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.
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:
The new decade means:
To enjoy life after my ill health and more music.
Fame is about:
I don’t subscribe to fame.
Retirement will happen when:
My body gives up.
I don't do:
What does music mean to you?
It is a way of life, brotherhood, feeling and sound.
My music is about:
Friendship, trust, energy and brotherhood.
I would love to co-write music with:
Where do you go for inspiration to create?
Through practice, sound from within and when I listen to music from my predecessors.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
When the music that I write is complete and when I get inspired.
The song you must do in every show:
None in particular.
Any 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.
My heroes are:
My mother, my grandparents and my unsung music teachers.
My style icon:
Which living person do you admire most and why?
Wynton Marsalis, because of his seriousness and hard work.
What is your most treasured possession?
It’s your round. What are you drinking?
A glass of good dry red.
Dream gig to do:
At The Bird’s Eye in Basel, Switzerland with David Virelles (Cuban pianist).
What makes you stand out?
If you were not a musician, what would you do?
I would be a lawyer.
Who would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?
Denzel Washington, one of the best actors.
Pick five words to describe yourself:
Humility, purpose, sharing, teaching and understanding.
Five favourite SA albums:
Intlupheko - Soul Jazzmen
Springs - Chris Schilder
Yakhal' Inkomo - Winston Mankhunku
Amabutho - Heshool Beshoo
I Remember Nick - Soul Giants
Greatest movie ever made?
Mo Better Blues by Spike Lee.
What books are you reading?
Any music related books.
What song changed your life?
Done that Dream by Dexter Gordon.
Who do you love?
Everybody that comes my way.
What is your favourite word?
Favorite fashion garment:
Anything I am comfortable in.
Give us some real proper slang and what it means:
Sharp Sharp (All good).
Top of your bucket list:
Play all my ballads with a string orchestra.
Your greatest achievement:
To make my music accessible to listeners.
What do you complain about most often?
When people don’t get in touch.
What is your fear?
A way of life.
On stage I tend to:
Come out fully through my music.
The best life lesson you have been taught?
Never judge anyone.
Do you get worked up whilst watching a sports game on TV?
I do, a lot!
Where would you like to be right now?
In Europe touring with a band and sightseeing.
Do you do charity work and if you do, what do you do?
Not at the moment. I used to contribute to my great teachers.
Wishes 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.
About Martin Myers
Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
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