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Fay Victor

Brooklyn, NY         

Fay Victor/Vocalist, Lyricist, Composer, Educator

Vocalist/composer Fay Victor, called “artistically complete” by the New York Times and “a thrilling improviser” by Downbeat magazine, consistently hones a unique vision of the vocalist’s role in jazz and improvised music. Victor’s eight critically acclaimed recordings as a leader since the late 90’s has seen praise in venerable media outlets such as Downbeat, JazzTimes, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, The Wire, Signal to Noise, The San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out Chicago, The Chicago Reader, The New York City Jazz Record and JazzWise (UK) including Victor’s long standing group, the Fay Victor Ensemble, a mix of jazz, rock, blues, new music and free improvisation releasing three albums to huge critical acclaim. 

In addition to Victor’s band-leading projects, her voice has attracted esteemed ensembles such as Other Dimensions in Music (ODIM), the perennial free jazz outfit joined forces with Victor for 2011’s Kaiso Stories (Silkheart Records in 2011), lauded for its impressive fusion of calypso with free jazz. The longstanding Dutch outfit, the Instant Composer’s Pool Orkest aka ICP led by Misha Mengelberg/Han Bennink invited Victor to tour with them on a number of occasions both in the US and in Europe.  Victor was one of the 12 vocalists on Trillium E (New Braxton Records 2011) with Anthony Braxton’s Tr-Centric Orchestra and Trillium J during the four-day Braxtonian Festival in 2011. Dutch reedist Ab Baars invited Victor and french horn hero Vincent Chancey to celebrate 20 years with his esteemed trio in 2011. That work is contained on The Invisible Blow (Stichting Wig 2014). Also in 2014, Victor was given a presenting commission from the Tricentric Foundation for Neighborhood Dynamics (co-composed with Jochem van Dijk) and presented during the TriCentric Festival. Victor’s work with esteemed trombonist Roswell Rudd has seen a deeper connection appearing first on his 2014 Trombone for Lovers singing “Trouble in Mind”, now appearing on every track of Embrace (RareNoise 2017), a project of re-imagined standards. Finally, Victor has a voice/percussion/piano duo with MacArthur genius grant recipient, professor and composer/multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey, Moreover, Victor has performed/collaborated  luminaries such as Wadada Leo Smith, Marshall Allen (Sun Ra), Dr. Randy Weston, Archie Shepp, William Parker, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Gary Lucas, Dave Burrell, Henry Threadgill, Marc Ribot, Andrew Cyrille, Sam Newsome, Darius Jones, Anthony Coleman, Nicole Mitchell, Aruan Ortiz, Joe Morris, Vijay Iyer, Myra Melford, Matana Roberts, Mark Dresser, Steven Bernstein, Marika Hughes, Mazz Swift, Marty Ehrlich, Melvin Gibbs, Henry Butler and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

A riveting performer, Victor has graced stages around the world. Some highlights: BAMCafe Live, The Stone, Firehouse 12 (New Haven), The Bimhuis (The Netherlands),  Koln Philharmonie (Germany), Nardis (Turkey), De Loft (Koln), The Jazz Standard, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, The 55 Bar (monthly residency for over 5 years), Vision Festival XV, XVI, XVIV, XXI, The ArtActs Festival (Austria), New Frequencies Festival (San Francisco) to name but a few. Victor was a MusicOmi Fellow in 2010 and in 2018 will become an Alpert/Yaddo Fellow, attending a six week Music Composition residency at Yadoo to write a large work about the life of her mother.

Learn more about Fay Victor’s performances, recordings, writings and teaching at www.fayvictor.com

Big Bag

Original composition of Fay Victor and Jochem van Dijk and featured on the upcoming (and third) release of Victor’s all original music group, the Fay Victor Ensemble entitled ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH.

BIG BAG is a coy reference to the freedom of having a big bag and hiding secrets in plain site not to mention how long one can be away without notice. Featuring Anders Nilsson – guitar and Ken Filiano – double bass.

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Lonely Woman – In Praise of Ornette

A sample of Fay Victor’s Ornette Coleman project called In Praise of Ornette that includes alto saxophonist Darius Jones, double bassist Sean Conly, and Ornette Coleman alum Kenny Wessel on guitar. This was recorded in 2015 in Harlem, NY.

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Maryanne Revisited

In 2011, Fay Victor collaborated with one of the most celebrated and longest running free jazz outfits in all of jazz, Other Dimensions in Music to create KAISO STORIES for the Swedish Label Silkheart Records. The project focused on lyrics of classic calypsos (by artists such The Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Chalkdust, Roaring Lion a.o) that were free interpreted with by the group. Featured here is a take on the classic calypso ‘Maryanne’.

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