Header photo credits: Alan Thoburn



Archipelago live painted by Gina Southgate.

Faye MacCalman is an improvisor, performer and composer-songwriter based in the North East playing saxophone, clarinet and more recently voice. Faye writes for and leads award winning genre crossing trio ‘Archipelago’, exploring song forms through improvisation and melody.

She also performs with bands including The Unthanks (‘The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake’), Paul Smith (Maximo Park) free improvising duo ‘Kleevex’ with Gwilly Edmondez and in 2017 she toured with Zoe Rahman as part of Brighter Sound’s Jazz Director Series. Faye has led improvisation workshops across the North East as well as teaching at Newcastle University, Leeds College of Music and privately.

As a recipient of a Help Musicians UK ‘Peter Whittingham Development Award’ in 2018 Faye co-ran ‘BETWEEN WAVES’ https://archipelago-jam.com/betweenwaves; a collaborative project for female artists from around the UK to create new music with Archipelago. Taking place in Newcastle upon Tyne, the project was aimed at addressing the gender imbalance within creative music making environments. In 2017 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, The Unthanks, John Pope Quintet, Gwilly Edmondez, Charlie Collins, J Frisco, Paul Smith, Ceitidh Mac, Kleevex, The Midnight Doctors, John Pope, Ponyland, Pigsx7

and, previously:

Zoe Rahman, Graeme Wilson, Ig Henneman, Olie Brice, Arun Ghosh, Ellwood Epps, Yves Charuest, Elizabeth Lima, James Mainwaring, Corey Mwamba, Wilbert De Joode, Zoe Gilby