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

Herbie Nichols SUNG as part of FV’s curated week at the Stone at the top of 2019, celebrating 100th birthday of Herbie Nichols…photo: Carlos Alberto Murrat

Happy 2019 dear friends!!

All the best wishes for this and every year.

Thank you and much love to all the musicians, students and friends that were a major part of my music making life in 2018. It was a transforming year for me starting the year as a Yaddo Fellow for 6 weeks that changed my artistic mindset completely. Seriously.  Those 6 weeks exposed me to some of the most brilliant artists I ever encountered in any discipline. The constant talks about process and development forced me to take a good look at how I viewed my own work as musician. I’ve spent the rest of 2018 ingesting these new perspectives, a true mind shift for me.

I upped my teaching game in – I taught more courses on Creative Improvisation and Improvising Strategies for Songwriters (w hubby Jochem van Dijk) and was a guest lecturer at Banff for the first time, I also continued to run the Jazz Vocal Summit at the New York Workshop for the 8th year in a row.

The We Have Voice Collective truly blossomed in 2018 (We started at the end of 2017) with the release of our Code of Conduct for the Performing Arts that created a wonderful flurry of discussion and discourse around sexual harassment and bullying within our performing arts community. This is the most amazing group of powerful women and non-gender conforming artists that I’ve ever had the honor of being a part of.  I’m in awe of them as individuals and the dedication they have shown to this Collective and to the cause.

2018 was an amazing year for album releases! Grateful to have been a guest on guitarist Marc Ribot’s Songs of Resistance Project alongside powerhouses such as Tom Waits, Steve Earle and Meshell Ndegeocello, I’m also singing on the brilliant composer/flutist Nicole Mitchell’s Maroon Cloud with Tomeka Reid & Aruan Ortiz in the mix.

After 5 years of no project out under my own name, I released Wet Robots on ESP Disk with my ridiculously incredible group SoundNoiseFUNK. Grateful that Wet Robots made some waves (including 4.5 stars in DownBeat magazine, being in the DB HotBox for the first time, a feature in a Norwegian newspaper and great reviews & words and outlets such as Popmatters, JazzTimes, The New York Times….and #4 on the Jazz Critics Poll for 2018 (tied with Kurt Elling) Wow!! I was floored by the attention the album received, and grateful.

I went back into the studio in 2018 (well a barn-like studio as it were) Upstate NY in September to record Barnsongs, Old & New and working on releasing that in 2019. A combination of old and new compositions of mine and Jochem van Dijk’s reconfigured for voice, alto saxophone (Darius Jones) and cello (Marika Hughes).

Last and not least by far – health became a focal point for me in 2018.  Had a health scare that required a major operation and an 8 week recovery just before Summer began. I’m OK now, absolutely fine. Although it was was tough and difficult to go through. Yet, there was an abundance of beauty too. So much love and community came to the fore, a deep trust that all would be OK prevailed. People showed up and showed who they were.  I learned about love in a deeper way than I understood it before. I don’t want to go through something like this again but I learned from it and I’m here! And the ultimate lesson I learned about myself… to quote a title from Marc Ribot’s Songs of Resistance album ”I ain’t gonna let nothing turn me around” for long.

Much love, make this a special 2019.

Fay