Feya Faku will be entertaining audiences at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival this weekend. Picture: Supplied
Feya Faku is a musician, trumpeter, who comes from Port Elizabeth. He is a man who loves people, and has defined himself in life as a father, husband and a friend to many. 

One of his greatest influences in the industry is fellow musician Abdullah Ibrahim and Bheki Mseleku.

"Working with Abdullah Ibrahim and touring with his band in Europe was a real boost for me.  Working with him gave me confidence and hope, because we also did some duets which means he trusted me musically," says Faku. 

"For me, it was like getting paid for my lessons with him. It was the greatest apprenticeship. Another great influence was the late Bheki Mseleku, who taught me to connect with the spiritual and emotional side of the music. 

Faku will be entertaining audiences at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on Saturday night. He spoke to IOL Entertainment about his career and what fans can expect at the festival: 

You career has been nothing short of illustrious. Tell us about your journey into the world of jazz?
 
My involvement in music started by listening to  music that has been recorded here and all over in the world.  I also had friends who were great listeners even though they were not musicians as such, and my elder sister and her husband used to collect jazz records, so I was fortunate to be able to listen to all the greats.  I was then able to study music at the University of Natal, under the legendary Darius Brubeck,  who really opened up some pathways for us young jazz musicians.
 
What do you love about your instruments of choice - the trumpet and the flugelhorn?

I love my instruments because they are my true friends, they keep me company, they help me convey messages and what heals me may 
help other people out there. They are evocative, and able to really transport me and the listeners into other worlds, other emotional states of being, memories and possibilities.
 
Some of the highs of your career?
 
Some of the highlights of my career are when I was really young, but I was invited to start playing with local Bands in P.E Bands like Morden Jazz Group and
The Soul Jazzmen - some of my heroes.   When i was studying in Durban, I had the honour to work with many great at the Rainbow Jazz Restaurant in Pinetown, which really provided an important space and still does.   I've been able to take my music all over the world, travelling and playing constantly with musicians such as Dave Young, Gustavo Begalli, Larry Ridley, Colin Vallon, Andy Sherrer, Eric van der Western, Brice Wassy,  Malcolm Braff, Samuel Blaser, Frederic Ljungkvist and Paul Hanmer.

Some of the lows?

It's always a real blow to lose fellow musicians, and I've been very impacted by losing some of the elderly musicians who contributed to our careers, despite being undervalued in the public sphere.
 
Tell us about your performance at the jazz festival on Saturday? Are there surprises in store for the audience?

I am excited to play at the festival. It has been a while. I am excited to perform with Bokani Dyer, Ayanda Sikade, Shane Cooper and Keenan Ahrends on guitar. It is a special band with great personalities and great young musicians. The music itself is really expressive, and it's important for me that I have a band who can hold the right space, and add their contributions to it.
 
* The Feya Faku Spirit Unit will be performing at Rosie's on Saturday night at  10.15pm. Go to www.capetownfest.com for more details on bookings and other artists