Feya Faku returns for Jazz’Afro

Fezile 'Feya' Faku will perform st the Opera House on Sunday, along with members of his Swiss band Picture: Gregory Franz
Fezile ‘Feya’ Faku will perform st the Opera House on Sunday, along with members of his Swiss band Picture: Gregory Franz

Acclaimed trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer Fezile “Feya” Faku returns to his home town with an international sound, as he brings along his fellow Swiss musicians for a performance at the Jazz Afro Sundays, hosted by the PE Opera House.

The Feya Faku Swiss Unit, led by New Brighton-born Faku, accompanied by members Jean-Paul Brodbeck (piano), Dominic Egli (drums), Domenic Landolfen (tenor saxophone and flute) and Fabian Gisler, are performing in Port Elizabeth on Sunday as part of their South African tour, organised by the Swiss arts council, Prohelvetia.

“I’m from PE, I was born here but later left, so PE is always in my heart. I have a connection with the place and all the elderly musicians who got me interested in music and who taught me from my humble beginnings,” Faku said.

The five-show tour starts today in King William’s Town at the Steve Biko Centre and ends on September 17 in Johannesburg.

Faku boasts a decorated career in jazz music, having worked with revered local names such as Abdullah Ibrahim and Barney Rachabane, as well as a host of international acts such as Dave Young, Collin Vallon and the Paul van Kemenade Quintet.

He studied and acquired a Performers Diploma in Jazz in 1992 at the University of Natal’s Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, initiated by Darrius Brubeck, son of well-known American jazz pianist Dave Brubeck.

Faku attributes his interest in jazz music to the environment in which he grew up.

“I initially got interested in jazz music through listening to radio.

“I was about 12 or 15 back then and I used to listen to a programme on Radio Xhosa hosted by a gentleman who went by the name Al Fez. I really enjoyed his rich knowledge of the genre. Then, of course, the musical environment of New Brighton also intensified this interest, and this was long before I even picked up an instrument,” Faku said.

Faku met his Swiss counterparts in 2006, after spending some time in Switzerland as part of a residency programme under the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club, where he and well-known South African drummer Makhaya Ntshoko performed with and lead the Swiss-South African Quintet.

He has recorded two albums with the Swiss – their 2008 Hope and Honour and their 2014 release, Lengoma (this song) – with both projects released under his label, Feya Faku Music, which he established in 2005.

The show starts at 5pm at the Barn Theatre, Opera House. Tickets are R70 and seating is limited.

Inquiries: Cingiwe Skosana on (041) 585-1300 or e-mail: cingiwe.skosana@gmail.com

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