6:00-6:30 p.m. Caroline Davis performs
6:30-7:00 p.m. Fay Victor performs
* TUNE IN ON INSTAGRAM @INPUTOUTPUTMAG *

*Donations will be collected for the performers via Venmo: @magdalenaaa or PayPal : maa.abrego@gmail.com — 100% of the revenue goes directly to the performers!
INPUT/OUTPUT is a platform dedicated to supporting women and non-binary individuals working in avant-garde, improvised, and experimental music communities in the United States.

ONLINE TEACHING? YES!

Just a quick note that to share that if anyone is interested in online lessons for vocal technique & performance, composition or improvisation – please get in touch! I’ve been teaching online at the New School, developing new skills to teach online more effectively. So get in touch if you’re interested and we’ll take it from there. Looking forward to hearing from you and maybe working together online. Would be so nice.

I’m sending out well wishes to you all – wishing safety and health for your loved ones.  Hang in there and keep in touch! Not sure how long we’ll be in this space, but I will post and reach out regularly to see how everyone is doing. We will move past this, despite the horrific response from the current administration. In the meantime, let’s stay inside so we can all live to meet on the other side of this moment.

Love,
Fay

FV at home and having a good time! Photo: Kyra Kverno

Dear Friends and Music lovers everywhere,

No matter who you are, these are tough and trying times. As a New Yorker based in Brooklyn, I’m effectively living in a city under ‘voluntary lockdown’. Empty streets and safe distances are the norm now. We all expect it rules of engagement to get more stringent until we flatten the curve, as they say. I’m concerned for friends and family around the world and for the past week, as the cascading sounds of ‘CANCEL’ and ‘Social Distance’ have reverberated throughout out the communities I’m part of, I too have been laying low. Going out when necessary and just hunkering down. I slightly mourn my lost freedom yet I’d prefer that to getting infected myself or what concerns me most of all – giving it to someone that may not survive it. I take consolation that so far, so good – my husband and I and our housemates are OK. Grateful to live in a house at this moment, little need to worry about who may or may not be coming here. With some space, isolation is easier to bear as well.

It feels like a time to go inside, think about what’s important. Who’s important? Who do we need to keep in contact with? Who and what do we value? How many records, books or movies can I finally catch up on because of the luxury of time – for a little while. What courses can I take? How can I go even deeper into my vocal, musical, compositional practice? What can I do to help others at this time? Here are some links below to helpful places to start if you’re an artist that’s lost work, need funds and more. I lost a bunch of work (as you can see from my GIGS page) but I should be OK if the shedding is short-lived. I do worry about my peers.

If you can though, and if this time is survivable for you – try to find solace in the quiet spaces and discover or revisit passions, desires and all the things that bring you joy. Provided I and those I’m close to stay healthy, that’s one of my goals at this time.

To RENEW my JOY!

COVID-19 ARTIST RESOURCES

Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, and Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

CoronaVirus is our Future

NYC Covid-19 Musician Support & Resources

Corona Relief Fund application

The BARN SONGS Tour, The ExPosure Series (Chicago) & The STONE are CANCELLED

Wishing everyone the best of health, sanity and safety in these very strange and turbulent times. Much love and wellness to you and yours. Until we meet again!
Fay

FV Chamber Trio for BARN SONGS (Marika Hughes, FV, Darius Jones) by Jochem van Dijk

Here we are at the beginning of March 2020 already.  It seems like just last week I was saying Happy New Year to many of you! Here’s hoping you’re well and adjusting to this vibrant, dynamic and crazy world we are living through at this time. The feeling of deep chaos is swirling around, there’s so much pain as well. Yet there is great hope and the desire to fight for a better world. All around the world people are trying the best way they know how to fight for themselves and the greater ‘we’. I’m not quite sure what to think of this moment but it keeps me on my toes. I’m also better focused on what I can do to help create the world I want to see.  Connecting with many of you and others through music in this moment means so much more than it ever has.  Life and sharing are precious things.  I’m figuring out how to do more of the latter. Sending healing strength and love to you all.

This March I’m looking forward to sharing the music of BARN SONGS with many new faces and friends as we hot the road for shows in Newburgh, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL…with a big old CD release party at Joe’s Pub here in New York City. Thrilled to be able to take the great Darius Jones (alto sax) and Marika Hughes (cello) along for the ride. It just wouldn’t be the same without them! You can still purchase BARN SONGS via bandcamp and the Northern Spy website for starters. The BARN SONGS Tour ends in Chicago where I’ll stay on, honored to be a part of this year’s Exposure Series. In addition to the BARN SONGS Show, I’ll perform three more nights in different configurations. Excited. Just excited for it all.

Celebrating BARN SONGS!
Fay Victor Chamber Trio Tour
Fay Victor – voice, compositions
Marika Hughes – cello
Darius Jones -alto saxophone

WHEN/WHERE?
SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2020
8PM

Celebrating BARN SONGS
Jazz @ Atlas Studios
11 Spring Street
Newburgh, NY
Admission will be $20 in advance and $25 at the door
advance tickets are on sale now at https://fayvictor.brownpapertickets.com.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020
NYC CD RELEASE for BARN SONGS!

JOE’S PUB
7PM – ONE SET ONLY
425 Lafayette Street (at Astor Place) 
New York, NY 10003
$15 advance / $20 at the door
https://publictheater.org/productions/joes-pub/2020/f/fay-victor-chamber-trio-barn-songs-cd-release/
There is a 2 drink or $12 food minimum, per person, during every show at Joe’s Pub.

SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2020
Fay Victor Chamber Trio

Celebrating BARN SONGS
Community Educational Center (CEC)
3500 Lancaster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
8PM
Ticket Price: $20
–Please check www.fayvictor.com for more info

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 2020
The Fay Victor  Chamber Trio
Celebrating BARN SONGS

8PM
The Sugar Maple
441 E Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
http://mysugarmaple.com/events/fay-victor-trio/

Celebrating BARN SONGS Tour Poster by Bill Mazza

THURSDAY, MARCH 26 2020
FAY VICTOR Chamber Trio
|
Celebrating BARN SONGS
Elastic Arts
3429 W Diversey Ave, 2nd Fl
Chicago, IL 60647 USA

Fay Victor – vocals & compositions
Marika Hughes – cello
Darius Jones – alto saxophone
9 PM : Performance; 10:30 PM : Discussion w/the artists
https://elasticarts.org/event/exposure-series-2020-fay-victors-barn-songs/
This performance is part of the ExPosure Series, where Fay Victor has been one of 3 special guests and will stay on in Chicago after the end of the Barn Songs tour.

FV continuing on in Chicago as part of the ExPosure Series 2020:
FRIDAY, March 27 2020

9PM VICTOR/REED DUO
FV – voice, sounds
Mike Reed – drums

SATURDAY March 28, 2020
11 PM : VICTOR/OTIS/WING/MCBRIDE/RA
FV – voice, sounds
Julian Otis – vocals
Alex Wing – guitar/oud
Nate McBride – bass
Avreeayl Ra – percussion

SUNDAY March 29, 2020
9 PM : VICTOR/”MADAS”/MCBRIDE
FV – voice, sounds
“Maya Madas” – piano
Nate McBride – bass
The Hungry Brain – 2319 W. Belmont Ave.
https://elasticarts.org/events/

Creative Improv Sessions start SUNDAY, March 15 2020

Sure hope to see you out there in these great spaces in the groovy places such as Upstate NY, Philadelphia (PA), Milwaukee (WI) and Chicago, IL! Kindly spread the word. Thank you! Thanks for reading and catching on the month’s performances.
**John Pietaro at the New York Jazz Record had some nice words for BARN SONGS in his review:
Her uncanny ability to compose, shred and reconstruct haunting melodies is heard anew on this latest work, recorded by her Chamber Trio in a barn 160 miles north of the city. The outcome is arguably spiritual. With nary an effect standing between her voice, the cello of Marika Hughes and alto saxophone of Darius Jones, Victor begets an alluringly beautiful set of original improvisational works (composed in tandem with partner Jochem van Dijk) capturing equally the traditions of lieder, chamber jazz and African American art song.”
Check this and more in the new issue of the NYC Jazz Record: http://www.nycjazzrecord.com/

On a final note – for all you budding improvisors out there, I’m starting a new initiative called the Creative Improv Sessions. Simple really. we’ll get together once a month for a couple hours just to improvise and deepen our practice. I’ll guide if you come. Need four vocalists to run a session as a minimum. First Session is Sunday, March 15, 2020, please email me at lessons@fayvictor.com to sign-up!

Take care out there,
Fay