Photo – Al Thoburn
Faye is an improvisor, performer and composer based in the North East playing saxophone, clarinet and voice with a boundary challenging ear that blends influences from jazz, folk-blues, pop, rock and the avant-garde. Faye composes for and leads award winning band ‘Archipelago’, as well as performing solo as Valerie Roots and in collaboration with artists who have included Arun Ghosh, Zoe Rahman, Anna Meredith, The Unthanks and Paul Smith (Maximo Park).
Faye also facilitates workshops in improvisation and composition, and is a member of North East organisation ‘Creative Spaces’, providing workshops to isolated communities focused on making the therapeutic benefits of music accessible, and is a tutor at Newcastle University and Leeds College of Music.
In 2018 as a recipient of a Help Musicians UK ‘Peter Whittingham Development Award’ Faye co-created and ran ‘BETWEEN WAVES’ https://archipelago-jam.com/betweenwaves; a collaborative project for female artists from around the UK to create new music with Archipelago in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2019 Archipelago were selected to perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at Latitude Festival, and Faye was a featured artist on BBC Radio 3 as part of the Free Thinking Festival. UK journalist Kevin Le Gendre described Faye as ‘providing food for thought on what jazz is and can become’.
She performs and/or records with:
Archipelago, Ponyland, Archipelago X J Frisco, MIR8, John Pope Quintet, Arun Ghosh, Trio FCT, Paul Taylor, Ceitidh Mac, Arun Ghosh, The Unthanks, Gwilly Edmondez, Charlie Collins, Paul Smith, Kleevex, The Midnight Doctors