Meet New Faculty at The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music

The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at The New School’s College of Performing Arts is excited to welcome new faculty members this spring.

Fay Victor

“She’s essentially invented her own hybrid of song and spoken word, a scat style for today’s avant-garde.”
—Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

“I’m excited to be part of the New School’s faculty, a faculty that embodies great teachers and artists that are as diverse as this great city. I’m looking forward to my work with the students!”

Brooklyn, NY based sound artist/composer Fay Victor hones a unique vision for the vocalist’s role in jazz and improvised music regarding repertoire, improvisation and composition. Her ‘everything is everything’ aesthetic permeates her work in performance where a standard can lead to a free improvisation or an outburst…and back again.

In over a 20 year span, Victor has released 9 albums as a leader to critical acclaim as well as seminal sideperson projects with leaders such as Anthony Braxton, Roswell Rudd, Nicole Mitchell, William Parker and Marc Ribot. Victor’s most recent release as a leader is Wet Robots (ESP Disk, July 2018) with her latest group, SoundNoiseFUNK, featuring Joe Morris (guitar), Sam Newsome (sop. saxophone) & Reggie Nicholson (drums). Wet Robots has received 4.5 stars in Downbeat Magazine and placed #4 in the Jazz Vocal Category for NPR’s Jazz Critic’s Poll 2018 (in a tie with Kurt Elling)

Learn more about Fay Victor at www.fayvictor.com or via social media through her handle, @freesongsinger.

Brian Marsella

‘Marsella is as versatile and talented a pianist as you will find.’ — Frank Alkyer, Downbeat Magazine
‘…the classically trained Marsella displayed dizzying technique while imbuing pieces with an authentic soul- jazz feeling.’ — Bill Milkowski’s review of Brian Marsella Trio August 10th set at the Village Vanguard

“I am looking forward to come back as a teacher to a school I attended—I enjoy when things come full circle. Also, it is exciting to see the New School bridge the gap between classical and improvised music and am thrilled to be able to share my experiences.”

Brian Marsella has risen to the top ranks of NYC jazz pianists. A Philadelphia native, Marsella moved to New York in 1998 and has been touring and recording consistently since. Currently Marsella has released 11 albums as a leader or co-leader. His projects include the large ensembles iMAGiNARiUM and Gatos do Sul, the jazz quintet The Flail, the psychedelic surf-rock trio The Modulators as well as two acoustic piano trios (one featuring Kenny Wollesen and Trevor Dunn and the other with Christian McBride and Anwar Marshall.) OUTSPOKEN: The Music of Hasaan Ibn Ali (McBride, Marshall) was chosen as a Best Album of 2018 by The New York City Jazz Record. Brian can also be heard on over 30 other albums including 15 on John Zorn’s TZADIK label (3 as a leader). Over the past 5 years, Brian has become a central figure in John Zorn’s world as a musician in both his Masada and Bagatelle projects as well as a member of Zorn’s Cobra.

Since 2004, Marsella has been of member of Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey and Banquet of the Spirits. With Cyro, Brian has toured the world and helped lead workshops in Brazilian rhythms and in the community building project, ‘Sound of the Community.’

Brian’s touring and recording credits include John Zorn, Cyro Baptista, Matisyahu, Marshall Allen, Hassan Hakmoun, Jon Irabagon, Ches Smith, Tyshawn Sorey Ikue Mori, Billy Martin, Nels Cline, Meg Okura’s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Jessica Lurie Ensemble and groups Zion80, Edom, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Yemen Blues and Fresh Cut Orchestra

Roxy Coss

“I am excited to join The New School’s community for so many reasons. The students in the Jazz department are so passionate about music and learning, and they all have such a great attitude. The faculty are all equally passionate about the art form, as well as deeply committed to passing along the information to the younger generations. The teachers are coming from such diverse musical and personal backgrounds, that it has helped to create a very rich atmosphere of exploration, which feeds the continued passion and commitment to learning from the students. There is an established culture of growth, expansion, and forward movement, along with respect to tradition and the elders, which are all necessary components for the continued success of the arts!”

Musician, Composer, Bandleader, Educator and Activist Roxy Coss has performed around the world, headlining at the Newport Jazz Festival, Melbourne Big Band Festival, NYC Winter JazzFest, Earshot Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Summerfest, Jazz Standard, and Jazz Showcase. A recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, the Downbeat Critics’ Poll listed her as a “Rising Star” on Soprano Saxophone the past five years. She has performed as a side musician with Clark Terry, Billy Kaye, Maurice Hines, Rufus Reid, Louis Hayes, Claudio Roditi, Willie Jones III, Jeremy Pelt, Darcy James Argue, and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. In March 2018, she released her fourth album as a leader, The Future Is Female (Posi-Tone Records), receiving 4.5-Star reviews from Downbeat and All About Jazz. The Roxy Coss Quintet, featuring some of the world’s finest young musicians, is the first ever recipient of the Emerging Artist Project, a four-year grant from the Local 802 Musicians Union. Roxy is also a band leader for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazz For Young People” program entitled Let Freedom Swing!, is on the Board of Directors for the Jazz Education Network, is on Jazz Faculty at The Juilliard School, The New School, BMCC, and is the Founder of Women In Jazz Organization. Roxy is an endorsed Vandoren Artist.

Angelica Sanchez

“I’m teaching Improvisation Ensemble: FILM, an ensemble that focuses on improvising with silent film. We are exploring treating the silent film as another instrument and composing and expanding short pieces as a means for improvisation. The overall focus is to develop strategies for listening and incorporate space in music.

The New School has a world class faculty. It’s an honor to be a part of it. The Jazz Department is very forward thinking and offers many opportunities for students that you can’t get any where else. The New School fosters creativity and musical growth for both student and teacher.”

Pianist/Composer/Educator Angelica Sanchez moved to New York from Arizona in 1994. Since moving to the East Coast Sanchez has played with such players as: Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Motian, Richard Davis, Chad Taylor, Chris Lightcap, Rob Mazurek, Vincent Chancey, Susie Ibarra, Tim Berne, Mario Pavone, Mark Dresser, Ben Monder and many more. Sanchez leads many groups including her own quintet featuring Marc Ducret, Tony Malaby, Drew Gress, and Tom Rainey. Her music has been recognized in international publications like, “ Jazz Times Magazine”, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and many more. She was a recipient of the French/American Chamber Music America grant and the Rockefellers Brothers Pocantico artist residency. Her debut solo CD “A Little House” was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition in May 2011. Her Duo CD “Twine Forest” with Wadada Leo Smith received Honorable Mention as a best release in 2013, and was a feature artist “The New York City Jazz Record.” Her latest recording, a duo with the great Marilyn Crispell is due out in the Fall 2019. Angelica has a Master’s in Arranging from William Paterson University.

Alex Hargreaves

“Some of my favorite musicians in the world have either taught or studied at The New School, so it is quite an honor to now be a part of such an amazing community. Having grown up working with mentors from a variety of musical traditions, I’ve always valued the importance of getting different perspectives on music through private study. The New School provides so many great opportunities for students to work one-on-one with professional musicians in NYC, and I am very excited to be involved in that process.”

Described as “one of the greatest improvising violinists in America today” by virtuoso mandolinist/composer Mike Marshall, Alex Hargreaves is a violinist equally at home playing traditional bluegrass, modern jazz, and everything in between. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Alex has toured with Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Danilo Perez and has performed with many others including Punch Brothers, Sierra Hull, Steve Martin and Kacey Musgraves, appearing on her Saturday Night Live debut. He was a member of the Grammy award-winning Turtle Island Quartet from 2016–2019, appearing on their 2018 release, Bird’s Eye View, and can often be heard playing in the house band on the public radio variety show, Live From Here with Chris Thile.

Alex has worked with many prestigious artists which includes forming The Big Trio with Paul Kowert and Mike Marshall, touring with and appearing on three of Sarah Jarosz’s critically acclaimed albums, and releasing a debut album Prelude in 2010 featuring Mike Marshall, Grant Gordy, Paul Kowert, and special guests Bela Fleck and Noam Pikelny.

Currently on faculty at The New School, Alex is an experienced music educator, having taught at a variety of music camps and workshops. Alex helps his students find their own way of learning and staying inspired, while still respecting the traditions and contributions of those who set the groundwork for the music we play today.

Darius Jones

“I am deeply honored to join the jazz faculty to explore ideas around improvisation, musicality, sonic manipulation, and more with each student in my Improvisation Ensemble. My desire is to share what I have learned along my journey to hopefully help a student grow closer to their true artistic intentions. I have long admired the New Schools founding history as a socially conscious institution, a tradition of critical theory, and an openness to the art of pedagogy. I am so excited to join this community and follow in the footsteps of many great thinkers who have giving to this place.”

Darius Jones has created a recognizable voice as a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer by embracing individuality and innovation in the tradition of African-American music.

Jones has been awarded the Van Lier Fellowship, Jerome Foundation Commission, Jerome Artist-in-Residence at Roulette, French-American Jazz Exchange Award, and the Fromm Music Foundation commission at Harvard University. Jones has released a string of diverse recordings featuring music and images evocative of Black Futurism. His work as a new music composer for voice culminated in a major debut performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Jones has collaborated with artists including Gerald Cleaver, Oliver Lake, William Parker, Andrew Cyrille, Craig Taborn, Wet Ink Ensemble, Jason Moran, Trevor Dunn, Dave Burrell, Eric Revis, Matthew Shipp, Marshall Allen, Nasheet Waits, Branford Marsalis, Travis Laplante, Fay Victor, Cooper-Moore, Matana Roberts, JD Allen, Matthew Shipp, Nicole Mitchell, Georgia Ann Muldrow, and many more. The New York Times named Jones among the Best Live Jazz Performances of 2017 for his Vision Festival performance with Farmers by Nature. In 2018, Darius premiered across the United States a major new composition entitled LawNOrder, a dramatic commentary on social justice and American politics. Jones’ music is a confrontation against apathy and ego, hoping to inspire authenticity that compels us to be better humans.

Dirk Freymuth

“I am excited to be a part of Martin Shore’s class, Take Me to the River, which draws on his documentary films about music and mentorship in Memphis and New Orleans. This class represents a new paradigm for teaching music history, and I am honored to be a part of it. I will be arriving in the last week of March to introduce the music of Memphis. See you then!

For me, the New School represents the cutting edge of college music education in jazz and popular music. The student-driven curriculum avoids the kinds of antiquated policies and requirements still seen at many other institutions that force students into performing music that has little or no relevance to their own artistic vision and aspirations. Variety is the key, and the New School has a staggering number of options in classes, ensembles, and private instructors. There are few places like it. Skeptics need only look at the quality and number of New School graduates who are among the top artists on the scene today in a variety of styles.”

Dr. Dirk Freymuth is a guitarist, producer, composer, and educator. As a session musician he can be heard on more than a hundred recordings, and he has produced more than 50 records in a wide range of genres. During the 1990s he was a member of the Minneapolis-based rock trio, Hindu Rodeo. Today he performs primarily as an acoustic guitarist and has a duo with legendary uillean piper, Eric Rigler. Last year Freymuth was ranked #61 on the Digital Dream Door ‘100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists’ list.

Dirk Freymuth is also an Early Music multi-instrumentalist and historian who has worked with The Tallis Scholars, The Gabrieli Consort, Musicians of the Globe Theater, Circa 1500, and many others. He earned his doctorate in Early Music Performance at the University of Southern California, where he studied with James Tyler. Since 2011 Dr. Freymuth has been teaching Audio Production, Historical Performance Practice, and American Vernacular Music History at Western Oregon University. He lives in Corvallis.