Fay Victor Ensemble

Brooklyn, NY United States

The Fay Victor Ensemble
Genres:Jazz - JazzPop/Light Jazz
Bio: The Fay Victor Ensemble

Fay Victor-voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson-guitar
Ken Filiano-bass, effects
Michael TA Thompson-drums

The Fay Victor Ensemble is a voice-guitar-bass-drum unit that performs original material which in many cases provide structure for free improvisational flight; each member contributing equally to proceedings. No divas walking around here. That’s the idea.

The Ensemble’s first recording entitled “CARTWHEELS THROUGH THE COSMOS,” was released on January 2, 2007 on the ArtistShare label. It is an ambitious and adventurous project that oversteps and redefines the boundaries of what a jazz-singer is. It combines the thoughtfulness of observant lyric-writing, the excitement of improvising, and the structure of solid composing, captivating the listener with cinematic, story-driven pieces. Most of all, it brings you Fay Victor as Fay Victor: a confident singer and bandleader, who observes the condition humaine with verve, humor and wit.

Some comments on CARTWHEELS so far:

"It's a borderless, cacophonous, in-your-face experiment in tone poetry and free-form expression. It's tough. It's gutsy. It's brilliant."
--Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

"Complex, ambitious record…we can add Victor to the Betty Carter family of jazz singers, if we could find anyone else to fill out a family." (A-)
--Tom Hull, Village Voice

"...actually stretches the definition of jazz vocals” --JazzWise, UK

"Victor is the traffic director of a group methodology that surges into the interstellar regions of sound." --Glenn Astarita, allaboutjazz.com

"Taking jazz singing forward with a unique form of expression, Fay Victor delivers with authority. She reaches out with open arms to celebrate the freedom that comes with singing what you feel." --Jim Santella, Cadence

"CARTWHEELS THROUGH THE COSMOS is that rarity amongst contemporary vocal jazz releases: an album that doesn’t rely on a tired repertoire and looks, instead, for innovation in every corner. The beauty of Victor…is her blending of soulful delivery with avant-garde tactics. Her fearless exploration of a myriad of musical nexus points makes Cartwheels Through the Cosmos an album for those who normally stay away from vocal jazz. --John Kelman, allaboutjazz.com

"I love it. It's very special what you are doing. It's a killer band and the whole concept is just fantastic!"--Dave Douglas, Trumpeter

And WHO is Fay?
Raised in New York, from a Trinidadian background, she started performing later than usual and within a short time, Fay performed under her own name in clubs in and around New York City back in the early nineties. During this time Fay recorded and co-wrote with David Anthony a minor dance hit with 'You Make Me Happy' that made it to #7 on Billboard’s Club Playlist in 1991.

In 1996, Fay made the permanent move to Europe where she started a serious singing career focusing initially on jazz repertory material, which produced gigs and festivals all over the continent, spawned 4 CD's as a headliner and several collaborations on other projects. Fay’s vocal style has since matured into a vocal-and-band concept that freely matches rhythmic energy, brooding intensity and all out improvisation, where the voice mostly functions as "just" one of the band.

In 2003, Fay relocated home to New York City where she released Lazy Old Sun in October 2004. Lazy Old Sun (for which she received a sizeable grant from the Dutch foundation, Thuiskopie Fonds) garnered rave reviews and made it clear that this is a vocalist with a sound all her own and with an ear even more tilted toward arresting and original repertoire choices.

One selection recorded for Lazy Old Sun that did not make the record was a vocal version of Jimi Hendrix’ Third Stone from the Sun that Fay penned lyrics to. The publishing company that handles Jimi’s estate wouldn’t allow the rendition to be released. This act set the ground running for an all original project starting with those very lyrics as the foundation for CARTWHEELS THROUGH THE COSMOS.

Fay has appeared at New York venues including the Bowery Poetry Club, The Stone, Zebulon, Sweet Rhythm, Roulette, Nuyorican Poets Café, CBGB’s, Cornelia Street Café, Tonic, Barbes, Galapagos Art Space and the 55 Bar. Fay has performed with such notables as the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Misha Mengelberg, Steve Coleman, Michael Moore and Gary Lucas. She has been described as a “thinking person’s jazz vocalist”, and a “a true find, a real original.”

Anders Nilsson/guitar
A bandleader in his own right, Anders Nilsson heads up Swedish-based improv-rock-jazz outfit, Aorta and he has had two recording with the band on the Swedish based-Kopasetic Label. Blood, released in 2004 and the sophomore effort Janus was released in 2005. Currently Anders is teaching, performing and writing for Aorta. Anders Nilsson grew up in Eslöv, Sweden and early on joined a rock band. He studied Jazz studies at Malmö Academy of Music. In 2002, he moved to New York City and since then he’s earned a Master of Jazz Studies at City College of New York. Anders has played with musicians including Kermit Driscoll, Sabir Mateen, Ken Filiano, Michael Evans, Raoul Björkenheim, Ras Moshe, Daniel Carter and Matt Lavelle, amongst others. He has composed film music and collaborated with dancers and is a member of Sebastian Schunke’s Orchestra (Berlin).

Ken Filiano/double bass, effects
Noted for his accomplishments in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, and inter-disciplinary performance with dance and spoken word, Ken Filiano fuses the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless, often astonishing, inventiveness. Ken leads two groups for which he also composes: a quartet with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael T.A. Thompson, and a quintet with Attias, Jackson Krall, Steve Swell, and Tomas Ulrich. His prolific output also includes performances and/or recordings with Roy Campbell, Nels Cline, Ted Dunbar, Bob Feldman, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Dennis Gonzalez, Vinny Golia, Lou Grassi, Hayes Greenfield, Phil Haynes, Fred Hess, Jason Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Sheila Jordan (with the Aardvark Orchestra), Raul Juarena, Joe Labarbera, Joelle Leandre, Frank London, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Tina Marsh, Warne Marsh, Bob Meyer, Dom Minasi, Hafez Modirzadeh, Butch Morris, Barre Phillips, Roberta Piket, Don Preston, Bob Rodriguez, Roswell Rudd, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ursel Schlicht, Paul Smoker, Chris Sullivan, Peeter Uuskyla, Biggi Vinkeloe, Kenny Wessel, Andrea Wolper, Pablo Ziegler.

Ken has also been a guest lecturer, performer, and workshop leader at the Actor's Institute of New York, San Francisco State University, UCLA, Centro de Arte Moderna (Lisbon), and at Rutgers University, where he received his Master's Degree.

Michael TA Thompson/drums
Drummer/Percussionist Michael Thompson is an anomaly. You might find him in the company of a wide variety of musical artists which include Joe McPhee, John Stubblefield, Henry Grimes, Daniel Carter, Alex Foster, Roy Campbell Jr., Matthew Shipp, Uri Caine, John Patitucci, William Parker, Harvie Swartz, Barbara Sfraga, Mala Waldron; legendary Calypsonians The Mighty Sparrow, The Shadow, Becket; reggae artist Owen Gray. He has also played with Pauline Oliveros, and Deep Listening Music. He has recorded for television including shows such as Blues Clues (Nickelodeon), commercials and film scores.

Fay Victor and the Fay Victor Ensemble are available for festivals, concerts, club performances, conferences, clinics and workshops. Please forward all inquires of this nature to:
Sharon Reynolds
For press/publicity contact:
Scott Menhinick
Improvised Communications
617 489 6561
Record label:
Any other question, comments, feedback, etc
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