Faye MacCalman is an improvisor, performer and composer-songwriter based in the North East playing saxophone, clarinet and more recently voice. She leads and composes for ‘Archipelago’, a genre crossing trio in Newcastle upon Tyne taking inspiration from musicians as diverse as Don Cherry, Morphine and Joni Mitchell. She also records and performs with a multitude of different musicians including The Unthanks, Paul Smith (Maximo Park), Kleevex (Gwilly Edmondez), and Ceitidh Mac among others.
Faye’s music is focused around pushing the boundaries of song forms, genres and improvisation by combining these musical worlds freely and experimenting with the kinds of emotion and honesty they can express together.
As well as her ensemble work she has a solo electronic project ‘Valerie Roots’ which is focused on looping reed instruments and vocals to create chordal textures and vocal experimentation. Faye is currently commissioned by Lancaster Jazz Festival to compose new material for Archipelago and J Frisco as one ‘super band’ at this years festival, and she was one of nine emerging musicians selected to tour with MOBO award winning jazz pianist Zoe Rahman as part of Brighter Sound’s ‘Jazz Director Series’.
Photo by Alan Thoburn.