Feya Faku

The set that Feya Faku will perform with his quartet at the Jazz & Classical Encounters 2021 this weekend at Spier Wine Farm will be dedicated to late pianist and friend of Feya's, Andre Petersen. He will perform with Bokani Dyer on piano, Shane Cooper on bass and Ayanda Sikade on drums.
Feya Faku. | Photo: Siphiwe Mhlambi
Feya Faku. | Photo: Siphiwe Mhlambi

The New Brighton-born trumpeter started playing music informally at a young age and got help from local musicians. He then enrolled at the University of Natal to study with Darius Brubeck. It is there, in Durban, that his career blossomed.

In the late 80s, Faku started touring the world with artists such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Mankunku Ngozi, Sylvia Mdunyelwa and many more. He has recorded six albums under his name as band-leader.

I caught up with Faku last week:

BizcommunityThe new decade means:

To enjoy life after my ill health and more music.

BizcommunityFame is about:

I don’t subscribe to fame.

BizcommunityRetirement will happen when:

My body gives up.

BizcommunityI don't do:


BizcommunityWhat does music mean to you?

It is a way of life, brotherhood, feeling and sound.

BizcommunityMy music is about:

Friendship, trust, energy and brotherhood.

BizcommunityI would love to co-write music with:

Bokani Dyer.

BizcommunityWhere do you go for inspiration to create?

Through practice, sound from within and when I listen to music from my predecessors.

BizcommunityWhat is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

When the music that I write is complete and when I get inspired.

BizcommunityThe song you must do in every show:

None in particular.

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage?

When my mute fell off from the trumpet on the floor in front of the audience during a ballad. It triggered massive laughter.

BizcommunityMy heroes are:

My mother, my grandparents and my unsung music teachers.

BizcommunityMy style icon:

Lee Morgan.

BizcommunityWhich living person do you admire most and why?

Wynton Marsalis, because of his seriousness and hard work.

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?

My trumpets.

BizcommunityIt’s your round. What are you drinking?

A glass of good dry red.

BizcommunityDream gig to do:

At The Bird’s Eye in Basel, Switzerland with David Virelles (Cuban pianist).

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?

My sound.



BizcommunityIf you were not a musician, what would you do?

I would be a lawyer.

BizcommunityWho would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?

Denzel Washington, one of the best actors.

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself:

Humility, purpose, sharing, teaching and understanding.

BizcommunityFive favourite SA albums:

Intlupheko - Soul Jazzmen
Springs - Chris Schilder
Yakhal' Inkomo - Winston Mankhunku
Amabutho - Heshool Beshoo
I Remember Nick - Soul Giants

BizcommunityGreatest movie ever made?

Mo Better Blues by Spike Lee.

BizcommunityWhat books are you reading?

Any music related books.

BizcommunityWhat song changed your life?

Done that Dream by Dexter Gordon.

BizcommunityWho do you love?

Everybody that comes my way.

BizcommunityWhat is your favourite word?


BizcommunityFavorite fashion garment:

Anything I am comfortable in.

BizcommunityGive us some real proper slang and what it means:

Sharp Sharp (All good).

BizcommunityTop of your bucket list:

Play all my ballads with a string orchestra.

BizcommunityYour greatest achievement:

To make my music accessible to listeners.

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?

When people don’t get in touch.

BizcommunityWhat is your fear?


BizcommunityHappiness is:

A way of life.

BizcommunityOn stage I tend to:

Come out fully through my music.

BizcommunityThe best life lesson you have been taught?

Never judge anyone.

BizcommunityDo you get worked up whilst watching a sports game on TV?

I do, a lot!

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?

In Europe touring with a band and sightseeing.

BizcommunityDo you do charity work and if you do, what do you do?

Not at the moment. I used to contribute to my great teachers.

BizcommunityWishes and dreams:

I wish to teach young people from an early age and start my own jazz club that would also have a space for indoor sports like table tennis and chess.

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