Born: July 26 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
In command, infectious, energetic and strong: Fay Victor hypnotizes audiences, whether she sings a blues, sculpts a free improvisation piece, reinvents a Herbie Nichols tune through her own lyrics, or effortlessly scats over the harmonies of a jazz standard. Her musicality is deft and the words (usually hers) speak of universal themes with the focus of a story-teller, running the full gamut of human emotion in an original mix of traditional song forms and free improvisation.
At the beginning of the nineties, Ms. Victor began building a name as a jazz vocalist around NY performing primarily jazz standards and blues. After navigating the city clubs for a few years and having formed her first working trio, Victor needed a fresh start and more work and followed the call the Europe. Victor made Amsterdam, the Netherlands her home, living in that city for nearly 8 years. The experience was a fruitful one. Victor used this time to study and hone her distinctive sound, her ear and widen her musical horizons that made the transition from a singer of standards to the unique vocal artist she has become today, a vocalist coming from the jazz tradition as a basis for improvising in the sense of Ornette Coleman/late Coltrane and beyond contrasted by an earthy soulfulness expressed through originals that offer taut construction and witty lyrics. Ms Victor voice and approach is about embracing the gamut of musical expression in an effortless way and talking about the small details that mean so much to so many.
Victor returned home to New York City in 2003 and since then has been one of the most active vocalist on the scene, stretching her voice around the city, touting her groups into clubs, constantly developing new material and forging new collaborations that are taking her as far away as Moscow, Russia.
Victor has appeared at venues/festivals including BAMCafe Live, Het Bimhuis (Amsterdam), The Stone, Roulette/Location One, Zebulon, Poklad (Gdynia), Galapagos Art Space, Barbes, CBGB’s, The Vision Festival Series, Cornelia Street Café, Tonic, the 55 Bar, The HOWL Festival, River to River Festival and GRIM Winter Nights Festival (Marseille, FR). Victor has performed with such notables as Odetta, Gloria Lynne, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Misha Mengelberg, Roswell Rudd, Gary Lucas, Tyshawn Sorey, Connie Crothers, Matana Roberts, Vijay Iyer, Michael Attias, Michael Moore, Duck Baker and Steve Coleman.
Awards:Praise for The FreeSong Suite *The Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll 2009**4th in the Best Jazz Vocals Category** *AllAboutJazz-NewYork’s Best of 2009**Best Vocal Releases** *The Jazz Session's Jason Crane’s Top 10 of 2009 �" The FreeSong Suite was Jason’s TOP Pick for the Year *NPR Jazz: Ten Great Moments from Jazz Recordings in 2009 *PopMatters.com: The Best Jazz of 2009 *Laurence Donohue-Greene’s Top 10+ of 2009 *Elzy Kolb: A Few Of My Favorite Things in 2009 *CKUT Jazz Director’s Top 20 list *Délire Actuel 2009 Demanding Music Top 30
“Victor’s soulful, emotive delivery combines with avant-tinged invention, placing her alongside great vocal innovators like Betty Carter, Jeanne Lee, Sheila Jordan…a truly creative singer with the chops to accomplish whatever she wants, but the good taste to ensure that substance always trumps style…The Freesong Suite is a vocal album that stands well above the pack; a welcome respite from the unwieldy preponderance of unimaginative vocal jazz albums hitting the market.” -John Kelman, allaboutjazz.com
“The Fay Victor Ensemble’s The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue, 2009) is a tour de force of writing, improvisation and performance. Victor and her band paint one fluid word picture after another, linking these composed sections with free playing that is smart, muscular and emotional. From free improv to the blues to alt-rock and back again, The FreeSong Suite is easily one of my top 10 records of 2009.” -Jason Crane, The Jazz Session
“Victor scats, vocalizes, chips, mumbles and sings bluesy chromatics or angular displays of dexterity, delivering the unexpected with beauty, depth and innovation.” -Wilbur MacKenzie, All About Jazz-New York
“One of the most interesting voices to have emerged in recent years…always manages magically to be herself and to propose a music that looks forward cleverly mixing elements from past and present.” -Mauritzio Comandini, All About Jazz: Italia
“Victor has the chops, the phrasing, the band and the courage to make contemporary music that references contemporary culture and materials that range from Carter to Berberian to Sun Ra to Hendrix. This is sheer, unadulterated brilliance. Buy it!” - Nilan Perera, Exclaim.ca, Canada’s Music Authority
Willing to teach: