""High flexability in the scat-singing and a dark timbre is the USP of Fay Claassen. You can really hear the stilistic influences from jazz stars like Ella Fitzgerald"."Bachtrack, 13-10-2014
Before Fay Claassen (Nijmegen, 1969) started her singing career, she studied ballet and drama, after which she finally opted for singing as her chosen subject. In 1997 she completed her conservatory education in The Hague with distinctions for jazz-timing and improvising ability. After her conservatory period she appeared as vocalist in different groups and toured through different countries in Europe. Her first recording ‘Simply Be’ was released with a band together with the saxophone player Carolyn Breuer. She was guest in different groups ‘The Tony Overwater V-Group’, Loet van der Lee Group, ‘Big Moves’ and with ‘The Amsterdam Jazz Quintet’ she recorded on the album ‘Playground’.
In 1999 Fay Claassen was chosen by ‘The Jazz Impuls Foundation’ as their first selected musician. This foundation supports and promotes jazz musicians deserving wider recognition and produced in that year her first own album (‘With a Song in my Heart’ CHR 70096 (presently sold out)). This album almost instantly nominated for an Edison-Award and was received with highly enthusiastic reviews. It was the first step to a real break-through.
Just after the release of that album she was asked to be part of a tour through Japan with ‘The Historical Dance Theatre’ in which she performed as a dancer and singer. Apart from the wonderful sound of her voice Fay stood out as a singer. She is one of the few to add an extra dimension to her vocal performances, by being able to improvise with her voice as an extremely versatile instrument. Fay is in every setting one of the group as a musician. In 2000 Fay featured on the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Hague) with the Tony Overwater group. She became a teacher at the Conservatory of Rotterdam (CodArt). In 2001, as the only European vocalist, she was chosen and invited by the Selection Committee of The International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) to perform in Los Angeles the next year, and Fay’s second album ‘Rhythms and Rhymes’ (BMCD 380) with Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner, Mike Stern and Joe Locke, was released. A few months later she recorded this very different 3rd album ‘Specially arranged for Fay’ with The Millennium Jazz Orchestra.
In 2005 she participates in “Two Portraits of Chet Baker, vol.1&2” (BMCD 497), a 2-cd set with Jan Menu, Hein Van de Geyn and John Engels, that received a first ranking in U.S. magazine 'All About Jazz'.
"High flexability in the scat-singing and a dark timbre is the USP of Fay Claassen. You can really hear the stilistic influences from jazz stars like Ella Fitzgerald".
"Claassen heeft een goed gevoel voor tekst, een mooie, mezzo stem en een beheerst gevoel van scat. Ondertussen kan de band een zachte, houtblazers-georiënteerd ensemble of een krachtige brass-band zijn.''