Support Herbie Nichols Celebration
Hello everyone !
I'm reaching out today as I am honored and thrilled to curate a four day festival in celebration of
Herbie Nichols Centennial Celebration to be held from January 2 through January 5 2019 at The Stone in
New York City.
The Herbie Nichols Centennial Celebration will feature a fascinating display of his music with varying approaches. A
night of solo recitations plus different groups devoted to Nichols music including Roswell Rudd's Trombone Tribe, The
Jazz Composer's Collective and Fay Victor's Herbie Nichols SUNG.
The funds I'm requesting will be used to cover the cost of documenting the entire festival (video & audio) for future Herbie Nichols and jazz fans, rehearsal expenses for the Trombone Tribe that's developing Nichols repertoire especially for this Festival and to subsidize small guarantees for all the musicians involved. Your support will mean so
much to everyone involved and to those that get to view and hear these performances in the future.
Festival Line-UP here: http://thestonenyc.com/calendar.php?month=3
About Herbie Nichols:
Nichols was born January 3, 1919, in New York and began playing piano at age nine, later studying at C.C.N.Y. After
serving in World War II, Nichols played with a number of different groups and was in on the
ground floor of the bebop scene. However, to pay the bills he later focused on Dixieland ensembles; his own music -- a
blend of Dixieland, swing, West Indian folk, Monk-like angularity, European classical harmonies via Satie and Bartók, and unorthodox structures -- was simply too unclassifiable and complex to make much sense to jazz audiences of the time. Mary Lou Williams was the first to record a Nichols composition -- "Stennell," retitled "Opus Z," in 1951; yet aside
from the song he wrote for Billie Holiday, "Lady Sings the Blues," none of Nichols' work got enough attention to really
Nichols signed with Blue Note and recorded three brilliant piano trio albums from 1955-1956, adding another one for Bethlehem in late 1957. Nichols languished in obscurity after those sessions, though; sadly, just when he was beginning to find a following among several of the new thing's adventurous, up-and-coming stars, he was stricken with leukemia
and died on April 12, 1963. In the years that followed, Nichols became a favorite composer in avant-garde circles, with
tributes to his sorely neglected legacy coming from artists like Misha Mengelberg, Roswell Rudd, Duck Baker and more. Nichols also inspired a repertory project called the Herbie Nichols Project, and most of his recordings were reissued on CD.
More on Herbie Nichols:
Great book on Herbie Nichols 'The Jazzist's Life' by Mark Miller
Thank you so much in advance for your support to preserve another
aspect of Herbie Nichols' legacy. Best wishes to you all!
Photos in video - courtesy of Verna Gillis/Roswell Rudd
'The Happenings' recorded at the 55BAR w Herbie Nichols SUNG (2017)
Fay Victor (voice), Anthony Coleman (organ), Michael Attias (alto sax), Ratzo Harris (double bass)
Thank you so much for your donation to the Herbie Nichols 100th Birthday Celebration at the Stone! It was a great success and your donations contributed to the filming of the al four days, an ad in the New York Jazz Record to spread the word a few other incidental expenses. The performances were wonderful and well attended by folks of all ages. I couldn't be happier with the results of the celebration and how good everyone felt hearing Nichol's played so many different ways.
Please let me know if I can forward the you tube links of the concerts to your attention!
I'm sharing a picture with you all one of the most powerful and touching evenings - listening to Roswell Rudd's Trombone Tribe perform Herbie Nichols' music as a group for the first time. It was a premiere and many in the group contributed arrangements for the performance as well. This evening was not only a tribute to Herbie but to Roswell Rudd as well, who not only knew and performed with Nichols personally, he also became one of Nichol's biggest advocates through recordings, performances and the book of unpublished works of unrecorded Nichols' compositions known at that time.
Thank you again for your kind contribution to this event! With deepest gratitude, Fay Victor
*In the photo: l-r: Frank London (trumpet), Art Baron , Steve Swell (trombones), Bob Stewart (tuba), Deborah Weisz, Josh Roseman (trombones)