A native of Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Wheatley Heights, Long Island, Fay Victor considered the possibility of becoming a jazz singer as a result of a personal tragedy more than anything else. In the 1980's, while studying International Relations at Syracuse University, she lost her mother during her sophomore year and dropped out of school. Because friends had been telling her she had a good voice, she decided to give singing a try. Victor attended the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music studying music theory and piano. She also attended a vocal workshop at the Williamsburg Music Center in Brooklyn and took private voice lessons for 2 years. Victor kicked off her jazz career began doing club gigs and concerts around the NY metropolitan area. This was followed in 1991 by a 3-month stint at a jazz club in Japan. The Japanese experience was the defining moment for Victor and she chose jazz singing as her profession.
Victor performed at such New York jazz venues as Birdland's, The Village Gate, Sign of the Dove and B. Smith's, working with Bernard "Pretty" Purdie , Walter Booker and Don Braden among others. Having already worked in Europe earlier, Victor moved to Europe in 1996 to take advantage of the greater number of performing available for jazz musicians on the Continent. She appeared at festivals and concerts The Netherlands, Russian, Belgium, Austria and Spain and was featured vocalist on Robert Veen's Aces of Swing in Holland.
Victor cites Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae as major influences. Listening to Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane helped her to lay the instrumental foundation for her voice. Her first album for Timeless Records, In My Own Room, released in April of 1999, dedicated to Betty Carter, is a real banquet of song and showcases Victor's considerable vocal talent. She bends the lyrics, swings, sings ballads and the blues. Her delivery can be strong, sassy, smokey or sophisticated, depending on the musical situation and the musical picture she wants to paint. Fay Victor has all the tools to be a major player in the jazz vocal scene. ~ Dave Nathan
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