Fay Victor Ensemble

This show is available online here (click on individual tracks at right) and on DVD directly from Downtown Music Gallery.

Fay Victor


Fay Victor captures the interest of her audience by singing blues, a free piece, or a Herbie Nichols song with her own lyrics.  She is in command and is very energetic and strong.  She is very skilled in her music and her words talk about universal themes.  She has made a trademark of “freesong” which means to mix traditional songs with her improvisation.  The Fay Victor Ensemble is Fay’s longest working group.  Their latest release is Cartwheels through the Cosmos and it is believed to be the most accomplished of her career.  It is a rare commodity of vocal jazz releases and it combined the vocal jazz tradition with some Ornette Coleman and late Coltrane. 


She has down to earth essentials and combines them with her clever lyrics.  She also participates in The Exposed Blues Duo with guitarist Anders Nilsson which started after an invitation to Marseille, France in December of 2007 to perform at the WinterNights Festival.  The audience clearly liked what they were hearing which was the fusing of true blues and blues based music with free jazz.  Fay Victor’s Jazz Vault is a group that performs with modern jazz greats like Jackie McLean, Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus.  They emphasize on Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk. 


Victor can put different sounds together and make them work which is chamberesque and has tinges of free improvisation in the mixes.  She has not only performed in the US, but also in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, Andorra, Mexico, India, Russia, and Japan.  She has also performed with Misha Mengelberg, Gary Lucas, Steve Coleman and many others including the Duke Ellington Orchestra.  This year, Fay will release two new projects.  The Fay Victor Ensemble will release a follow up to Cartwheels through the Cosmos and extend the dialogue that was started there with creative statements with more character and style.  The Exposed Blues Duo will also release a debut recording and start touring in Europe, the Mid-West and the West Coast of the US.


Ken Filiano


Born on October 27, 1952, Ken Filiano plays and records his music with jazz greats throughout the world.  He has a solo CD titled “Subvenire” that has gotten a lot of good critical feedback.  He has been said to make any music work because he prioritizes music first.  He composes for his quartet with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael T.A. Thompson.  He has performed with other artists such as Bonnie Barnett, Rob Blakeslee, Bobby Bradford, Taylor Ho Bynum, and many others.  He is also a member of T.E.C.K. String Quartet. 


Ken has toured widely throughout the world and has appeared at festivals including the Charles Ives Festival, Summerfest Orchestra at Rutgers University, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, and many others.  Ken has been a guest lecturer, performer, and workshop leader at many institutions in the US and Europe.  He earned his MM from Rutgers University and is currently on the faculty at Mansfield University.  


Anders Nilsson


Nilsson was born in Eslov, Sweden in 1974.  He started out learning songs and solos and taking lessons to acquire his lifelong thirst for musical findings.  He originally did rock, metal, American blues and Zappa records.  He studied jazz at Malmo Academy of Music and worked as a free-lancer musician in Scandinavia before moving to New York in 2000. 


He has collaborated with many different performers in the city since then including Ken Filiano, Michael Evans, Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter and many others.  Most of his projects have been improvised.  Fulminate Trio includes Michael Evans, Ken Filiano, and himself and they recently released a CD on Generate Records.  He is also involved in a Swedish band called Anders Nilsson’s Aorta which includes saxophonist Mattias Carlson, electric bassist David Carlsson, and his brother, drummer Peter Nilsson.  This band plays original pieces and creative improvisations.  He occasionally works in Europe with AORTA and has composed and performed music for dance, short films, and theatre plays. 


Michael T.A. Thompson


Drummer Michael Thompson can be found in the company of various musical artists such as Joe McPhee, Oliver Lake, Alex Foster, Dennis Gonzales, and many others.  These people have all been major influences on him and it allows him to create a variety of sounds.  He listens to everything and plays around with different musical sounds that become very inventive.  He is always inspired in the moment and he also inspires others. 


Thompson has produced artists based out of New York who are pushing the musical limits and trying to make an impact on the musical scene.  His recent projects include being a producer on Mala Waldron’s “Always There,” poet Golda Solomon’s “Word Riffs,” Matt Levelle’s “Spiritual Power,” and many others.  He also has a creative palate for diverse compositional skills and they can be heard on the recording Timelessness Frozen in Time.